Demi chef de partie meaning, with duties, salary and skills
Updated 6 March 2023
The demi chef de partie plays an integral role in the professional kitchen hierarchy, assisting the chef de partie and cooking in a specific section of the kitchen. Demi chef de partie is a role that chefs may move into after working as a commis chef but before moving into a chef de partie position. If you're considering a career in catering or you're currently in a junior kitchen role, you might want to understand the role of demi chef de partie. In this article, we provide a definitive guide to working as a demi chef de partie.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
Demi chef de partie meaning
When considering your career in the kitchen it can be helpful to understand the demi chef de partie's meaning. The role is one of the three chef de partie levels in the French kitchen brigade system. The traditional kitchen brigade system is a way of organising and dividing up roles in a professional kitchen. The system, also known as brigade de cuisine, includes more than 20 clearly defined kitchen roles. These start from plongeur, also known as dishwashers or kitchen porters, and progress all the way to executive chef, the professional chef who oversees the entire kitchen and restaurant from a business perspective.
The chef de partie is a mid-level position that professional cooks can move to after spending time as a commis chef, the most junior cooking role. The chef de partie is sometimes known as the line cook. Within the chef de partie level, there are three roles. These are the demi chef de partie, who works alongside the chef de partie, learning the same skills and responsibilities. The next level is the chef de partie, who looks after a specific section of the kitchen, including sauces, fish, meat, vegetables or pastries and desserts. Finally, there's a senior chef de partie position.
Demi chef de partie main duties
The demi chef de partie is also known as a line cook as they take responsibility for cookery duties in a specific part of the kitchen. The main duties of a demi chef de partie are likely to differ depending on the area of the kitchen they work in. For example, if they work as a saucier, their primary duties involve making sauces for use across various dishes. If they work in the meat section, they might butcher, prepare and cook various types of meat. Some of the general responsibilities of the demi chef de partie are as follows:
Helping the chef de partie to prepare dishes within their section: The demi chef de partie spends most of their time working directly with the more senior chef de partie, preparing ingredients and cooking dishes within their station. This might mean contributing elements towards a complete dish, such as cooking meat or fish or preparing whole dishes like starters or desserts.
Assisting with the management of their specific section of the kitchen: The role of demi chef de partie involves assisting the chef de partie with the running of the section. This means ensuring the section is ready for service and making sure dishes consistently meet the required level of quality.
Training and supervising commis chefs: As a demi chef de partie, you may oversee the work of more junior chefs, including commis chefs. You may also take some responsibility for training them in different cookery techniques, kitchen equipment or the preparation of certain dishes.
Learning new skills and techniques from more senior chefs: Demi chef de partie is a step in the career progression of a professional chef and involves a level of training and learning from more senior members of the kitchen team. You may spend time with a sous chef or head chef, learning new skills that can help you in your career path.
Following health and safety procedures: It's necessary for all members of a professional kitchen, including the demi chef de partie, to observe health and safety procedures at all times while working. This also includes following guidance on food hygiene and cleanliness.
Assisting senior chefs, including the sous chef and the head chef, in creating new dishes: Another key element of working in a professional kitchen is creating new dishes that go on to feature on the restaurant's menu. The demi chef de partie may play a role in assisting the sous chef and head chef to create these new dishes.
Demi chef de partie key skills
Some of the key skills for demi chef de partie are as follows:
Knife skills are essential for a chef to progress to the level of demi chef de partie and beyond. Chefs typically hone their knife skills at culinary school and improve them as they gain experience in professional kitchens. Possessing strong knife skills means being able to prepare vegetables to a consistently high standard, while it also includes neat and accurate butchery and preparation of meat and fish.
Cookery knowledge and technical skills
Technical cooking skills are an essential quality for demi chef de partie. The role requires an understanding of the ways to prepare and cook different dishes on a restaurant menu. It also includes knowledge and skills in operating kitchen equipment, tools and machinery.
Understanding of ingredients and recipes
The demi chef de partie, or line cook, tends to work on one cooking station in the kitchen. As such, it's necessary to have strong knowledge of the ingredients used in that particular area of the kitchen. Some chef de partie work as cover across various kitchen stations, also known as floaters. For this role, it's necessary to have a broad understanding of every kitchen station.
The ability to work unsupervised
After you reach the level of demi chef de partie, senior chefs may expect you to work unsupervised for long periods during a service. This means they can rely on you to produce consistent work of a high standard without supervision. This requires confidence in your cookery techniques and mastery of the different recipes you're working on.
Attention to detail
Attention to detail is one of the most valuable qualities to possess for a career in catering. Working in a professional kitchen necessitates the ability to consistently produce dishes to a high standard. This requires a meticulous, methodical nature and a commitment and dedication to the craft of cookery.
Teamwork and communication skills
Working in a professional kitchen is a collaborative environment. It's necessary to be a team player who wishes to see the restaurant succeed rather than focusing on individual achievement. Working in a kitchen team also requires excellent oral communication skills so the kitchen brigade can work in unison during a busy service.
The ability to work under pressure
Professional kitchens are high-pressure work environments. They can be hot, cramped and filled with hazardous equipment. As a junior chef, it's necessary to be able to take criticism from senior chefs and produce your best work under scrutiny and within demanding deadlines.
Related: 10 essential chef skills
Self-motivation is a valuable quality for any aspiring chef. While you may encounter inspiring mentors and senior chefs who are willing to help you to develop, you're unlikely to progress in the industry without significant personal ambition. The ability to motivate yourself, especially when faced with adversity or difficult circumstances, is essential.
Demi chef de partie salary
The national average salary for a demi chef de partie or a line cook is £28,124 per year. This salary can vary depending on your experience and the type of restaurant or catering company you work for. Location can also be a determining factor, with demi chef de partie in Bristol earning an average of £26,515 per year and in London, an average of £30,369 per year.
Demi chef de partie career progression
Moving to a chef de partie role typically requires around three years of experience working in a professional kitchen. This experience could be at the level of commis chef or a different junior position. You may be able to move to the slightly more junior demi chef de partie, or line cook position, after a little less experience.
After spending some time as a demi chef de partie, you might move to become a chef de partie. This role involves taking full responsibility for your particular section of the kitchen. Thereafter, the next stage in your career progression is to move to the sous chef level, which is the deputy to the head chef. Typically, the route to becoming a head chef takes 10 years or more of working in a professional kitchen.
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