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Sous Chef Job Description

Indrajit Deshmukh
The job of a Sous chef involves cooking different cuisines, supervising other kitchen staff, taking an inventory, and playing the administrative and managerial role in the kitchen.
Many fine cuisine restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, etc. employ Sous chefs for managing their commercial kitchens. Their job is not restricted to just cooking. It involves coming up with a menu for the restaurant specials, maintaining standard procedures in the kitchen regarding food processes, and maintaining hygiene.
Sous chefs with a degree in hospitality or culinary arts have a better chance of employment than those who are self-taught. The job profile is not only about cooking. It also needs some interpersonal skills, as these chefs act as a conduit between the head chef and the other kitchen staff. A Sous chef is second-in-command in the kitchen and takes on the responsibility of handling the kitchen, in absence of the head chef.

Education and Salary

If you are planning to work as a Sous chef, then it is advisable to get yourself enrolled into a culinary art school. There are schools that offer two and four-year degree programs that will train you to take on all the responsibilities. Coursework will include learning different cuisines like French, Italian, Continental, etc. Along with the cooking, the coursework will have lessons on kitchen safety and sanitation.
After finishing the training, a Sous chef will also be required to engage in an internship program. They will learn a great deal during their internship, as it involves real-time interaction in the kitchen.
Most people get attracted to this career, because they have a passion for cooking and the salary is also quite comparable to other professions in the restaurant industry.
On an average, these professionals earn around USD 30,000 to USD 40,000 annually. Like in most jobs, the salary also depends on the location, organization, education, and experience of the candidate.


A Sous chef reports to the head chef and is responsible for executing the head chef's instructions by managing the kitchen staff. He performs a variety of duties in the kitchen and restaurant to ensure smooth running of the eatery. They are hired by high-end fine dining restaurants and have the responsibility of designing the menu and at times, interacting with the patrons.
  • The job involves executing the head chef's orders in the kitchen.
  • Taking inventory of food supplies and interacting with the administration regarding the same is another job.
  • Ensuring that the supplies used in the kitchen are of top quality is another duty.
  • They are responsible for maintaining high sanitation standards in the kitchen.
  • Their job duties also involve planning the menu.
  • They also need to ensure that the patrons are served efficiently.
Some of them have sub-specialties like the Pastry Sous chef. The job will vary a little from that of an executive Sous chef. Some of their other responsibilities are the following:
  • Ensure that supplies required for pastry preparations are stock piled.
  • Come up with dessert menu.
  • Manage other kitchen support staff that's involved with dessert preparations.
  • Help the administration in preparing a budget for the pastry division.
  • Ensure high quality control measures are adhered to during preparation and serving of pastries.
Commercial kitchens are high-activity hubs and the Sous chefs are at their center. They have to interact with the head chef, sommeliers, kitchen staff, and the management. The job involves a great deal of management skills in the kitchen, as they are required to look after staffing, allocate shifts, and deal with kitchen employee issues. They play an important role in the smooth running of the kitchen.