A chef de partie works in a professional kitchen and is responsible for one specific area of food preparation such as vegetables, fish or sauces.
They report to the sous chef, and often have a more junior chef, known as a commis chef, supporting them.
Working as part of a broader kitchen team, they also need to make sure they meet food quality, safety and hygiene standards – to ensure great food is delivered to customers.
This comprehensive guide includes a full chef de partie job description and everything else you need to know about the role, including salaries, skills, progression opportunities and more.
- Chef de partie job description
- How much do chefs de partie earn?
- What does a chef de partie do?
- Requirements, skills and qualifications
- Who employs chefs de partie?
- Which junior jobs progress to chef de partie roles?
Chef de partie job description
Chef de partie | Brace & Co Catering
About Brace & Co Catering
For nearly 30 years, Brace & Co Catering have been delivering tasty, homestyle food to businesses, schools and healthcare settings across Sheffield. Our passionate and qualified team develop tasty dishes based on seasonal, local produce.
About the role
We are looking for a chef de partie to join our busy team, where you will be responsible for the pastry section. Reporting to the sous chef, you will work closely with the rest of the catering team in delivering established dishes to a high standard.
- Prepare and cook a range of pastry products including tarts, cakes and frozen desserts in line with the head chef’s menus
- Run the pastry section of the kitchen with minimal supervision
- Supervise a commis chef during each shift, providing training and mentoring on the job
- Uphold the quality standards set by the head chef across all dishes produced by the section
- Offer menu and dish suggestions to the head and sous chef, using your knowledge of pastry and what the Brace & Co Catering brand represents
- Manage stock levels throughout the shift, and report any issues with ordering or wastage to the head chef
- Keep your work area clean and sanitary, adhering to all health and safety regulations
- Provide support to the sous and head chefs when required
Location & commitments
- Permanent, full time position
- Standard Monday-Friday shifts with some weekend work required
- Based at our catering facility in Sheffield
- Experience as a chef de partie working on a pastry section
- Ability to multitask and work efficiently under pressure
- Awareness and understanding of culinary trends, particularly within the pastry arts
- Knowledge of health and safety regulations
- Culinary school diploma preferred
- Driver’s licence and access to own transport beneficial
Contact us to apply
We’d love to hear from you if you are an ambitious and passionate pastry line cook. Please send your CV and cover letter through to Amy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
How much do chefs de partie earn?
The chef de partie is a mid-level position within the kitchen, with an average salary of £23,000 and plenty of progression available
Chef de partie salaries in the UK
- Low: £21,000
- Average: £23,000
- High: £26,406
Chef de partie salaries will vary depending on;
- The type of food being prepared – e.g. simple sandwiches, Italian cuisine, fine dining etc.
- The type of establishment – e.g. is the role in a Michelin-starred restaurant? Local pub? Or a school canteen?
- The size of the kitchen – e.g. is the chef working independently in a small kitchen or supervising a large team of kitchen staff?
- General salary factors – such as level of candidate experience and location
For example, chefs de partie working in large, city-based Michelin-star restaurants will often be paid more because of the exacting standards required by the venue. On the other hand, chefs de partie working in small catering venues may not be paid as much.
Remember these figures are averages taken from job advert samples and do not take into account extra benefits like bonuses, overtime and healthcare.
What does a chef do?
Breaking down the job description jargon, here are the typical tasks and responsibilities that chefs de partie will carry out in an average work week;
- Managing their section – Chef de parties will be responsible for a single section of the kitchen, such as:
- Fried food
- Grilled food
- Preparing food – Chopping, cooking and presenting high quality dishes from within the chosen section
- Managing stock – Monitoring the quality of ingredients, estimating daily production needs and reducing wastage
- Menu development – Working with the sous chef and head chef to create recipes and ideas for dishes
- Staff supervision – Training and mentoring commis chefs, and supervising their work during service periods
- Health and safety – Keeping workspaces clean and hygienic at all times, in line with food safety regulations
- Maintaining equipment – Checking equipment within the section and reporting any issues to the head chef
- Supporting senior staff – Providing ongoing support throughout a meal service to more senior members of the kitchen team such as the sous chef and head chef
What do chefs de partie need?
Chefs de partie need culinary skills, experience and sometimes qualifications in order to deliver their roles effectively.
Each kitchen is different so requirements might change, but generally here is an overview of what is needed.
Chefs de partie will need to have spent time working in a kitchen, likely as a commis or junior chef. They should understand the basics of food preparation and how a kitchen operates during a busy meal service. Some chefs de partie will need to demonstrate abilities and experience in their chosen section, for example in pastry.
Chef de partie skills
Chefs de partie work in a high-pressured, highly creative environment, so need to have the following capabilities;
- Autonomy: Being able to work with little supervision and with a full grasp of what’s required throughout the shift
- Multi-tasking: Managing multiple orders coming in to the section and delivering them within appropriate timeframes
- Quality control: Ensuring all plates of food are delivered to the head chef’s standards
- Stress management: Working in a high-pressured environment
- Creativity: Developing new ideas for recipes and dishes for the section, and pitching them to the head chef
- Teamwork: Working closely with chefs de partie in other areas of the kitchen, and with more senior team members
And the more industry specific “hard skills” include:
- Cooking skills: Chopping, food preparation, frying, sauce creation and understanding of flavours
- Food produce knowledge: A basic understanding of all produce including meat, fish, vegetables etc. and their seasonality
- Kitchen process: Knowing how a kitchen needs to operate in order to run effectively and safely
- Food and safety knowledge: Knowledge of health and safety regulations, and how they need to be applied within a kitchen environment
Chefs de partie qualifications
Some chefs de partie don’t have formal qualifications and have worked their way up through the ranks of a kitchen.
However, candidates aspiring to work in fine-dining venues will often need to have completed formal training within a respected culinary school.
Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery
This qualification offered by City & Guilds is broken into four mandatory units and 11 optional units. It is designed for junior chefs currently working in the industry or students progressing from a Level 1 qualification. The curriculum allows chefs to explore culinary topics such as preparing poultry, making basic stocks and preparing basic pastry products.
Le Cordon Bleu Grand Diplôme
This nine-month course is world-renowned and provides training in classical French cooking techniques. Students can choose between the Diplôme de Cuisine or the Diplôme de Patisserie.
Leiths diploma in food and wine
A three term diploma from the world renowned Leiths school of food and wine provides students with a sound and broad understanding of food, wine and restaurant business management, through practical sessions and tests.
What is expected of chefs de partie?
Typically, chefs de partie will be expected to commit to the following;
- Extended hours – Chefs de partie will often manage their sections for multiple services within a day, including both lunch and dinner
- Regular evening or weekend – work depending on the venue’s opening hours
- Location – Normally based at a restaurant or catering venue
- Physical demands including working all day standing up and needing to lift heavy equipment or produce
Chef de partie benefits
Chefs de partie generally work in venues such as restaurants or private companies so typically have access to benefits, including:
- Training and development
- Optional pension plans
- Medical insurance
- Free meals during shifts
- Corporate discounts
Who employs chefs de partie?
Chefs de partie will often be employed to work within large kitchen teams with a strict hierarchy, such as restaurants or mass catering companies.
Smaller restaurants or pubs will quite often not require a chef de partie to look after a specific section, but may have mid-level chefs working under a different job title.
Typical chef de partie employers include:
- Fine-dining restaurants
- Bistros and family restaurants
- Education settings like schools, colleges and universities
- Healthcare settings like hospitals and residential homes
- The Armed Forces
- Private catering companies
- Cruise ships
Which junior jobs progress to chef de partie roles?
Within the catering industry, there is a fairly rigid career pathway with most restaurants employing chefs at each level. Most chefs de partie start with the following role:
The commis chef is the most junior member of the food preparation team, and usually assists a chef de partie on a specific section. They will help with preparing and cooking elements of the dish.
Which senior jobs do chefs de partie progress to?
Chefs de partie can progress to a number of roles within the catering industry, and choose to specialise in a particular style of cooking or cuisine.
The sous chef is the head chef’s deputy and will support them with the running of the kitchen. Sous chefs will also be involved in food preparation and plating, and will step in for the head chef when they are not available.
Head chefs are responsible for overseeing the operations of the whole kitchen, and managing quality control for each dish served. They design the menu, manage the kitchen’s operating budget and lead the kitchen team.
Chef de partie job description – conclusion
The chef de partie is a role that requires passion and enthusiasm, and can offer a fulfilling career in the catering industry.
While the hours may not always be the most sociable, it is a role with plenty of opportunities to progress.