Chef de partie is also be known as a station chef or line cook. The chef de partie is responsible for running a specific section of the kitchen. The overall excellence of every dish produced by that section is the responsibility of the station chef.
A chef de partie is a very important role in any kitchen and can only be achieved after a chef has gained experience working in the kitchen. Most chef de parties will have spent around four years as a commis chef.
While in smaller kitchens, the chef de partie may work alone, it’s more common for a CdP role to be part of a larger, fine dining style restaurant. Here they will usually manage a small team which may include demi-chef de partie, commis or trainee chefs. A CdP must be able to organise and delegate to his team effectively as well as take orders from the higher ranking Sous Chef or Head Chef
Preparing, cooking and presenting dishes within the specialist section.
Supervising and training any demi-chef de parties or commis to make sure they fully understand and can execute their duties.
Helping the sous chef and head chef to develop new dishes and menus
Ensuring the whole team have high standards of food hygiene and follow the rules of health and safety.
Stock control and rotation within the section, monitoring portions and waste control to maintain profit margins
The best bit about being a chef de partie?
“This is a chance to work more closely with – and be inspired by – your head chef, You can learn so much in this role and the inspiration you get is brilliant, especially in a really good kitchen.” – Tim Luff
And the worst?
“I’d have to say all the prep you still have to do, like peeling spuds.”
What skills do I need?
Great cooking skills
A cool head
An ability to delegate appropriately
A grasp of profit margins
Who would it suit?
Someone who’s got bags of stamina and enjoys the fast pace of working in a kitchen. You also need to be able to stay calm and work as part of a team during a frenetic service. As head of your section you need to be confident enough to manage the commis chefs working with you – and to give them clear instructions.
What’s The Next Step?
The next step up is sous chef.