What is the role of a commis chef?
The commis chef is an entry level job and you will learn everything you need to know about working in a kitchen. Under the guidance of a chef de partie or another senior chef, you will be rotating through most areas of the kitchen for a few months at a time and learn how work is done in each one of the departments.
During this time you can experience the different aspects of the kitchen and then decide for yourself which area you want to specialise in. A commis chef's job is doing hard, physical work under time pressure, so you will have to learn fast. You do the food preparation work and basic cooking, measure portion sizes and prepare the ingredients. You will also have to deal with deliveries and stock.
Although the commis chef's position is a low one in the kitchen, it is a very important one as the kitchen depends on its commis chef.
What experience do you need on your CV to get this role?
As a commis chef you train on the job for several years and therefore don't necessarily need any experience beforehand. However, it always helps to have formal training before, like an apprenticeship or a degree. Health and safety and hygiene courses are a must.
What can this job lead onto?
Every chef started as a commis chef once so you can go anywhere from there. From commis chef you go on to demi-chef de partie, chef de partie, sous chef and then head chef. You should stay in the role of commis chef for a few years in order to learn as much as you can and really get to know how a kitchen and the different areas work. The quicker you learn and develop your skills, the faster you will go on to the next step as a chef.
It depends on where you work but it's between £15,000-£25,000. Stephanie Haywood, commis chef at the Amberley Castle Hotel in West Sussex, said: "I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to begin my career as a chef at Amberley Castle where I began as an apprentice and I am now a commis chef. There are always lots of exciting things going on. I am focused on fine dining, however there is a healthy balance of all areas of the hospitality industry such as weddings, functions and other big events. This has been great as not only am I learning how to cook dishes from the restaurant menu but I've also gained experience of catering for large scale top end functions."
"I am currently on the cold starters section where my tasks are very varied. As the menu changes regularly I'm learning new methods and recipes all the time, as well as what's in season. The section allows me to gain good technique and education from my head chef and all the senior chefs in the kitchen."
"In the mornings, I begin my preparation work for lunch and as much as I can for dinner. After lunch service, I will start my afternoon tea preparation working with the head pastry chef. Dinner service begins at 7pm where we step up the tempo with the menu and focus on our Ã la carte and tasting menus. We usually finish service at 10pm approximately - deep clean the kitchen, plan the next day, write lists and orders, get a small briefing from the sous chef and then go home and do it all again the next day."
With a range of commis chef jobs opportunities from hotels, restaurants, clubs, gastro pubs, and the UK's leading recruiters we are confident that you'll find the job that you are looking for to set you off on your culinary journey as you begin your career as a chef.