This is the fifth instalment in a series of blogs that provide information on occupational roles that employers struggle to fill. In this article we take a look at the role of the sous chef.
The sous chef (or under chef) is the second in command in the kitchen after the head chef. The sous chef makes sure that high quality foods are produced, helps to create new recipes and write menus and they may have to manage staff and take control when the head chef is away.
How to become a sous chef
Obviously you need to be able to cook and you also need to have an understanding of health and safety requirements, evidenced with certificates and an understanding of the financial and administrative processes involved in purchasing ingredients.
Post GCSEs undertaking a full time vocational catering qualification such as an NVQ is an option. Here you would learn the skills necessary for working at all stations of a kitchen. After study at level 3 you could move on to an HNC, HND or Foundation Degree if you wanted to, or you could look for an apprenticeship in the sector.
The skills that you need as a sous chef
- a flair with ingredients
- the ability to remain calm under pressure
- strong leadership skills
- excellent culinary skills
What do sous chefs get paid?
Salaries for sous chefs vary depending on the kind of establishment you are working in (restaurant, pub, hotel) and the location, size and success of the establishment. On average though, the UK salary for a sous chef is around £25,000.See skills shortage occupation 7