Difference between a CDP and Commis?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chrisbristol, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. chrisbristol

    chrisbristol

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    Hi

    What is the main differences between what a commis would be expected to do and a CDP?

    Sometimes it is hard to see what a CDP is doing that a commis couldn't.  I think possibly the difference is that a CDP is expected in some places to be able to work on all the sections where as a commis may only be expected to work on one or two.

    One thing worth mentioning is that this is English terms and may not make much sense to some Americans on here.
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Easy.

    CDP = Chef de Partie

    That is, one who is in charge of a station, ie: Entremetier, garde Manger, Saucier, Pattissier, poissonier, rotissieur, and tournant.  In charge, responsible, supervising any members under him/her. Takes orders from the Sous or the Chef

    Commis = Junior member of the brigade, who has completed his/her apprenticeship, but is not in charge of a station and does not have any members to supervise.
     
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  3. chrisbristol

    chrisbristol

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    That is the official definition although quite often commis are used to run sections
     
  4. grande

    grande

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    You guys should switch to the american system... if you cook on the line then you a line cook!
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Now I'm confused...

    When in England, using the English language, and you want to use French brigade terms, then you use French Brigade terms, and not French brigade names with different, UK meanings.  Not saying the French naming system is better or worse, but it is a system. 

    Whole thing kinda reminds me of a Chinese girlfriend I had who would "invent" new words like "Druff", (draft + rough)  "hand me some druff paper so I can jot down this phone number quick."    Or,  "Glent called for you ten minutes ago"  You see Glen sounds a lot like Grant when he's on the phone, and Grant sounds a lot like Glen when HE's on the phone.  So it's Glent who called, and I have to call both of them up to find out who called....

    But now I'm curious, if a commis can run a section in the UK, what does a Chef de Partie do?
     
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  6. grande

    grande

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    Its probably a pay grade issue. You haven't made CDP yet so we can't give you a raise... now get back out there!
     
  7. chrisbristol

    chrisbristol

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    I think it is down to that really. Technically a commis shouldn't run a section but they quite often do for minimum wage. Some even want you to be able to run the kitchen in the chefs absence although that is very rare.
     
  8. foodpump

    foodpump

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    O.K., how's this:

    We call the guy (or gal) who can run all the sections ( previously known as the "tournant" ((root word tour)), and there are Chef Tournants as well as commis tournants, but the Chef Tournants supervise the station) and call them "Druff"
     
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  9. harrisonh

    harrisonh

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    In my area CdP is what others in the thread have identified as Chef de Partie. The person who is in charge of one or more areas of the kitchen. Examples: Garde Manger, Saucier, Pattissier, poissonier, rotissieur

    A commis is the lowest form of life, except for anyone in the front of house.
     
  10. chef max

    chef max

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    Words from a guy who worked his way up from commis, to CDP.

    It depends on the size of the kitchen IMO. If the sauce section is big enough to warrant multiple chefs there needs to be one in charge, that would be the CDP. If the kitchen isn't that big then it's just a pay scale/experience handle.

    Myself? I just take the whole French thing with a pinch of salt. The newbies like the official sounding titles. Come work in my kitchen and I'll give you a Title:D
     
  11. foodpump

    foodpump

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    That's the thing I don't get.  The French brigade and naming system goes all the way back to Escoffier. 

    I want to make it crystal clear that this is NOT an ideal system or even relevant in today's kitchens, but it is a system.

    Now the metric system and the imperial system are both systems and work well--if you leave them alone and don't try to mix them up.  You're gonna get awfully confused if there are 12 decimeters in a meter or 1000 feet in a mile.

    So why dick around and give new meanings to names from a totally different system?  The Europeans laugh themselves to the point of bladder bursting when we say "football", (Aka American football) and always ask, "How can you call it football if you don't play with your feet?
     
  12. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Ooh ooh!  Can I have chef d'internet?  ;)
     
  13. neworleanscookj

    neworleanscookj

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    I'm in a very large kitchen that is more or less training me as a tournant commis. Is this a detriment to climbing in a pay scale (in anyone's experience) over let's say focusing in on a single station/technique? Given my long term goals are as a private chef; it is giving me a lot of practical application experience with a lot of various product. However... executing a heavy service is never second nature on any one station. How does this generally weigh out in the long run with large crews? We're crazy busy right now (Happy mardi gras) but what about when things tighten up. Is learning tournant a double edged sword?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  14. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Nope.  If you can run every station fairly well you become a very valuable little pinch  hitter. 

    For example:  Pastry guy not up to snuff?  Turf him out, install you there for a few weeks while Chef hires a new one, and you can train him/her up, then you get moved on to another dept. or back to rotating each dept. on the regular guy's day off.