Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
14h ago

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.
  • Chefs :

  • 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.
  • Entry requirements

    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.

    Secondary education

    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
  • 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

    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
  • catering experience
  • Physical requirements

    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.

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