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Culinary: Modern Kitchen Staff


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Executive chef
Coordinates kitchen activities, directs training and work efforts. Plans menus and creates recipes. Enforces nutrition, safety and sanitation standards. Participates in preparation and presentation of menu items to ensure maintenance of quality standards.
Sous-chef / executive sous-chef
Participates in, supervises and coordinates the preparation of menu items. Primary responsibility is to make sure food is prepared, portioned, garnished and presented according to the exec chef's standards.
Area chef
Chef at a large hotem or conference center with multiple dining facilities responsible for a specific facility or function such as restaurant chef and banquet chef. Usually reports to exec chef.
Line cook or section cook
Resonsible for preparing menu items according to recipe specs. Makes the most of time, talent, space and equipment. Assigned tasks by chef.
Pastry chef
Responsible for developing recipes for and preparing desserts, pastries, frozen desserts and breads. Usually responsible for purchasing the food itmes used in the bakeshop.
Short-order cook
Responsible for quickly preparing foods to order in smaller operations. Works the broiler, deep-fat fryer and griddle, makes sandwiches and even some sautéed items.
Institutional cook
Chef who generally works with large quantities of prepackaged or prepared foods for a captive market such as a schoo, hospital or prison.
What is the maître d'?
Aka "maître d'hotel" or the Dining Room Manager. Generally trains all service personnel, oversees wine selections and works with the chef to develop the menu. Organizes the seating chart and may also seat the guests.
What is the wine steward?
In french "chef de vin" or "sommelier" who is responsible for the wine service, including purchasing wines, assisting guests in selecting wines and serving the wines.
What is the headwaiter?
French "chef de salle" who is responsible for service throughtout the dining room or a section of it. Role may be assumed by the maître d' or a captain in a smaller place.
What are captains?
French "chefs d'étage" who are responsible for explaining the menu to guests and taking their orders. Also responsible fro tableside preparations.
What are front waiters?
French "chefs de rang" who are responsible for assuring that the tables are set properly for each couse, foods are delivered properly to the proper tables and the needs of the guests are met.
What are back waiters?
French "demi-chefs de rang" or "commis de rang", aka "dining room attendants" or "bus persons". Responsible for clearing plates, refilling water glasses and other general tasks appropriate for new dining room workers.
What is the standard dining room setup with American service?
There is one waiter (also called a server) who takes the order and brings the food to the table. The table is then cleaned by a dining room attendant.
What is the standard dining room setup with French service?
There are two waiters: a captain who takes the order, does the tableside cooking and brings tthe derinks, appetizers, entrées and desserts,.. and the waiter who serves bread and water, clears each course and serves coffee.
What is the standard dining room setup with Russian service?
The waiter serves the entrée, vegetables and potatoes from a platter onto a customer's plate.
What is the difference between a buffet and a cafeteria?
In a buffet, there is one charge for the entire meal. In a cafeteria, people are charged by the dish.

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