Chef Skills List and Examples

List of Chef Skills for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

Female chef in the kitchen
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Chefs oversee food production at places where food is served. They might work in restaurants, private homes, or hotels. Chefs are responsible for directing the cooking staff and making numerous decisions related to everything from food production to administrative issues.

Chefs have to develop a variety of skills, ranging from hard skills related to cooking to soft skills related to working with and sometimes managing a team.

Below is a list of the top 10 most important skills for a chef, as well as a longer list of other skills employers seek in candidates for chef jobs.

How to Use This Skills List

You can use these skills lists throughout your job search process. First, you can use these skill words in your resume. In the description of your work history, you might want to use some of these keywords.

Second, you can use these in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, you can mention one or two of these skills, and give a specific example of a time when you demonstrated those skills at work.

Finally, you can use these skill words in your interview. Make sure you have at least one example for a time you demonstrated each of the top skills listed here.

Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also, review lists of restaurant skills, server skillsskills listed by job and type of skill. Be sure to prepare yourself for your interview by going over typically asked interview questions for chefs.

Top Chef Skills

Attention to Detail
Cooking is a science, so a chef needs to be precise. Every ingredient and measurement must be exact.

Chefs need to be precise in others ways as well: whether ordering food products or figuring out what time to cook certain items, a chef needs to have an eye for detail.

Business Sense
A good chef is also a good businessman. He or she should always be thinking about how to make delicious food while also being cost-effective.

Cleanliness
Chefs need to know how to keep the kitchen sanitary. This is very important in a restaurant, where unsanitary conditions can affect the quality of the food, and can even force a restaurant to shut down.

Creativity
Working in the food industry requires creativity. Chefs must be open to incorporating new food items into menus, and improving older recipes. Creativity and imagination will keep customers coming back to a restaurant.

Culinary Expertise
The most important hard skill chefs need is an ability to cook, as well as knowledge of the kitchen. This broad skill includes a variety of smaller skills, including knife skills and tasting skills. Chefs need to be able to cook precisely and efficiently. They also need to be skilled at recognizing flavors, and judging the balance of seasonings.

Fast-Paced Decision Making
A chef should be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently.

The kitchen is a fast-paced environment, and a chef has to make numerous decisions at once.

Motivational
A good chef will motivate those working in the kitchen. He or she should be able to keep everyone working at a fast, efficient pace.

Multitasking
In the kitchen, a chef is always working on multiple tasks at once. He or she might need to address staff issues while also working on several elements of a meal. A chef must be able to complete all of these tasks at the same time, and efficiently.

Organization
Chefs must be very organized in the kitchen. Often, they have to work on a variety of tasks at once, and must do so while keeping the kitchen organized. They must create order and structure in the kitchen so that the environment is not chaotic.

Team Player
A chef is part of a team, and must be able to work well with others.

Not only must he or she work with the cooks in the kitchen, but he or she must also be able to work effectively with staff and management.

Chef Skills List

A  - G

  • Administrative Tasks
  • Attention to Detail
  • Baking
  • Baking Techniques
  • Banquet
  • Budgeting
  • Business Acumen
  • Business Sense
  • Catering
  • Cleanliness
  • Commitment to Quality
  • Communication
  • Computer
  • Concepts
  • Consistency
  • Cooking
  • Control Labor Costs
  • Cost Control
  • Cost Reduction
  • Creativity
  • Culinary Expertise
  • Customer Service
  • Demonstrate Techniques
  • Fast-Paced Decision Making
  • First Aid
  • Flexibility
  • Food Preparation
  • Food Pricing
  • Food Safety
  • Food Regulations
  • Food Science
  • Food Service Management
  • Grilling

H – M

  • Handle Pressure
  • Heat Control
  • Health and Safety
  • Hiring
  • Hotel Kitchen
  • Hygiene
  • Ingredient Selection
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal
  • Inventory Management
  • Inventory Rotation
  • Kitchen Management
  • Kitchen Safety
  • Kitchen Tools
  • Knife Control
  • Knife Cuts
  • Knife Skills
  • Leadership
  • Local Foods
  • Management
  • Measurements
  • Menus
  • Menu Planning
  • Motivational
  • Multitasking

N – S

  • Nutrition
  • Ordering
  • Operations
  • Organization
  • Organizing
  • Passion
  • Pastry
  • Planning
  • Portion Control
  • Preparing Various Cuisines
  • Precision
  • Presentation
  • Product Selection
  • Problem Solving
  • Recipes
  • Restaurant
  • Safe Food Handling
  • Safety
  • Sanitary Practices
  • Sanitation
  • Seasoning
  • Sense of Humor
  • Service
  • Source Ingredients
  • Supervision

T – Z

  • Team Building
  • Team Player
  • Teamwork
  • Techniques
  • Temperature Control
  • Time Efficient
  • Training
  • Well-Tuned Palate