What are the professional roles in a commercial kitchen?

There are a variety of different roles within a commercial kitchen. Depending on the size of the business, some of these may be completed by the same person or others may have more than one person carrying out the same role.

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Executive chef

Also referred to as the head chef, this is the person who oversees the kitchen, develops the menu, and puts in food orders. In many restaurants they will also be responsible for hiring, organise the work rota and deal with areas such as commercial freezer requirements. A typical executive chef will be very experienced both in terms of cooking and restaurant management.

Sous chef

A sous chef is the assistant to the executive chef and will step up to this role if the executive is ill or on holiday. In a smaller restaurant, this role might not exist or could be one of the line cooks.

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Expeditor

With three million people working in the hospitality sector, there are a variety of cooking and non-cooking positions; an expeditor is one of the later. They are in charge of organising the orders for the individual tables and oversee the garnishing of meals before they leave the kitchen. It is essential that they know the menu very well and have an eye for exactly what each meal should look like.

Line cooks

There will be a number of different line cooks within a kitchen, depending on the size, and these will oversee individual stations. They all need to work together and communicate so that separate dishes are brought out at the same time; understand what food needs to be cooked when; and when items need to come out of the commercial freezer, which is available from suppliers such as www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk.

A sauté chef prepares all dishes that require a sauté pan. This is generally the most senior member of staff after the executive and sous chefs.

Grill cooks use a flattop grill or chargrill to prepare meals of chicken, fish and meats.

One of the entry-level roles in a commercial kitchen is a fry cook, who prepares meals such as chicken, chips and onion rings in the deep fryers.

There may be other roles in larger or more specialised restaurants, including dessert chef, salad chef, pastry chef and caller.