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Chef de partie is in charge of a section of the kitchen and often have some assistant chefs working with them, this could be the section or stations that deal with butchery, fish, vegetables etc. In larger kitchens a Chef de partie normally gets help from a demi-chef de partie, commis or trainee chef. Chef de partie is also sometimes known as station chef or line cook. Again, in larger restaurants line cooks are generally split into sections starting with “first cook,” and “second cook,” and so on as needed by the restaurant. In the majority of kitchens, the Chef de partie is the only worker in that department.
Chef de partie will spend a great deal of time preparing, cooking and presenting dishes within their managed stations/sections. Alongside cooking, you will be working with other line chefs and station chefs to ensure dishes are coordinated and cooked on time and to high standard. You will also be training assisting chefs, most typically your demi-chef de parties who are working alongside you. Organisation and coordination are key responsibilities in this role as you bring different chefs together and help run multiple stations.
1) Tidy, clean and prepare the kitchen
As a Chef de partie you will need to clean and tidy the kitchen before and after service. Ensuring high food hygiene standards are met by using the correct sanitizing products for cooking equipment, surfaces and ovens etc. Cleaning and tidying is key to organisation and ensuring the smooth operations of a kitchen and will always be performed after food service is finished so that the kitchen is ready for the next shift. With added responsibility you will be expected to do this for all the stations you and your assistant chefs manage
2) Food preparation
An important part of a Chef de parties task is to prepare food before service begins. This may include preparation of pasta, cleaning and preparing seafood, cutting meat, baking breads. This should be done for all stations under your control, with the help of the demi-chef de partie and assistant chefs.
3) Food storage and organisation
Chef de partie can be responsible for food deliveries, sorting out correct storage of food products and removal of waste food products. A Chef de partie can help control the volume of food required per day is ordered correctly and stored appropriately on a daily basis, along with the daily correct removal and disposal of waste food and sorting out food recycling.
4) Testing of new recipes
Head Chefs and Sous Chefs may also ask you to test new food produce or recipes to see if they can be incorporated into the menu. You may also get asked to adjust or create your own dish, this is where your knowledge and taste buds come in to see what works best and will require creativity.
5) Menu preparation and guidelines
Follow the guidelines given by the Sous Chef and Head Chef when it comes to food preparation and presentation. Work with colleagues and seniors to produce menus.
Like most chefs, a chef die partie is no different and the hours can be 40-60 hours per week, normally carried out over split service shifts covering breakfast/lunch and dinner service.
What can you expect to earn being a Chef de partie? The position of Chef de partie has a great deal of responsibilities and as a key part of the team you will spend most of your time cooking and preparing food in the kitchen. Chef de partie salaries will vary depending on experience in the kitchen, but will typically be in the region of £13,000 to £23,000 per year depending on experience. As of March 2017, the average salary for a Chef de partie in the UK is £17,206 (Source: PayScale). If you have graduated or have a culinary degree and high skill set with lots of experience you will be in high demand and hit the higher end of the salary bracket. It also depends largely on the type of restaurant you are working for and the available budget they have. As you progress in your Chef de partie role, you will gain more experience and start to be more responsible for the operation of the kitchen, and should always aim to one day achieve the position of Head Chef or Executive Chef.