What does an executive chef do all day?
The executive chef is the key position in a kitchen organisation. They have many responsibilities, and you could compare them to a football team captain/manager.
They manage the team, are visible in the kitchen and are constantly developing and managing the team.
Moreover, executive chefs have to carry out planning, organising, controlling, and reporting all activities of the back of house, the non-customer facing part of a restaurant.
They will create the menus, recipes, and cost these in order to achieve the aimed profitability of the business. This involves a great understanding of the products, the seasonality, the supply chain in order to get the best products at the best time.
They will show creativity to offer an attractive menu and have an artistic side, presenting beautiful plates, nowadays so important in the age of social media.
They will have to follow the latest technology in equipment and products to stay ahead of trends. This will require regular visits to trade shows, suppliers, and other restaurants.
Obviously, they will be the captain of the team and must be a leader, motivating, directing, developing the team and are able to assist them when they fall short of expectation. This requires an important emotional intelligence and being able to deal with high level of stress.
They will be the teacher, transmitting an important know how to the next generation of chef and mentoring the line of succession. This requires passion and daily dedication.
Finally, the least known part of the job is that they are responsible to comply with rules and regulations, should it be in regard of working laws or more importantly, food and hygiene regulations. This side of the job require a lot of paperwork and documentation to ensure the safety of the staff, public and company.
As you can see from all the moving parts of this role it is a very complex and requires organisation, knowledge, permanent research, and a lot of human relations. Not one day will look alike but this is certainly what is the most attractive part of this job.