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Sous Chef Job Description: 2024 Updated Template

Sous chef job description: an African American man is cooking a steaming hot dish in the restaurant kitchen.

A Sous Chefs main responsibilities include assisting with menu planning and recipe development, managing kitchen staff, ensuring high standards of cleanliness and hygiene, monitoring food costs and inventory and collaborating with other departments.

Sous chef job description: an African American man is cooking a steaming hot dish in the restaurant kitchen.

This Sous Chef Job Description offers a comprehensive overview of their job, including their duties, educational requirements and salary ranges in cities with a high demand for restaurant jobs such as Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

Additionally, we provide a list of interview questions that restaurant owners and potential candidates can use to maximize their efficiency during the interview process.

The sous chef profession is a rapidly growing field with an estimated job growth of up to 15% in the next decade, surpassing the average 8% growth for other occupations.

An image saying the sous chef profession is estimated to grow up to 15 % in the next decade
[Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics]
This increase is expected to result in a surge of employment opportunities in the near future.

Sous chefs hold prestigious positions in the restaurant industry, commanding some of the highest salaries. This role requires specific skills and qualifications, such as the ability to work in a high-pressure environment and expertise in preparing exquisite meals.

Sous Chef Job Description

The sous chef is the second-in-command in a kitchen, working under the direction of the head chef.

A sous chef should have excellent leadership, communication and organizational skills, as well as a strong culinary background and knowledge of food preparation techniques.

Most employers expect sous chefs to have a culinary degree or several years of experience in a professional kitchen. Additional certifications or training in food safety and sanitation may also be a requirement.

The sous chef should be comfortable with managing a fast-paced kitchen environment and working well under pressure.

Sous Chef Responsibilities

Check out a full list of a sous chef’s work responsibilities.

  • Assisting the Head Chef with menu planning and recipe development
  • Overseeing food preparation and cooking, ensuring dishes are prepared to a high standard and in a timely manner
  • Managing kitchen staff, including training, scheduling and performance management
  • Maintaining high standards of cleanliness and hygiene in the kitchen
  • Ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations
  • Ordering and managing inventory of food and kitchen supplies
  • Monitoring food costs and stay within budget
  • Assisting with the management of kitchen finances, including payroll and budgeting
  • Collaborating with other departments in the organization, such as event planning and front-of-house staff
  • Serving as a liaison between the kitchen staff and front-of-house staff

The list of sous chef's responisibilities

Keep in mind that a sous chef’s work responsibilities may be influenced by factors such as the size and type of the restaurant or kitchen, the cuisine being served and the needs and preferences of the Head Chef or Executive Chef.

Sous Chef Training & Education

To become a sous chef, individuals typically need a culinary degree or several years of experience working in a professional kitchen. Additional training and certifications in food safety, leadership and management can also be helpful.

Well-known culinary schools include the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu, while organizations such as the National Restaurant Association offer certifications such as ServSafe and the Certified sous chef credential.

Overall, Sous Chef training and education can vary depending on the individual’s background and career goals.

However, a combination of culinary education, experience and certifications can help prepare sous chef for the challenges and responsibilities of this important role in the kitchen.

What aspect of a sous chef's role do you find most important?

Skills & Qualifications Needed to Become a Sous Chef

To become a sous chef, it’s essential to have a solid foundation in culinary techniques and be proficient in working with various kitchen equipment. Other skills and qualifications sous chefs need to possess are:

  • Leadership and management skills, including the ability to supervise and motivate a team
  • Communication skills to effectively collaborate with kitchen staff and front-of-house staff
  • Attention to detail and ability to maintain high standards for food quality and presentation
  • Knowledge of food safety regulations and proper sanitation practices.
  • Strong organizational skills in managing inventory, ordering and scheduling.
  • Time management skills to prioritize tasks and work efficiently in a fast-paced environment
  • Creativity and flexibility to adapt to changing menus and dietary restrictions.
  • Business acumen and financial management skills to stay within budget and maximize profitability
  • Training and certifications in food safety, management and culinary arts

The list of desired skills for sous chef

Becoming a sous chef requires a unique combination of technical culinary skills, management abilities and personal qualities that enable an individual to lead a team and maintain high standards in the kitchen.

If you are unsure about which line of work you want to pursue as a cook and want to know more about each position, check our article on prep cooks and line cooks.

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