Executive chefs and head cooks supervise kitchen staff, coordinate food preparation, determine portion sizes, plan menu dishes, and order food. Not all restaurants have an executive chef; that title normally applies only to large chains or restaurants. An executive chef usually cooks very little. Its main function is to manage the kitchen and its staff.
This includes supervising and training staff, planning menus, managing the culinary budget, and sometimes shopping. To be an executive chef, you need previous kitchen experience as well as good management skills to ensure that the kitchen works efficiently. Executive chefs, head cooks and chefs are primarily responsible for coordinating the work of cooks and directing the preparation of meals. Salaries tend to be higher in luxury restaurants and hotels, where many executive chefs work, as well as in major metropolitan and tourist areas.
Food preparation and service supervisors can rise to become food service managers, while some chefs and head cooks may go into the catering business or personal chefs or open their own restaurant. While all chefs are responsible for preparing food, developing recipes, determining portion sizes, planning menus, ordering food supplies, and overseeing kitchen operations to ensure consistent quality and presentation of meals, different types of chefs may perform unique functions or specialize in certain aspects of the job. Executive chefs are in charge of all food service operations and may also oversee several kitchens in a hotel, restaurant, or corporate restaurant. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sub-chefs who work in fine-dining restaurants require many years of training and experience.