Pay for chefs depends on the size, type and location of the establishment they work in, and the position they hold.
Commis chefs usually earn between minimum wage and $18 an hour.
Chefs de partie usually earn between $17 and $20 an hour.
Sous chefs usually earn between $18 and $25 an hour.
Head / executive chefs usually earn between $22 and $49 an hour.
Source : Hospitality NZ and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ), 2016.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Chefs may do some or all of the following :
prepare and cook food according to customers' orders
arrange food on plates
design, plan and price menus
train and supervise staff
keep work areas clean and tidy, and adhere to health and safety standards
order food supplies and cooking equipment
supervise cleaning and dishwashing
keep records of supplies.
Chefs need to have :
food preparation, cooking and food presentation skills
knowledge of budgeting, stock management and how to price and set up a menu
understanding of hygiene and health and safety regulations
knowledge of new developments in food nutrition, food technology and cooking methods.
usually work long hours including evening and weekends, and they may be on call
sometimes travel to food festivals and events, or to attend cooking competitions
work in kitchens in conditions that can be hot, noisy and stressful, because food must be prepared quickly and to high standards.
Chefs can train in a number of ways. You may complete a :
two to three-year, on-the-job apprenticeship, including study towards a National Certificate in Hospitality Cookery (Level 4)
one-year, full-time National Certificate in Hospitality Basic Cookery (Level 3) through a training provider
one-year, full-time National Certificate in Hospitality Cookery (Level 4) through a training provider.
You can also train to be a chef with the NZ Army or Royal NZ Navy.
There are no specific secondary education requirements, but some training providers may require NCEA Level 1 numeracy and literacy credits.
Chefs need to be : reliable
able to work well under pressure
able to work well in a team
willing to learn new cooking methods, recipes and menus
organised, quick and efficient, while still being patient and careful
creative and open-minded
able to follow instructions
good at planning
good at communicating and managing people.
Useful experience for chefs includes :
work as a kitchen assistant or kitchenhand
staging (unpaid internships in chefs' kitchens to learn their techniques and cuisine)
any work involving preparing food for others
any hospitality industry experience
Chefs need to have a good sense of taste and smell. They also need to have a reasonable level of strength, fitness and stamina as they often have to carry heavy items, such as bulk ingredients, and spend long hours on their feet.