Becoming a sous chef is pretty exciting but, before you start to sharpen your knife, it’s a good idea to figure out if you have the right set of skills to cut it as an assistant chef.

Along with excellent cooking expertise, sous chefs also need to be dedicated, organized, and detail-oriented. Before we dive into the skills you need, let’s take a closer look at what a sous chef or assistant chef actually does.

What Does a Sous Chef Do?

An assistant chef is second-in-command to the executive chef. In a nutshell, the sous chef’s job is managing the kitchen in order to keep everything under control. They need to streamline tasks and processes – ensuring the kitchen and staff function as speedily and professionally as possible. Above all, a sous chef needs to instill a sense of calm in the kitchen and create a harmonious environment for everyone.

The kitchen is a very high-pressure place to work. Chefs are working around the clock to produce tasty food that needs to be delicious and beautifully presented. So, stepping into a sous chef position comes with a lot of responsibility and commitment. But, it’s also a perfect position for someone who is passionate about food service and thrives in a fast-paced industry.

So, now that you know a bit more about what a sous chef position entails, let’s take a closer look at the top five skills you need to be a successful sous chef:

What Makes a Good Sous Chef?

  1. Excellent Cooking Skills: Of course, this one is a given. Advanced cooking skills are the building blocks for a talented and skilled sous chef. Having a strong and substantial training or relevant experience in cooking is absolutely crucial when it comes to embarking on your sous chef journey.
  2. Leadership and Communication Skills: On top of excellent practical skills, a sous chef needs to also have exceptional leadership and communication skills. Naturally, a sous chef needs to be able to communicate effectively and lead a team with confidence in order to cut it in the kitchen.
  3. Organizational Skills: Organizational skills are a must-have as a sous chef. A highly organized sous chef will not only keep the kitchen organized but will also help organize behind the scenes when it comes to ordering supplies and produce, taking care of the admin, and creating staff rosters.
  4. Attention to Detail: It’s crucial to have attention to detail as a sous chef. Not only do you need to make sure things are running smoothly, but you also need to make sure every last detail on the plate is taken care of. The sous chef should have attention to detail.
  5. Ability to Work Under Pressure: As we mentioned above, sous chefs need to be able to work under extreme pressure. With boiling water, and flames, kitchens can be chaotic, to say the least. And, as the saying goes, ‘if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!’ On top of handling the pressure, sous chefs also need to be cool, calm and collected to help head up a well-oiled kitchen machine.As you can see, a sous chef needs a variety of skills and years of experience to really master this profession. Here, we’ve only touched on a few traits that will help set yourself apart in this highly competitive industry. If you don’t yet have one of the above skills, they can easily be learned and will also come with experience. If you dream of becoming a sous chef and eventually a head chef one day, you can get there. With proper education and training, Nothing should stand in your way.

Students and chef at CSFTW discussing about the important of cheese

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Train to be a chef and apply to The Culinary School of Fort Worth (CSFTW). As a top-rated culinary school in Texas, CSFTW excels at culinary education and preparing our students for the restaurant kitchen.

Our small classes mean you receive more one-on-one instruction and insight from our expert teaching team. We are a small, unique culinary institution that strives to cultivate a mentor relationship with our students. Over the years, we have taken great joy in seeing our students succeed in the Professional Culinary Program and in the culinary world.

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