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Taste of success

education Updated: Dec 20, 2011 15:05 IST

Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
A sous chef is the direct assistant of the executive chef and is the second-in-command. Her responsibilities include taking care of day-to-day kitchen operations, allocation of duties to all staff, liasing with other departments, procurement, designing menus and interacting with guests. Smaller operations generally do not have a sous chef, but larger restaurants and hotels may have several. The most important skills required at this position are management and leadership. A sous chef's job role commands great respect, involves important responsibilities and, eventually, translates into immense satisfaction

Clockwork
9am: Arrive at work, settle down, check timetable for the day, issue instructions to juniors
11am: Hold a meeting with all staff. Take a round of the kitchen and check the important catering events lined up for the day
noon: Supervise lunchtime kitchen operations
4pm: Take stock of inventory
7pm onward: Supervise kitchen operations for dinner and leave only once dinner is wrapped up. This could be as late as 11 pm or midnight

The payoff
As a sous chef in a leading hotel, one’s salary can be anywhere between Rs 30,000 to Rs 70,000 a month. At a high-end standalone restaurant, you can earn up to Rs 1 lakh a month, inclusive of perks

Skills/TRAITS
* You must have good management skills. As a sous chef,you will be in charge of a team that may include much older, experienced or less literate people than you
* Ability to handle the pressures of the job and willingness to always remain cheerful and put in long hours of strenuous work

Getting there
You will have to earn a recognised bachelor’s degree in hotel management; this should be supplemented by a kitchen management training programme, followed by on-the-job training at various positions

Institutes and URLs
* National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology
www.nchmct.org/
* Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition Pusa Complex, New Delhi
www.ihmpusa.net
* Indian Institute of Hotel Management Aurangabad, Maharashtra
www.ihma.ac.in

Pros and cons
* The money is good
* The hours are long and strenuous

The influx of international brands (Hard Rock Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen etc) in the Indian market, has increased the demand for chefs Rahul Hajarnavis, executive brand chef, Shiro, India