Chef recruiters will place candidates such as head chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs and cooks into kitchen vacancies within the catering industry. A top catering recruiter will work with establishments such as restaurants, pubs and hotels to fill cook openings on a permanent, temporary or seasonal basis.
The role of a chef is to work as part of a team to prepare food for customers; with candidates often being responsible for a particular food station such as fish, pastry, desserts etc. Duties will vary depending on the role within the kitchen, however general tasks may include cooking and presenting dishes, maintaining food hygiene standards and monitoring stock control. A head chef is accountable for the whole kitchen and will be expected to manage an entire team of kitchen staff. Recruitment agencies will need to supply candidates who are flexible and willing to work unsociable hours as shifts can be long and include weekend and evening work.
Candidates will commonly enter a position via an entry level role such as commis chef, before gaining experience within the various areas of the kitchen. Academic qualifications aren't necessary for the role, however employers will favour applicants with an educational background in catering or cookery. More specialist roles such as that of a pastry chef, may require specific training and job relevant credentials such as a Certificate in Professional Patisserie and Confectionery.
Salaries for chef jobs can vary but a trainee will usually command starting earnings of around £12K per annum. This will rise as candidates progress through the kitchen with a chef de partie earning an average of £16K and a sous chef receiving £22K. Head chefs are typically the highest paid professionals at £30K, while executive professionals can potentially command £50K+.
Although catering recruitment agencies will commonly recruit chefs and cooks for permanent jobs, there is also a high demand to fill seasonal and temporary roles. These may be supplied to local or UK wide clients depending on the agency.