The executive sous chef plays an integral role in helping the executive chef run the operation.
With all the moving pieces in a hectic club kitchen, the executive chef can’t always manage things all on their own. The sous chef acts as the right-hand to the executive chef, assisting in both the culinary tasks of meal planning and prep as well as communicating with the rest of the kitchen staff. Club kitchen staff such as prep cooks, line cooks, and pastry chefs may look to the executive sous chef when the executive chef is busy managing the bigger picture.
The Executive Sous Chef’s main responsibilities typically include:
- Stepping in for the EC when he or she is not available
- Assisting in managerial and administrative tasks for the club kitchen
- Support menu planning, presentation, and preparation
- Overseeing lower kitchen staff members
- Helping manage club kitchen staff’s schedules and labor costs
- Maintaining a high-quality standard of safety and sanitation in the kitchen
In some scenarios, a sous chef may bring along a cooking specialty to the club such as a unique style of food prep or expertise in international cuisine. Some clubs may also choose to make the executive sous chef a common face of the kitchen out on the floor. Members often get to know the sous chef just as much as they know the executive chef, helping build stronger connections with the culinary team. This allows the sous chef to suggest menu items and daily specials that align with the guest’s tastes while building a sense of community with the diners.
The American Culinary Federation’s Sous Chef Certification requires at least two years of supervisory experience as well as ample training, education and ACF courses to qualify for the program. The sous chef role is often the stepping stone to becoming an Executive Chef.
The sous chef is another integral piece of the puzzle that makes a club kitchen run smoothly from the casual golf lunch to the upscale wine dinner.