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The demi chef -- more formally known as the chef de partie -- is responsible for keeping a portion of line cooks or station chefs’ on time and organized during production. While smaller kitchens can use the chef de partie as a station cook himself, most commercial kitchens use the chef de partie as a station manager. When hiring a demi chef, you are hiring someone to be the kitchen’s third in command; therefore, they need to be trustworthy, experienced and management material.
Since the demi chef is responsible for all dishes prepared in his section, he must be knowledgeable about the section he oversees as well as how a kitchen functions as a whole. Being organized and able to work in fast-paced, high pressure situations is important. In the kitchen, the demi chef oversees line or station cooks within a production area -- such as the potager, saucier, vegetable cook or pastry chef.
A demi chef relays orders to his station cooks and ensures each menu item his station is responsible for is prepared on time. He oversees all preparation, cooking and presentation for plates. He may be required to assist with cooking, preparation and plating when station chefs are absent. Your kitchen’s demi chef also ensures that all health and food safety standards are practiced and he helps troubleshoot any kitchen issues that may arise.
Demi chefs are not entry-level employees. A demi chef operates like a lower-level manager; therefore, he needs previous kitchen experience, especially in the station that he is overseeing. Although a formal education isn’t required, a demi chef who has formal culinary training -- through schooling or an apprenticeship program -- can prove beneficial when it comes to understanding classic preparation, the kitchen brigade system and the duties of each station. Being certified with the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinarian means your chef has practiced for two years and has passed 30 hours of in-class culinary and food safety training. All demi chefs should be required to have a food handler’s permit or proof of completing a ServSafe series from the National Restaurant Association.
Starting out, a demi chef should be offered a salary of $20,000 to $34,000, according to Hcareers. For a larger kitchen, an experienced chef de partie should be offered a higher salary. The more responsibilities you expect your demi chef to take on, the more he should be compensated. If your demi chef fills in for the sous or executive chef, the median pay in 2010 averaged $40,630 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.