Chefs cook food and manage restaurant kitchens.

What does a chef do?

Chefs prepare and cook food. As a senior chef, you’ll often be in charge of the menu and may be able to create your own dishes. There are different kinds of chefs, with varying responsibilities and specialities:

  • chef de cuisine – oversees the running of the kitchen and is the chief chef
  • sous chef – the second-in-command in the kitchen
  • chef de partie (or line chef) – in charge of a specific area of food production. This could be the pastry chef (in charge of pastries) or the fish chef (in charge of fish courses)

What do I need to do to become a chef?

You do not need any specific qualification to become a trainee chef, however some level of catering qualification is highly desirable. 

Some local colleges offer courses in hospitality and catering. These can provide useful skills and knowledge prior to finding work.  It may also be possible to start work through an apprenticeship.  

Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • People management
  • Time management
  • Organisation
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills

Related subjects

  • Food technology

Desirable qualifications

  • Level 2 catering qualification

Where could I be working?

As a chef you may be working in a small or large kitchen in a pub, café or restaurant. You’ll often be working in a shift pattern.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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