The professional kitchen follows a Brigade System of hierarchy. The kitchen professionals follow this system to ensure that the kitchen is organized and run seamlessly to create a successful dinner service. Today, we will explore the Chef De Partie Job Description, Role, Responsibilities.
Chef De Partie Job Description:
The chef de partie is a kitchen professional in charge of a particular station in a restaurant kitchen. It is also known as a line cook or station chef. In a large restaurant, there are also employees under the chef de partie to assist him or her in working around the station.
Each chef de partie or station chef is in charge of his station, and each station is specialized in preparing a specific type of dish, from cooking sauces, grilling meats, and preparing salads or appetizers. He or she is responsible for his or her station and commis chef. The station chief reports to the executive chef and the sous chef regarding the dishes being prepared in his station. The chef de partie must follow the kitchen standards to ensure the quality and the cleanliness of the dish being prepared.
Role In The Chef Brigade System:
The Kitchen Brigade System is a hierarchy system being followed by kitchen professionals around the world. The hierarchy is composed of titles in French words to determine a specific role in the kitchen. The system also is used to organize the division of labor within the kitchen. It divides the employees into teams depending on the kitchen station they are assigned to while being presided over by the executive chef and the sous chef. A kitchen station can prepare meats, vegetables, appetizers, grilled dishes, fish, or pastries.
In a large kitchen, each chef de partie is assigned with a team of commis chefs to assist him with preparing the meals within his station. The number of assistants depends on the size and budget of the kitchen. There are a few chef de parties in smaller kitchens and sometimes take up to combined roles of 2 or 3 types of food preparation stations while also given a few numbers of underlying assistant chefs. Many chefs de partie depending on the kitchen station of a specific type of food they are assigned to. We will discuss them later, one by one.
In the Kitchen Brigade System, the professional kitchen is presided over by an executive chef or head cook. The executive chef’s role is to serve as an intermediary between the kitchen staff and the management. He also manages the quality control of all the dishes that come out of the kitchen before being served to the guests. The sous chef or deputy head cook manages all the chef de partie and their station’s operations. He reports back to the executive chef if there are problems and discrepancies. He also assumes the executive’s role and takes over the management of the kitchen while the head cook is absent.
Not all professional kitchens can operate with a full brigade system or have all the stations. Huge businesses like grand hotels or resorts can employ a full brigade system catering to different kinds of dishes for the guests. For smaller restaurants, they don’t have a budget or space to cater to a full brigade. Hence, they have a customized version of the full brigade by combining the purposes of two or three stations into one station managed by a single chef de partie.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Here are all the core duties and responsibilities shared by all types of chefs de partie. Depending on the size of the kitchen and the specialty of the restaurant, their duties vary from one kitchen to kitchen.
The main responsibility of the chef de partie is to manage the operations within their kitchen stations. They are assigned with instructing and managing the commis chef or kitchen staff assigned to their station. They must ensure the quality of the food being prepared within their station. The chef de partie assigns responsibility to their commis about the various aspects of preparing their dish. For example, the chef de parties, who is in charge of the meats or known as grillardin, must ensure the quality of the steaks being prepared from the order’s specifications. A legumier or chef de partie who presides over the vegetable station must ensure the salads are well assembled before submitting to the sous chef.
The chef de partie coordinates with other chefs de partie and commis to ensure the dish’s elements are prepared on time to minimize delay in dinner service. For example, a rotissier or chef de partie in charge of roasted meat must coordinate with the garde manager or chef de partie of salad preparation for a perfect assemblage of a main dish and side dish.
Chef De Partie Salary
The average salary for a Chef De Partie Job in the US is $35,481 a year.
A chef de partie must have the following requirements to be qualified for the role. At least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some restaurants require a college degree in culinary or hospitality or a certification from a culinary school with a recommendation. A relevant experience operating in a professional kitchen, with excellent experience as a commis chef. Excellent communication skills with an understanding of operating basic kitchen tools and pieces of equipment. Ability to work in a team, multi-tasking, and time management skills. The ability to follow safety and sanitation standards. Organizing proficiency and ability to train and manage subordinate chefs to ensure an excellent dinner service. Amenable to work in shifts, weekends, and holidays with an excellent passion for preparing food and quality service.
Different Types Of Chef De Partie
In this section, we will discuss the individual kitchen stations and the chef de partie that oversee them.
The saute chef is a chef de partie in charge of the saute station, responsible for preparing sauces and other sauteed items essential to being incorporated in dishes. Because the sauce is the base of a dish’s overall flavor, it is also known as the busiest station within a professional kitchen.
Aside from sauces, the saucier also prepares sauteed or cooked briefly in hot oil and pan-fried ingredients. The reason for this is because after sauteeing and removing the meats or vegetables in a pan, the next step is usually involving deglazing or washing the browned bits of meat in a pan with wine or stock to capture the flavors of the meat and reducing the liquid to be a sauce. This is why the saucier also handles the sauteeing in this station.
There is a distinction between sauteing and frying in the culinary world, which is used interchangeably by people who are not familiar with the two terms. Both techniques involve cooking food items in oil and being done in the pan, but they only vary in the size of the items, cooking duration, and amount of oil being used. Frying involves large pieces of items like a whole chop of meat in the relative amount of fat, and the cooking involves the item being incredibly still in the oil and turned over when one side is done. On the other hand, Sauteeing involves small pieces of items in a small amount of fat, and the cooking is being cooked in constant motion to avoid being burned. The cooked meats are removed from the pan to deglaze the flavors with a liquid to reduce as a sauce. This is why the frying is being done in a separate kitchen station and supervised by a friturier or chef de partie of fried dishes.
The saucier typically manages the commis chefs in the saucier station. Their work encompasses the preparation of sauces such as hollandaise, bechamel, roux, and vinaigrettes. They can also prepare gravies such as those made in meat juices deglazed with a cooking wine or stock liquid and reduced to a sauce. They are also responsible for preparing sauteed items such as small bits of meat and vegetables to include in the side dishes. They can also prepare appetizers and stews as requested in the order.
Apart from the set of knives being used by the chef, there are two types of equipment essential to a saucier chef. The saute pan and the saucier pan. The saute pan has shallow and straight sides and a flat bottom. The pan has a large space to accommodate a room for mobility within the pan. On the other hand, the saucier pan has deep and straight sides and a rounded bottom part and usually has an accompanying lid. It is perfect for reducing the liquid to turn into a sauce, and the rounded bottom helps for easy sliding of sauce to transfer in a container.
Also known as the fish chef, he is responsible for supervising the seafood station. They are chefs who specialize in preparing fish and seafood dishes. He is in charge of training the commis chefs under the seafood station and reports to the sous chef of the seafood dishes’ status being prepared.
The chef Poissonnier is responsible for cooking seafood courses. This involves preparing and garnishing these meals. However, other fish-related work like skinning, scaling, and filleting is assigned to the garde manager chef. The scope of the work of a Poissonnier lies in the preparation of fish dishes except the deed fried and grilled fish as it falls to the jurisdiction of the fry and grill chefs de partie. The chef Poissonnier must be familiar with cooking different kinds of seafood like freshwater fishes, seawater fishes, crabs, squids, shrimps, mussels, oysters, and scallops, and lobsters. They also need to have mastery over removing unwanted parts of this seafood, including bones, shells, and skins. They can assign tasks to the commis of different aspects of preparing seafood. Besides cooking the seafood, the chef de partie also prepares the accompanying sauces related to the seafood dish, including the velouté de poissone, a sauce usually made for the seafood dishes. Aside from sauces and dressings, the stock made from fish bones is usually prepared in the fish station.
To be a master Poissonnier, you need the essential tools and equipment in cooking seafood dishes. Aside from the essential pots and pans used in cooking, a fish chef de partie needs a set of fish and seafood knives in working with seafood. In some cuisines like Japanese who utilize seafood a lot, a Poissonnier needs the finest set of knives for slicing the fish fillets with utmost precision. This set includes a typical chef knife to use for slicing fish meats with accuracy. A paring knife is perfect for opening the shells of mussels or scallops and for deveining shrimps. An oyster shucker, a specialized opener for safely opening stubborn oyster shells. A boning knife for boning and filleting the flesh of fish.
Also known as the roast chef, he is a chef de partie assigned in supervising the roast station and its commis chefs. In this station, all the roasting duties are being done here of meats such as poultry, pork, beef, lamb, and game. The responsibility of cooking the meats of main courses are divided between the roast chef and the grill chef.
Of all the chefs de partie, the rotisseur is the master of meats. He must be adept in the dynamics of cooking meat and the science behind them. They must know the chemical process of breaking down proteins, utilizing meat fats, and the Maillard reaction, the right choice of meat cuts to capture the best flavors from them. Besides working knowledge of meat cooking, he must also have a proficiency in wielding knives commonly used in meats. The scope of dishes the roast chef cooks varies from cuisine to cuisine but only focuses on pork, chicken, beef, and other game dishes. The rotisseur also prepares the marinades used in roasting these meats. The roast chef also works closely with the Boucher or butcher chef, who prepares the raw meats to be roasted.
Because the rotisseur works in a station dealing with preparing meat dishes, he needs tools and equipment to assist him in cooking these meats. The versatile chef knives are often used in the kitchen, and it is important to create rough chops to fine slices. The boning knife is used to separate the meat from the bones and for butterflying chicken and pork. A meat cleaver is used in chopping large chunks of meat. A utility knife is a medium-sized knife commonly used in creating fine slices with utmost precision. A paring knife is used for separating the flesh from the skin in most meats. A carving knife is used in cooked meats for slicing them and portioning them into small pieces.
It is also commonly known as the grill chef; it is a chef de partie responsible for managing the grilling station. While the grillardin and the rotisseur or roast chef share the same responsibility of cooking the main dishes of meats, the grillardin is responsible for cooking meats on the grill. The grill may be traditional with the hot charcoals or the modern electronic grill.
Although the grill chef is responsible for grilling meats, they can also grill other types of food like vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes. His duties are pretty narrow compared to the other chef de parties. In some smaller restaurants, the grill cook maybe a subordinate to the roast chef. The grillardin is an expert in front of the grill and can cook any food on the grill. The grill chef’s primary task is to prepare and cook the meats and vegetables on the grill. He also makes sure the grill hits the right temperature before grilling. Before the restaurant opens, the grill chef is responsible for preparing the meats to be grilled later. He also prepared the marinades for the meats the other day. After the food is grilled, the grillardin plates the food is usually done with the presentation side or the side with the right texture and then garnishes the dish by the menu.
After the dinner service, one of the grill chef’s daily duties is to clean the grill according to the sanitary standards. The grillardin is also assigned to train the new grillers under his wing to assist him in the day-to-day duties of grilling.
The friturier is also known as the fry chef, is responsible for dealing with the frying station. He is responsible for operating the deep-fryer and is also tasked with preparing other ingredients to accompany the deep-fried food. Deep-frying involves cooking a food deep in hot oil to make it crispy and with the right texture. Operating deep-fryer equipment doesn’t take much skill. Proper training in checking the color and done-ness of the food is enough.
They are responsible for preparing the food for deep frying. It includes the raw or frozen to be thawed before being put in the fryer. The foods the friturier is usually cooking include preparing potatoes for fries, whipping the batter for battered fish or chicken nuggets, making onion rings, or preparing dips for these fried dishes. Other dishes include chicken wings, fish sandwiches, and burger patties that are being done in the fry section. In fine dining restaurants, the deep-fryer is tasked with gourmet foods like fried pork belly, fish and chips, club sandwiches, and creating garnishes and accents for other types of dishes. Some of the highest temperatures in the kitchen are found in the deep-fryer section, so it is important to practice safety precautions.
Bubbling hot oil is common in this station. That is why one must wear a protective article to protect yourself from spewing hot oil. It is important to wear protective mitts to assist in holding hot surfaces and handling the deep-frying equipment. Deep frying also involves preparing baskets with items to be fried on the line in batches. Deep frying can also be done in a shallow skillet for dishes that are not much complicated. Frituriers must have a skill in determining the doneness by looking at its color or how long it was on the hot oil.
The entremetier, also known as the entrée preparer, is a chef de partie responsible for presiding over the entrée station. Simply put, he is a vegetable chef who supervises the preparation of dishes that doesn’t involve meat, fish, or seafood. They can also involve egg-based dishes and appetizers. In some restaurants, the role of the entremetier is merged with the legumier or vegetable chef and the potager or soup dish chef.
The types of food the entremetier prepares are vegetable-based dishes like side dishes, potato casserole, seared broccoli, etc. Soup dishes include cream-based soup, clear soups, tomato-based soups, and other types of soup. This station also involves preparing the stocks like beef, chicken, fish, or vegetable stocks used in making soups and sauces. Apart from the essential pans and pots utilized in making soup-based dishes, the entremetier also uses a set of knives to prepare the foods needed in this station. The ever-versatile chef knife is used in a variety of preparing vegetables, from slices to rough chops. The cleaver for rough slicing large vegetables like watermelon. The utility knife secondary to the chef’s knife for fine slicing. The paring knife is used in paring the skin of vegetables and fruits and carving items for garnish.
The chef potager or soup chef is sometimes incorporated in the role of the chef entremetier. This chef is responsible for preparing and cooking the accompanying soups to the main dishes such as creme, velouté, and ramen soup. The potager is also responsible for preparing stocks that can be used in making broths and soups or to be used by the other station’s dishes.
The chef legumier or vegetable chef can also be under or incorporated into the chef entremetier. The vegetable chef prepares and cooks all the vegetable dishes like side dishes for steaks and lamb chops. The legumier is also assigned with tasks that the entremetier or the sous chef is asking. The legumier must be adept and have an impeccable knife skill in preparing vegetables.
The pâtissier or pastry chef is a chef de partie responsible for overseeing the dessert station in a professional kitchen. He and his team of bakers and glaciers prepare the sweet dishes like desserts accompanied by the menu. In a larger kitchen, the patissier is also assigned to creating pasta, noodles, slices of bread, and other baked goods from scratch.
The pâtissier is the go-to chef for dishes that involve flour and sweets. He also has responsibilities in preparing desserts, bread, syrups, creams, ice creams, fondue, and breakfast items such as waffles and pancakes. They are also tasked with proper waste disposal and adhering to the allotted budget. The pâtissier’s work is usually separated from the main kitchen and usually contained in a cold, dry place, and they are given their baking tools and equipment for making ices and bread. The tools of the pastry chef are somewhat different from the main kitchen chefs. They are skilled in special equipment that is only used in baking and making pastry. Some of the tools and equipment types are muffin pans, sugar thermometers, piping bags, cake knife, and spatula. Sometimes, the pastry chef has specialty workers under his wing, including a Boulanger (baker), glacier (ice carver), and cake decorator.
The Garde Manger
The garde manger, also known as a pantry chef, is responsible for preparing cold dishes such as fruits, salads, and sandwiches. His station is usually different from the hot kitchen, and he is in charge of supervising the chefs preparing items at the cold table. All of the sandwiches are prepared in this station and the creation of mayonnaise, dressings, and vinaigrettes.