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A Commis Chef is a trainee chef who learns about all the different aspects of cooking whilst working in a kitchen. The primary objective of the commis chef is to learn how to work in every area of the kitchen. In order to accomplish this, a commis chef rotates throughout the kitchen, spending six months or so at one kitchen station before moving on to a different one. At each kitchen station, the commis chef has the opportunity to learn from a different senior chef who is in charge of that area. As a commis chef develops their skills as they rotate throughout the kitchen, they will consider which area they want to eventually specialize in.
A commis chef position is the ideal job for someone fresh out of culinary school. It is a junior or apprentice chef position, and provides the novice chef with an invaluable opportunity to learn about working in every area of the kitchen.
A Commis Chef is an entry level position for new chefs. They work in the kitchen and generally assist the other chefs. Even though it’s an entry level job, as a commis chef you’ll have lots of responsibilities when you first start working and as you gain more experience, you’ll be expected to do a lot more.
Preparing ingredients for the team
Working under supervision of a chef de partie, one of the commis chef’s main responsibilities is to prepare ingredients, according to the kitchen recipes, for later use by the chefs. It includes cutting vegetables and fruits, preparing meats and fishes, and sorting cooking ingredients and sauces.
Ensuring good hygiene and health and safety at all times
An important responsibility of the commis chef is to tidy up after the other chefs and clean the different work places.
Measuring dish ingredients and portion sizes
Before it’s time for the restaurant to open, the commis chef will measure out ingredients for different recipes. Certain work stations need particular ingredients and spices ready for the chefs to start work. So the commis cook will measure these out and make sure they’re measured precisely.
Helping with deliveries of stock
Restaurant kitchens receive regular deliveries of fresh ingredients and the commis chef will usually be there early to help carry and unpack. Helping unpack deliveries helps you learn where everything goes and learn about the general running of a kitchen.
Like most chefs, a Commis Chef 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 Commis Chef? The position of Commis Chef 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.
As of July 2017, Commis Chefs can earn anything from £12,000 to £18,000 per year depending on your location and experience. (Source: HR GO). As you are expected to remain in the role for 4-5 years, salaries vary hugely according to your experience, and also depends largely on the type of restaurant you are working for and the available budget they have.