Commis Chef Job – everything you need to know

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A commis chef is a junior role that allows you to learn under the supervision of section chefs or chef de partie.

This will teach you the essentials of a working kitchen and gives you an unbelievable opportunity to learn everything there is to know about your trade.

What Will I Be Doing?

The idea is to learn all aspects of the kitchen and cooking techniques, so when you start out you should be rotated through the various different stations, which can include vegetables, meat, fish, sauce and pastry.

Key responsibilities

  • Knife skills – the most basic of all chef techniques. Preparing veg is the only real way to hone your skills to enable the necessary coordination, accuracy and speed.
  • Basic sauces – perfecting these will enable you to move on to more complex sauces for service
  • Cold starters and salads – providing you a good introduction in preparing dishes for service
  • Development – as you progress through your training you should move to areas of the kitchen that require a greater level of skill and speed, such as pastry or hot dishes
  • Stock – you may be expected to manage the stock rotation and deliveries
  • Hygiene – maintaining a high level of health and hygiene is a given regardless of your position within a kitchen. Keep your work area clean and your personal hygiene immaculate.

Once you have become a Commis chef, you can progress fairly quickly through the ranks

The Best Bits About Being A Commis Chef

Any busy kitchen is manic, hot and noisy but very exciting. The camaraderie in the kitchen makes it a great place to train, a great time to learn how things come together and how the rest of the team tick.

..And The Worse

There is no getting away from it… the work is hard. With long, often unsociable hours, split shifts, early starts preparing for the day ahead and late finishes for clearing up.

What Basic Skills Do I Need?

Although your cooking skills are learnt as you progress through your training, you’ll need a real passion for cooking, partnered with the ambition to get you through the pressure of working in a busy kitchen.

As a Commis Chef is all about learning, you’ll need the versatility to gain the necessary experience to work in all of the kitchen stations, before you consider your speciality, with an ability to work quickly, efficiently with a great deal of attention to detail.

How About Qualifications?

Although you may have completed some formal training, generally you do not need any qualifications as there is lots of on-the-job training that you may be expected to undertake.

Your local college can talk you through your options, but below are a few of what’s available

  • 14-19 Hospitality and Catering Diploma
  • City & Guilds Diploma in Professional Cookery
  • Foundation degree in culinary arts
  • One of the many food hygiene or health and safety courses

What Am I Going To Be Paid?

Commis Chefs can earn anything from £12,000 to £18,000 per year depending on your location and experience. As you are expected to remain in the role for 4-5 years, salaries vary hugely according to your experience.

  • Junior can expect to start on £10,000 - £12,000
  • With two years’ experience £12,000 - £16,000
  • Those with specialist experience and ambition can earn up to £18,000

Who Will Employ Me?

The majority of Commis Chef employers are hotels and restaurants. There are thousands across the globe, with many employing multiple chefs in any one location, making progression through the ranks very achievable.

Talk to one of our specialist consultants to find out how we can help you achieve your potential.

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