As an entry level chef, the commis chef is there to support all areas of the kitchen as needed. A commis chef often has a related bachelor's degree, but this isn't a requirement, with basic hospitality and catering qualifications usually sufficing. According to the National Careers Service, as of May 2014, head chefs can earn up to £30,000 per year. The starting salary for chefs is around £13,000 per year, increasing to up to £16,000 per year for section chefs. As an entry level chef, the commis chef is more likely to earn a salary in the lower end of this range.
The commis chef works in all the different areas of the kitchen on an as-needed basis. Because he is going from one area to another, he must use excellent communication skills in order to help other chefs already in the middle of preparing and cooking. The commis chef must be able to take orders and complete tasks in a timely manner. Since he works with a variety of people, the commis chef must be able to understand and respond appropriately to a variety of communication styles. There is little room for error in a busy kitchen. By using sharp listening skills and communicating effectively, the commis chef supports other kitchen members and ensures meals and other food items are prepared correctly and in a timely manner.
A considerable amount of preparation occurs before a delicious meal can be served from the kitchen. Dependent upon what area of the kitchen the commis chef is assigned, she may help with preparatory work by slicing vegetables and fruits, measuring ingredients and spices and storing them for later use, or by precooking foods. The commis chef will go from kitchen station to station and work with the other chefs on any preparations needed. She must be familiar with all areas of the kitchen and be able to work as an independent part of the kitchen team.
The commis chef has the opportunity to gain a great deal of valuable experience as he assists with cooking and creating dishes in several different kitchen sections. When the kitchen is asked to create something special or prepares a meal for a special occasion, the commis chef will be involved in assisting with the cooking and baking of a variety of items. The commis chef must follow orders as given by the executive chef while using his own knowledge of cooking and combining ingredients.