How To Land Your Dream Job As Executive Chef

If you’re an aspiring executive chef and you want to land your dream job, it’s going to take more than just a love of cooking. You need to be organized and detail-oriented, with a strong sense of leadership. And let’s face it: 

The business world is changing rapidly, so if you want to stay competitive in the culinary field, you’ve got to keep up with the latest trends. 

Fortunately for those of us who are passionate about food and fine dining, there are lots of opportunities out there for chefs and plenty of ways for them to get their foot in the door at their dream restaurant or company. Here are some tips for landing your dream job as an executive chef:

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Focus on developing excellent culinary skills and expertise.
Gain experience through internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level positions.
Showcase your leadership, communication, and problem-solving abilities.
Stay updated with industry trends and techniques.
Network with professionals in the culinary field for career opportunities.
Continuously learn and adapt to stay ahead in the competitive culinary industry.

Get A Culinary Education

If you want to become an executive chef, it’s best to get a culinary education first. This will help you gain the knowledge, skills and experience that are required for this position.

There are several ways you can get trained to become an executive chef:

Get a degree in culinary arts – You can earn this degree at a vocational school or college. It takes two years full-time or three years part-time. Most programs offer courses on restaurant management and food preparation as well as hands-on training in a commercial kitchen setting.

Get an apprenticeship – This is another way of gaining experience while learning about cooking techniques, and ingredients.

And cooking equipment through on-the-job training with experienced chefs under the supervision of certified instructors at schools offering apprenticeship programs (such as Le Cordon Bleu). 

Apprenticeships usually require that participants be between 15–17 years old when they begin their training; 

However, some schools have age requirements as high as 21 years old so check with your local vocational education office before applying for one of these programs if you fall outside these specifications.

Take classes – Many community colleges offer evening classes in culinary arts; however, due to the high demand, there may not always be openings available immediately so plan! 

A few colleges even offer online options where they deliver lectures directly over the internet through their websites instead; 

Although these options usually cost more money than other educational institutions because they take place through private companies rather than being subsidized by taxpayer dollars as traditional universities do.

Find mentors – Although mentorship isn’t always necessary before starting on career paths such as this one it certainly helps those who don’t know much about cooking yet still want careers doing something similar.”

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Take Advantage Of Internships At Top Restaurants

Internships are a great way to get your foot in the door and gain valuable experience in your field. You can find internships at restaurants all over the country, so make sure to consider them as an option if you think you might be interested in moving somewhere new.

If you decide that you want to move to a new city after graduating, it’s important to find an internship that will help build connections with local chefs and restaurant owners. 

If you’re not sure which industry or location is right for you yet, then search as broadly as possible while still focusing on what interests and skillsets are most relevant at this point.

Start At The Bottom

If you want to be an executive chef, the best thing you can do is start at the bottom. If not in terms of pay, at least in terms of experience. 

The best way to achieve success as an executive chef is by learning how to work as a team and developing skills like leadership, management, and communication that will help you move up the ladder.

Start at the bottom with a solid foundation of cooking knowledge under your belt so that when it comes time for your next promotion, you’ll have what it takes.

Develop Your Leadership Skills

Leadership is an essential skill for any executive chef, from the owner of a small restaurant to the head chef of a large company. The better you are at leadership, the more successful your restaurant will be, and the easier it will be to find your next job as an executive chef.

There are many ways to develop leadership skills: through education, experience in other jobs outside of cooking, mentorship, and more. But one way that stands out above all others is gaining management experience by working as an assistant manager at your current restaurant. This will allow you to learn how different restaurants operate and how they are run successfully. It’ll also help build up a resume that shows potential employers what kind of leader you could be if given more responsibility!

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Be Willing To Move Around

If you’re not willing to move around, it will be a lot harder for you to land your dream job.

If you live in the middle of nowhere, move closer to where people are looking for chefs! If there aren’t many restaurants in your town, make the drive out of town every day if that’s what it takes; this will lead to better jobs and more opportunities.

If there aren’t any head chef positions available when you apply for them, don’t get discouraged; instead, create one! 

Here’s how: find someone who owns a restaurant and tell them that if they give you free rein over creating menus and hiring staff members (with their approval), then after three months or so when things have settled down in terms of staff turnover, etc., 

Then they can join forces with other similar restaurants nearby so that together they can offer one big buffet-style meal per week–and call themselves “Chefs on Tour.” 

This way everyone gets what they want while giving back the customer gets access to high-quality food at low prices while also helping local businesses grow bigger than ever before​!

Be Willing To Relocate For Your Big Break

A willingness to relocate is a must. If you’re hoping to land your dream job, you’ll have to be willing to move if it means getting closer to that goal.

The biggest reason for this is that most executive chef positions are in large metropolitan areas meaning they’re often located in cities like Los Angeles or New York City. If you live in a small town or suburb outside of one of these cities and don’t want to move, it might be difficult for you to land an amazing career as an executive chef.

Even if your current city has a high concentration of good restaurants and food jobs, there’s no guarantee that there will be an opening at one of them when you want it (or even any openings at all). That’s why being prepared with relocation options is so important: 

If something does come up soon after moving into the new place but not soon enough for them let me take over as Executive Chef right away then maybe another opportunity will come around sooner rather than later.”

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Know That Timing Is Everything

Timing is everything when it comes to landing a job. If you are not ready for a job, don’t take it. On the other hand, if you are ready for a job and the timing is right, then go for it!

The same principle applies to your career as well. You should only remain in one place as long as they offer growth opportunities and support your professional development goals. 

And of course…if you find yourself in an environment that doesn’t move along at the same pace as yours and cannot provide additional responsibility or even acknowledgment of your technical skills.

Then it’s time to look elsewhere where you can grow professionally while also being supported by management (this means both positive feedback and constructive criticism).

Be Open To Working In Any Kind Of Restaurant Setting

When you are first starting, it can be tempting to only apply for jobs at the most prestigious restaurants in your area. 

Not only does this limit your options, but you might also miss out on opportunities that would be a better fit for you. 

Instead of focusing on the name of the restaurant or what kind of cuisine they serve, focus on whether it’s an environment where you’d be happy working and whether they have a positive reputation within the industry.

When applying for jobs, it’s important to keep an open mind about where you want to work initially and what type of place will best suit your needs right now. 

While working at a trendy restaurant may sound fun now, if there aren’t any openings in your desired location and time frame then perhaps something else would suit you better right now (like a nice hotel restaurant).

The same goes when trying out different types of cuisine while working as a junior chef; don’t get stuck in one cooking style! If there isn’t enough variety at one job try going somewhere else until something comes up that fits both sides perfectly well/

That way there won’t be any regrets later down the line from choosing poorly because nothing seemed like “the perfect match” at first sight only because we didn’t know what could very well happen next.”

Share Your Story With Potential Employers

The first step in landing your dream job is sharing your story. You should share it with potential employers and tell them how you got to where you are now, what skills and experiences have prepared you for the job they are offering, and why they should hire you. 

You should also be willing to share your story with friends, family members, co-workers, community members (if possible), city officials, state officials – anyone who might be able to help advance your career goals!

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Follow Up On References From Previous Employers

You’ve landed the interview, and now it’s time to get ready for the big day. If you haven’t already done so, ask your references from previous employers if they’re willing to be referenced for you. 

Make sure they have enough information about where you’re interviewing so that they can answer any questions about your skills and qualifications.

When it comes time for an employer to call your references, make sure that the person who answers knows who he or she is talking to when the phone rings. 

If this isn’t possible (for example, if one of your former bosses moved away), make sure that he or she has contact information for all of them so that he or she can at least get in touch with one person who knows about you as a candidate before proceeding further with their search process

Keep Detailed Records Of Your Accomplishments In The Kitchen

It’s important to keep detailed records of your accomplishments in the kitchen. The more you can show a potential employer, the better you’ll do on your resume and in an interview. You might even want to include some of these items:

A journal that includes notes from each day or week at work. These can be used for reference when writing a resume or preparing for an interview, so be sure to write down details about what happened that day at work. 

Also include thoughts about what went well and what could have been improved upon during those shifts this will give employers insight into how self-aware you are as well as how reflective you are of your performance at work (both highly desirable qualities!).

Photos of some dishes or meals that have received praise from customers or media outlets (and make sure they’re yours). 

Include a brief description next to each photo describing why it was successful and how it differs from other restaurants’ offerings this will help showcase both the quality of food being prepared by executive chefs like yourself as well as their ability to innovate new ideas within their field while still respecting tradition and technique

Pass Up Opportunities To Party With Co-Workers

You should never feel pressured to party with your co-workers, no matter how friendly they may seem. Even if you’re overworked and just want to grab a drink, it’s best not to do so. This can lead down a slippery slope that can seriously damage your career trajectory.

In addition to abstaining from alcohol at work functions, try not to get too close with co-workers. 

Unless they are people you know well outside of work or who share similar interests, make it clear that these relationships are purely professional and that you don’t want them extending beyond the workplace. 

Avoid sharing personal details about yourself as well your hobbies and interests shouldn’t be mentioned unless directly relevant for business reasons (such as when planning an event). 

You wouldn’t want someone gossiping about something private from your life coming back on them or being used against you later in life!

Stay Organized, And Get The Paperwork Straight!

The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep good records of your accomplishments. 

Organize them, file them, and make sure they’re easily accessible. If potential employers ask for documentation of your work history, this will be the first place they look. Make sure you have plenty of examples to impress them!

You should also keep a journal of your daily activities and achievements so that you can track how much progress you’re making towards becoming an executive chef. 

It’s easy for someone else (i.e., an employer) to get lost in all the details of your career; having a record helps ensure that no important piece gets left out when it comes time for evaluation or promotion consideration because everyone involved knows exactly what happened during each stage along the way.

Keep copies of all paperwork related to proving eligibility requirements (such as degrees from accredited schools), certifications earned through professional organizations like ACF or ACFEFMEA; 

Transcripts from any classes taken before college graduation such as high school equivalency exams; proof of health insurance coverage if not provided by the employer; letters testifying hiring manager support

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Be Willing To Make Sacrifices For Your Career Goals

It’s easy to assume that the only way to advance in your career is by working harder and harder, but this isn’t always the case. 

While it’s true that you need to put in hours at the office, there are other ways you can show your boss how much you care about your job. Being willing to make sacrifices for your career goals is one way of doing this.

Some examples of what might be considered a “sacrifice” include:

  • Working long hours (but remember, don’t work so much that it negatively impacts your health!)
  • Traveling more often than normal (or moving to another city or state)
  • Relocating (if necessary)

Present Yourself As A Leader

As a leader, you need to be able to explain who you are and what you do simply. You also need to be able to explain why it’s important for other people. 

If your current boss understands why the work is important, then he or she will be more likely to promote it externally.

Your team members want someone that knows how to communicate effectively with them and their customers. 

They want someone who can provide clear direction and give them opportunities for growth within the company. The best part about being an executive chef is that you get paid well because of the responsibilities that come with the title!

Take Advantage Of Social Media

Social media can be a great way to gain visibility for your brand, especially when you’re just starting. What better way to do this than by leveraging the power of social media to promote yourself?

Use social media to:

  • Promote yourself as an Executive Chef candidate by sharing relevant content that showcases your professional experience and culinary skills.
  • Promote your restaurant on social media channels with regular posts about new menu items, special events, and seasonal offerings.
  • Share photos from recent events held at the restaurant, as well as comments from satisfied customers who enjoyed their meals there.


If you’re a chef who wants to rise through the ranks and become an executive chef, there are some important things to know. First, it helps to have an education from the best culinary school you can find. 

Second, take advantage of internships at top restaurants so that you can learn from experienced professionals and build your resume while still in college. 

Thirdly, start at the bottom you need lots of hands-on experience before moving up into management positions; make sure this happens by working as an apprentice or sous chef for several years before applying for higher-paying jobs with better opportunities for advancement!  

Further Reading

How to Become an Executive Chef: Discover the essential steps and requirements to pursue a career as an executive chef. Learn about the necessary skills, education, and experience needed to excel in this role.

How to Write a Head Chef Resume to Land Your Dream Job: Craft a compelling resume that highlights your expertise as a head chef. This article provides valuable tips and insights on creating a standout resume tailored to the culinary industry.

How to Create an Executive Chef Resume: Get expert advice on building an impressive executive chef resume. Learn about the essential sections, formatting tips, and key details to include in your resume to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

And here’s the FAQs section:


What are the educational requirements to become an executive chef?

To become an executive chef, formal culinary education is typically preferred. Many aspiring chefs enroll in culinary arts programs or obtain degrees in culinary arts or related fields to gain the necessary skills and knowledge.

What skills are important for an executive chef?

As an executive chef, a combination of culinary expertise, leadership skills, creativity, and strong organizational abilities are essential. Excellent time management, communication, and problem-solving skills are also crucial for success in this role.

How can I gain experience as an executive chef?

Gaining experience as an executive chef often involves working your way up in the culinary industry. Starting with entry-level positions, such as line cook or sous chef, allows you to learn and develop your skills. Additionally, internships, apprenticeships, and networking can provide valuable opportunities for growth.

What is the average salary of an executive chef?

The salary of an executive chef can vary depending on factors such as location, establishment type, and experience. On average, executive chefs earn a competitive salary, with the potential for higher earnings in upscale restaurants, hotels, or renowned culinary establishments.

What career advancement opportunities are available for executive chefs?

Executive chefs can explore various career advancement paths. Some may aspire to become corporate chefs, open their own restaurants, or move into executive-level positions within the hospitality industry. Continuous learning, honing culinary skills, and networking can help seize new opportunities in the culinary world.