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Cooking Careers 101 - How to Become a Hotel Chef by Lisa Jenkins

Hotel jobs are very stressful and can be extremely tiring as you will work long days preparing and making food for guests as well as catering for functions that the hotel might be hosting like a wedding, party or corporate event. Qualified chefs are in short supply leaving many jobs unfilled longer than hotels would like. Some of the chef hotel jobs are the chef de partie or the sous chef, the demi chef, hotel cook, head cook, pastry chef, kitchen manager, master chef, sommelier, or the director of food. You also get the food preparers and other kitchen staff as well as the hotel management checking in every so often or liaising with you about events that are happening.

The hotel cook is usually called the head chef, master chef, or executive chef. If you are the head chef in a hotel, you will be responsible for the running of the entire kitchen as well as the creation of the menu and recipes for the other chefs to prepare and make. You will oversee the reparation of the food, check the making of all the dishes that leave each chef station, help train the new apprentice chefs and assistant chefs, and you will also encourage and lead your team of chefs. The head chef will also manage the banqueting hall and other food related facilities in the hotel like the bars and cafes, the hotel restaurant and any other food areas.

As the head chef it is your duty to produce stunning menus and make the recipes that are used each day, so that uniformity is maintained in the food service along with consistent high standards. You are also the kitchen manager in a hotel and you will also have the tasks of handling the monetary issues of the hotel kitchen, ordering supplies and ingredients, and providing estimated consumption cost to the hotel management.

The chef de partie is the second in command in the kitchen and also known as the sous chef. If you have this hotel chef job, you are very busy and are basically the middle man between the head chef and the rest of the kitchen chefs and staff. You will be responsible for the running of the kitchen, for the organization of the menu, kitchen staff and recipes, of the food preparation, and ensuring that the food is up to the correct standards, as well as maintaining the hygiene and health regulations in the hotel kitchen. The chef de partie must know everything about the food that is being made, and works very closely with the head chef. You must know how to make all the different types of dishes on the menu.

The demi chef is also known as the demi chef de partie. You will work directly under the chef de partie and your job is to ensure that all the food going out of the kitchen is of the highest standards for each section. You will have different sections to control such as meat, vegetables, pasta, etc, and it is your job to facilitate the smooth running of your particular section. The demi chef also needs to keep in mind minimum wastage, correct hygiene and cleanliness, adhere to safety regulations, and take stock counts.

The commis chef is the next hotel chef in line under the demi chef and your job is to help the demi chef prepare the mis en place and ensure minimum wastage at all times. The commis chef will provide an accurate inventory of the ingredients used and clean and prepare the stations for cooking each shift. The commis chef has to be efficient and organized.

One of the sections of the hotel kitchen will be reserved for the pastry chefs. If you are a pastry chef, you are on a slightly different level to the other chefs and will be solely responsible for making and creating the delicious pastries for desert. The pastry chef will also organize and oversee the preparation and making of all the pastries, desserts, and ice creams. The pastry chef is basically the master chef of the confectionary department. You must bake cakes, desserts, make pastry, icings, and sugar decorations, and convey your tips and methods to the other pastry workers in your team. You will have to help train new chefs in the pastry department and give tips and advice.

The sommelier has the hotel job that involves all the drinks ordered by the guests. You must ensure that they are all prepared and served perfectly. You are also responsible for the correct pouring of wine and other beverages and have intricate knowledge of wines and how they complement the food on the menu.


The cooking industry is getting more exposure than ever thanks to television shows such as Top Chef and Iron Chef America. These programs have made people think about how they can launch a chef career of their own or even the keys to opening a restaurant. Learn how from Lisa Jenkins on JobMonkey.