Chef de Partie

Station chefs specialize in a single area of production

A chef de partie, often called a "station chef" or a "line cook," is responsible for one particular area of food production in the kitchen. This position is usually found in larger kitchens with a staff big enough to allow for specialization. Usually, each "station" in the kitchen has only one or two workers on duty at any given time. In a case where there's more than one chef de partie on duty, they're often divided into a hierarchy using titles like "first cook," "second cook" and so forth.

Most of the top cooking schools around the world offer reputable training for chef de partie prospects. Prestigous institutions like Le Cordon Bleu and The Art Institute specialize in these types of programs.

There are many different stations that may require their own chef de partie. Each has its own special title, usually derived from French. These include:

  • Saucier. This chef de partie is responsible for preparing sauces, sautés, stews and possibly even hot hors d'oevres, all to order. Generally, this is the highest ranking of all the station chef positions.

  • Garde manger. This position is also frequently referred to as pantry chef. The garde manger is responsible for preparing cold foods. The primary responsibility is salads and dressings, but he or she may also make appetizers, sandwiches, pâtés and even some desserts.

  • Poissonier. This title translates to "fish cook." Like the name suggests, the poissonier prepares all fish dishes. This position is only found in very large restaurants. In smaller ones, the duties of the poissonier are handled by the saucier.

  • Entermetier. This person is a vegetable cook. He or she is in charge of cooking all vegetables, soups and, in some cases, eggs. This position is only found in very large restaurants.

  • Rotisseur. This chef de partie is responsible for all roasted, grilled, broiled and braised meat, such as steak, chicken or fish. After the meat is cooked, the rotisseur will generally carve it or otherwise ensure that it is presented on the plate in a visually appealing manner. He or she also prepares gravies, and may prepare some deep fried meat or fish.

  • Pastry Chef. The person in this position has the duty of preparing pastries and other desserts. In smaller kitchens, he or she may also bake breads or rolls.

  • Fry Cook. This position is in charge of all deep fried foods. He or she will usually also be responsible for preparing all batters and breading used for frying.

  • Tournant. Also called a swing cook, relief cook or floater, this name translates to "the touring one." The tournant has the special ability to work at any station in the restaurant, as needed. He or she will fill in as the other chefs go on break, or in case they become ill or hurt. The tournant is often in training to become a sous chef.

  • Commis Chef. This term translates to "assistant chef." A commis chef may work under each of the positions above, assisting the chef de partie.

Advertiser Links for chef training