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Different Types of Chefs: Kitchen Hierarchy, Job Titles, Roles Explained


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A commercial kitchen is a very volatile place to have the privilege to work in. The high energy, creative liberty, teamwork, and plating of creations happen in this exhilarating space. Dining is probably the main/powerful aspect of hotel management. And therefore, there is a huge demand for talented chefs around the world. 

Every year, thousands and thousands of students enroll themselves in culinary school in Mumbai and abroad to get trained. There are diverse chef courses available for students right from the beginning. Why? - Because there are different types of chefs, kitchen hierarchies, sectors, and areas of interest that one can get trained in. 

So, if you are a hotel management aspirant who wishes to become a chef you must already know the drill. There is a lot that goes into becoming a chef. Vigorous and endless training, unlimited learning, millions of concepts to practice, long working hours, etc. Only if you are passionate enough to become a chef, you can happily endure this. 

Every culinary school in Mumbai as well as abroad helps you pursue your dream with a range of thoughtfully curated chef courses. You can select the type of chef courses you want to enroll in based on your preferences and interests. 

Types of chefs in the hotel management industry - 

Every hotel management student must be aware of the different titles of the industry. But more importantly, an aspiring chef must know these titles and how responsibilities vary with every title. 

Now, just like every workplace, there are certain kitchen hierarchies that the hotel management industry follows. In this blog, we are going to cover the different job titles of the hotel management’s kitchen department. But before that, here are some facts related to this topic - 

  1. The no. of kitchen staff varies depending upon the size of the establishment. 
  2. The hierarchy also depends upon the same thing.
  3. The type of chef hired for a kitchen will depend upon the type of establishment it is. For example, if it is a cafe, no one will hire a butcher. 
  4. This kitchen hierarchy is known as the FRENCH BRIGADE SYSTEM or Brigade de cuisine. This is taught to you in every culinary school in Mumbai as well as abroad. 
  5. Chef courses teach you the basics first and then later, you can advance or specialize in the niche you feel passionate about. 

Now, let’s begin with the kitchen job titles -

1. Executive Chef - All large establishments have an executive chef. He/She plays an important role in the entity by managing a lot of responsibilities. It is more of a management role actually. Executive chefs are responsible for overlooking and supervising multiple outlets, managing the manpower, stock, food menus, etc. needed there. Due to all these responsibilities, they do a very limited amount of cooking. 

2. Head Chef - Also known as - Chef de cuisine, they are primarily responsible for kitchen operations related to cooking. Their responsibilities include - 

  • Planning menus depending on the demographic and theme of the establishment
  • Liaising with the food vendors and suppliers
  • Controlling the kitchen cost
  • Cooking on a daily basis
  • Training the staff, especially the sous chefs, junior interns, etc.

3. Sous Chef - Under the head chef is a sous chef (also known as the second chef, literally). He is answerable and accountable to the head chef. He has to follow and assist the head chef in his duties. This job title involves more manual labor as compared to the head chef. He deals with the majority of prep work needed to be done for the food service later like -

  • Cutting veggies
  • Cleaning meat
  • Setting up workstations for the head chef to cook
  • Keeping an inventory check, etc.

4. Chef de Partie - Do not get boggled by the name here. This job title simply is a common profile name for chefs working for a certain assigned task. They are an essential part of the FRENCH BRIGADE SYSTEM. They are assigned a particular department to take care of. Chef de Partie includes - 

  • Fish Chef - He/She is an expert when it comes to dealing with fish, butchering it,  and preparing fish dishes. 
  • Butcher Chef - He/She is responsible for prep[ing poultry, seafood and meat.
  • Fry Chef - As the name suggests, he/she is assigned to all the fried food that’s on the menu.
  • Pantry Chef - Responsible for all the cold dish preparations such as salads, pates, sandwiches, etc.
  • Grill Chef - He is the master of fire and is responsible for grilling meat, veggies, and other produce. 
  • Pastry Chef - Heads the pastry section and creates delectable desserts/pastries/baked goods every day.

As you can see, different chefs are responsible for different duties as a fully-functioning kitchen has a lot of departments to be taken care of.

To know the anatomy of a chef, and create a career out of it, you must get professionally trained through a culinary Course. A culinary school in Mumbai like ITM Institute of Hotel Management has three chef courses that you can choose from - 

These culinary courses can set you up to work with the best names in the hotel management industry with some amazing exposure. ITM Institute of Hotel Management offers -

  • the highest number of study tours, 
  • a holistic study approach
  • Hotel management Industry endorsed curriculum 
  • One on one industry mentorship
  • State of the art infrastructure
  • Ample training rooms and fully equipped kitchens, and lots more.

Admissions are now OPEN for the 2022-23 Batch for all our courses. You can apply from the comfort of your own home via a paperless form on our website. 

So, if you want to venture into the hotel management industry, join the ITM Institute of Hotel Management this coming year.

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