All careersChef
Executive Chef

Executive Chef

Lead a commercial kitchen by managing menus, staff and working closely with restaurant management.

What's it like to be an Executive Chef ?

An Executive Chef (sometimes called a Chef de Cuisine) is the leader of a kitchen with regard to managing menus, staff and administration.

Tasks and duties

  • Responsible for designing and planning menu ideas, creating recipes and establishing cooking standards within a kitchen.
  • Setting budgets, writing and costing menus, and ensuring the kitchen adheres to budgets and food costs are controlled.
  • Works closely with restaurant manager, chef team and customer service to ensure smooth operation of the business.
Executive Chefs are the head of the kitchen, which means they have significant planning, administrative and financial responsibilities.
Due to their level of responsibility, many Executive Chefs are not routinely involved in food preparation. Most kitchens either have an Executive Chef or a Head chef, but rarely both.

What can I earn as an Executive Chef ?

The most common salary  for an Executive Chef is between $100k and $120k
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How to become an Executive Chef

SEEK Learning
To become an Executive Chef in Australia, you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in cooking while also gaining a TAFE qualification in cookery. Employers generally require that you have completed year 10.
  1. Complete an apprenticeship or traineeship. Full-time apprenticeships usually last for 36 months. Concurrently, complete a qualification in cooking, such as a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (or equivalent).
  2. Work your way up the kitchen ladder to become a Commis Chef, then Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and then an Executive Chef.

Explore commercial cookery qualifications

Get started on your career path to Executive Chef with a commercial cookery course.

Duration 18 wks - 3 yrs
20 institutions offering this qualification
Choose an institution
Institution logoInstitution logoInstitution logoInstitution logo
Powered bySEEK Learning
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

What skills are employers looking for?

Employers want:

  • Communication skills
  • Team work
  • Leadership skills
  • Innovation
  • Thoroughness

Shortlisted applicants:

  • People management
  • Commercial acumen
  • Loyalty
  • Respect
  • Team work
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

How do Executive Chef S rate their role?

Latest reviews from 48 Executive Chef S surveyed on SEEK

Latest reviews

5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate III in Hospitality
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
The good things
The good things about being an Executive Chef are that you largely get to create your own destiny. You will have the freedom to create your own food choose your own staff, use any ingredient you want....
The challenges
It’s always a challenge to be able to inspire your staff to work hard and love what they are doing. One of the greatest challenges is to be able to produce the food you want, and that customers love a...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Culinary Arts
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
The good things
Lead others to have joy in what they do. Happy team = happy guests. Pass on necesary skills. Excite people
The challenges
There are many challenges, but no-one said this ole is going to be easy. This question is also not a right one to ask. One should want the role regardless of the challenges.
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen management
The good things
Job for life, travel opportunities, can be well paid
The challenges
Lack of skilled support within kitchen, industry flooded with low skilled new imigrants, long hours, stressful, lack of support and understanding, poor work life balance, constant pressure
3 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Bachelor of Arts
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Restaurant and function
The good things
A job a full of deadlines ,creative it’s like everyone wants something different, can be criticised by grandma or by little kid .everyone has expertise in this field but no wants to have as a career.
The challenges
Constant meeting deadlines, Creativity , innovation in minimum resources , low paid job compare to personal life sacrifices
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Management
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Hospitality management
The good things
Having the freedom to create menus and dishes that excite and delight are definitely fulfilling, whilst guiding a team grow and develop into amazing chefs who bring some fresh ideas into the kitchen i...
The challenges
This is a multi faceted role with many factors in play at all times. With staff management, finance and key stakeholder relations being dealt with on a daily basis. Challenges such supply shortages, ...
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Advance Diploma in Hospitality Management
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Production
The good things
Good Things are: .Inventing, testing, modifying and launching new dishes if you are passionate for cooking • Implementing high-quality hygiene and sanitation standards in kitchens • Constant mentoring...
The challenges
Challanges: Coordinating with all workstations to ensure timely deliveries of freshly done orders • Menu setting and updating • Budget management • Team leading • Outdoor catering As a Executive Chef ...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Hotel Management
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Chef
The good things
No 2 days are ever the same. You get to create and innovate every single day. Yo learn to inspire everyone around you. You have the oppurtunity to bring out the best in people. You are constantly lear...
The challenges
Creating a work life balance for yourself. Learning to deal with different types of people in a team environment. Learning to balance constraints of costs and budgets with what you ideally want to cre...
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Cert III commercial cookery
Experience
1 – 4 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen management
The good things
Being an executive chef gives you an excellent idea on how to run a business. You have the opportunity to work with your team and help them develop professionally and personally, creative freedoms are...
The challenges
Being a commited executive chef is all consuming, you are on call 24/7, there's no hiding that. Family time can and most likely will be taking a back seat to work as will most other things. Stress is ...
4 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
Diploma of Business
Experience
5 – 9 years
Organisation size
Medium (20-199 employees)
Specialisation
Catering
The good things
Ability to be creative, great money if you are able to make a business profitable (not as easy as it sounds).
The challenges
High amount of reporting often at busy times, forming and keeping a good team, being the last man standing and the weight of that responsibility, staying on top of the endless cleaning. Keeping a blen...
5 out of 5Oct 2018
Reviewer's Qualification
post graduation in business management
Experience
10+ years
Organisation size
Large (200+ employees)
Specialisation
Kitchen and F & B
The good things
This is a skilled profession that demands a high level of passion, commitment and most importantly creativity. In the hospitality industry, specifically the kitchen, you are as good as your last dish....
The challenges
Operational breakdowns such a cyclone, staff turnovers or lack of motivation, cultural barriers is few challenges which, if correctly identified and managed can be resolved.
Source: SEEK Role Reviews

What are the job opportunities for Executive Chef S?

Find out how the job market is trending

Job opportunities

Executive Chef jobs on SEEK
Source: SEEK

Projected job growth

National increase over next 5 years
16.7%
2018
2023
Source: LMIP. Chefs
Latest Executive Chef jobs on SEEK
Kirkton Park
Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter
Are you a culinary leader looking for your next adventure or a vine change? Kirkton Park Hotel Hunter Valley is looking for an Executive Sous Chef!
TCC and Black Betty
Sydney > CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs
Executive Chef, Seafood Focused, Contemporary Australian restaurant, Harbour location, great team and group.
Vue Group
Melbourne > CBD & Inner Suburbs
Bring your creative flair into this rare opportunity to work with leading professionals with a pastry focus! Join us our as Executive Pastry Chef!
Company logo
Frontline Hospitality SA & NT
Melbourne
An outstanding Executive Management role within a thriving international brand in remote NT. Exciting role - Apply now!
Company logo
Source: SEEK job ads and SEEK Profile data

Articles related to this career

Read more from SEEK