Professional kitchens work hard to get food out to your table and a system has to be in place to make it all seamlessly possible especially when the heat is on and the orders are coming in fast and furious. In a way, one can say that it can be considered as “organized chaos”.

 

No, I’m not talking about the wild, cussing shouting scenarios you usually see in tv shows and movies. 

In fact, the kitchen brigade structure is meant to avoid just that. 

 

What is a kitchen brigade?

 

History points us to Auguste Escoffier as the man behind this system he called “Brigade de Cuisine”, which is essentially a hierarchy for all the positions in the kitchen. Chef Escoffier had a French army background, which he used to assign specific duties around a kitchen. He created a clearly defined structure adapted from the military brigade and made it work for a kitchen setup.

Modern kitchens use a similar system based on Escoffier’s ideas because it works.

The brigade concept brings order to the generally hectic atmosphere and it is adopted in kitchens around the globe. 

 

Why is the kitchen brigade structure important?

 

The purpose of the kitchen brigade is to ensure that every cook had a clear purpose. The hierarchical system is meant to identify roles and duties, thus will streamline kitchen operations. Ultimately, the goal of the kitchen brigade is efficiency. When every chef has a defined task, there is less chance of making costly mistakes. 

In the olden days, especially in the times of Chef Escoffier, cooking is laborious and those in the higher echelon of society demand a lot. After all, those were the times where grand buffets are often celebrated. The concept has evolved since. 

A kitchen brigade will vary depending on the size and style of the restaurant. In a large restaurant it is possible that there will be a need for all positions, but unlikely if the restaurant is small. Certain positions may overlap or even be combined into one very busy job. But restaurant kitchens follow this hierarchy as best they can and operate within an adaptation of this system. 

 

What are the roles/ positions in a kitchen brigade?

 

Generally, these are the main roles in a particular order: 

  1. EXECUTIVE CHEF – in charge of the entire team who handles the administrative tasks 
  2. CHEF DE CUISINE – An active chef in charge of the entire kitchen/team
  3. SOUS CHEF – Reports to and works directly under the chef de cuisine
  4. CHEF DE PARTIE- a chef in charge of a particular station
  5. COMMIS CHEF – Junior chef 

In the next posts, I’ll talk more about each role and how each contributes to an efficient kitchen operation. 

 

In Summary:

For functional productivity, a kitchen needs a system of order. When this system is observed, it can help guarantee consistency in the quality of food service. 

If chef staffing is something you need, Anytime Chefs can assist with finding temporary staff on demand, recruiting permanent staff, and a full consultation, including a free 20-minute discovery call, that will give the solid foundation to make your venue successful and stand out from the crowd.

 

That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!

Ciao for now,
Thomas

 


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