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An executive chef leads a team of cooks working in a restaurant kitchen. Executive chefs are responsible for managing all activities related to running a kitchen. They work in restaurants of all sizes, from small family-run bistros to massive industrial operations. They plan menus, develop new recipes, supervise kitchen staff, ensure food quality and more. Other names for an executive chef include head chef and chef manager.
Executive chefs manage the daily operations within a kitchen environment and supervise the kitchen staff. They also do a variety of administrative activities outside the kitchen. Some of the tasks executive chefs perform include:
Executive chefs work as much as 12 hours a day. Many start work early in the morning to oversee the delivery of fresh foods to the kitchen. They often work well into the evening to supervise the dinner service. Executive chefs often work on weekends and public holidays. They may also need to work on-call and after-hours shifts.
The workplace for an executive chef is often hectic and fast-paced as the kitchen staff work to prepare customer orders in a timely fashion.
Most executive chefs work in restaurants. However, many also work for special food services and travel companies.