How to become a Commis Chef


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estimated starting salary


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Looking for a career in catering? Yes Chef…

Commis Chefs are junior chefs, who learn their craft while working under the supervision of professional kitchen staff.

Usually, Commis Chefs have either recently completed their culinary training, or may still be studying, and attending college alongside their employment. As an entry level position, it’s the ideal starting point for anyone looking to progress into more senior roles within the catering industry.

Although they may perform different tasks around the kitchen, such as making sauces, preparing pastry or cutting meat, Commis Chefs generally report into a Chef de Partie.

Typical day-to-day duties for a Commis Chef may include:

  • Chopping vegetables and preparing ingredients
  • Mixing and making up sauces
  • Plating up simple dishes
  • Rotating food and maintaining stock
  • Cleaning, and looking after kitchen equipment
  • Providing a healthy working environment

Kitchens are notable for being extremely high pressure environments – especially when you’re a junior member of the team. So this role probably isn’t ideal for those who can’t stand the heat (etc.)

It will also take an amazing amount of hard work and discipline to move up the ladder. However, all the long hours certainly pay off when you’re moving up the kitchen ladder. And with some of the greatest chefs in the world starting their careers as Commis, the career potential is unparalleled.

Who knows, you could end up being the next Gordon Ramsay. Just, you know, hopefully a lot less shouty…

Other important attributes for a Commis Chef include:

  • Assertiveness and proactivity
  • Attention to detail
  • A hands-on approach to your work
  • Good communication skills (see also: listening)
  • Excellent team working skills
  • The ability to tell your béarnaise from your béchamel (and other fancy food references)

Commis Chef

Up to £18,000

Sous Chef

Up to £25,000

Head Chef

Up to £50,000

In a nutshell? It’s hard work. You work pretty long hours, and it can be quite physically – not to mention mentally - demanding. You definitely need a good deal of stamina and positivity in order to get through the day. It can be a bit of a culture shock at first, but once you get used to it, it’s amazing. I’ve learnt so much in the two years I’ve been working as a Commis, and have helped create some amazing dishes. Hopefully in a year or so I can progress to a Chef de Partie role, and really hone my skills. My advice? The Head Chef always knows best. Also, you know, the customer. But mainly the first part…

Get qualified

You won’t necessarily need a degree to become a Commis Chef. However, you’ll usually do some form of on-the-job training, such as a BTEC or NVQ, to help you progress to the next level. You’ll also have to complete a food hygiene course in order to work within a kitchen.

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