Know Thy Chefs: What Are The Different Types of Chefs?

At a restaurant, it’s common to hear customers say, “Compliments to the chef.” But which chef exactly? Read along to find out.

The 15 Types of Chefs at a Restaurant

1. Executive Chef

Also known as the Chef de Cuisine, the Executive Chef is the highest-ranked in the kitchen, with years of experience and knowledge to their belt (or apron). Although not usually part of the cooking, they oversee all operations including reviewing the taste and presentation of the food, and creating menu items.

2. Sous Chef

The Sous Chef is the right hand of the Executive Chef. More involved than the latter, he/she makes sure other chefs have everything necessary--be it ingredients or tools--to accomplish orders.

3. Senior Chef

Some chefs just cook a certain dish better than the others. Senior Chefs (also called Chefs de Partie) work on the area of the kitchen that they excel at, guiding other chefs with the preparation of these meals.

4. Prep Chef

As Chef Amanda Freitag simply put it, “preparation is everything." The prep chef takes this to heart, clocking in earlier than the rest in order to ready all the food items for later.

5. Pantry Chef

AKA the garde manger, this chef orders food supplies and ensures their freshness within the cold storage area/s. He/she also prepares salads and other cold dishes, and decorates the buffet with food carvings.

6. Legumier Chef

The vegetable ace, the legumier chef aims at efficiently preparing vegetable dishes, as well as the sauces to go with them. This chef works at the entremetier station, along with the potager chef who makes the soups.

7. Boucher

The meat master of the kitchen, the boucher takes care of the meat supplies and attends to the meat needs of other chefs--chopped, cubed, or filleted. That’s a lot of knife action, so it’s good to have a bag such as the Chef Knife Sling Bag to take all the tools for the job.

8. Meat Chef

This chef thrives on the boucher’s meat work. They choose the best meats to use on dishes and prepare them in a way that would give customers the best dining experience.

9. Poissonnier

The poissonnier prepares all the fish-centric meals along with the accentuating sauces and sides. This chef also knows which fish are in season and procures them from fishermen and vendors.

10. Rotisseur

The oven professional, this chef’s job is to roast food in a way that would bring out the most flavor. Some may confuse a roast chef with a grill chef, but the distinction is right there in their names--a roast chef roasts, while a grill chef grills.

11. Fry Chef

One can find the fry chef, well, next to the fryer. He/she operates the machine and does the other preparations before letting the oil do its magic.

12. Patissier

The patissier produces all the baked goods and sweets at the restaurant. Patissiers attend culinary schools specific for this craft and make their own decisions regarding their food items.

13. Saucier

The third-in-command, this type of chef creates the sauces for every item on the menu. Since the sauce is typically the last element put on a dish, the saucier also assesses the final presentation before serving.

14. Expediter

While not chefs per se, expediters are just as vital as any chef as they check the elements of every dish to ensure the customers’ requests are met. In smaller kitchens, this is done by the executive chef.

15. Tournant & Commis Chef

The tournant must have extensive knowledge on each area in order to step in whenever necessary. Along with the commis chef (an entry-level chef), the tournant shadows other chefs and maintains the cleanliness of every station.

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