Sous Chef Training

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by chezj023, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. chezj023

    chezj023

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    Hello.

    We are adding a sous chef position to our kitchen for the first time, and are looking for training manuals, suggestions and advice on the training process for a sous chef.

    I realize there are a ton of responsibilities, processes and procedures to train our sous on, but any tips on the obvious and not-so-obvious items would be helpful in making sure we cover as much as possible and get our sous off to a great start.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. seabeecook

    seabeecook

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  3. chefross

    chefross

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    You describe your Sous in the plural, so I am only assuming that your going to have a Sous at each shift.

    To that end the best advice I can give is that your Sous Chef must be equal in knowledge and attitude, and skills and motivation as your Chef.

    The Sous Chef must be knowledgeable and experienced to the extend that they could assume control of the kitchen if need be.

    You don't say whether this is corporate or private.

    The Sous Chef must be present at all management meetings that concern the functioning of the kitchen.

    Depending upon your set-up the Sous Chef pretty much takes what the Chef creates on paper, makes it real, look good, and taste even better.

    There are no training manuals for this.

    You look for qualities such as, accessing menus and creating production lists.

    How does the Sous interact with the crew, motivate them, discipline them, appreciate them, etc...

    Time management.

    Cooking abilities. (You'd be surprised by the number of "Sous CHefs" that can't cook.)
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Train the sous to do your job. Start with the basic fundamental responsibilities of your job and work your way upward to the more complex.
     
  5. cronker

    cronker

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    I agree with the above.
    A Sous is the trusted 2IC to the head chef and possibly spends more time on the front line than the head chef, directing commis, kitchen hands, juniors etc.
    The role of the head chef trends toward creating menus, analysing costs, preparing reports for management, negotiations with vendors, promoting the restaurant and dealing with crises. Sometimes they might even cook something.
    The focus of the sous chef is operational, bringing all the strands together in the actual kitchen.
    The sous needs to be completely able to keep the ship afloat on the head chef's day off, so should be comfortable doing orders with vendors and receiving stock, directing the kitchen staff, liaising with FOH and being aware of rolling costs such as payroll (sending staff on break, knocking people off when quiet) wastage (correctly recording issues) and ensuring cleaning, mis en place prep and all the other good stuff.
    YMMV depending on the operation of your venue, but this is how it works in a medium to large concern.