Delving into the Kitchen Hierarchy: The Brigade System Unveiled

Ever been enthralled by the culinary masterpieces served at a restaurant and wondered what goes on behind the kitchen doors? Today, let’s journey into the heart of professional kitchens and explore the kitchen hierarchy, a crucial structure that ensures seamless operations. We’ll also spotlight how CHEFIN, a leading culinary service provider, guarantees exceptional service by partnering exclusively with seasoned chefs.

Chef Mani Bharat working in a commercial kitchen

What’s the Deal with Kitchen Hierarchy?

The kitchen hierarchy, fondly known as the Brigade System, was the brainchild of Georges Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. He revolutionized kitchen operations by introducing a structured and systematic approach to improve efficiency. Before this, kitchens were often chaotic and disorganized, which hindered consistent delivery of high-quality food. Drawing from his military background, Escoffier brought order and streamlined workflow to the kitchen with the brigade system.

This hierarchy is pyramid-shaped, with the executive chef sitting at the top, followed by the head chef, sous chefs, chef de parties, commis chefs, and kitchen assistants at the bottom. Each role has specific responsibilities, ensuring smooth operations.

The Five Core Positions in the Kitchen Brigade

Executive Chef: The mainstay of the kitchen, the Executive Chef, also known as the Group Chef, sits at the helm of the culinary pyramid. They strategize, supervise, and oversee all facets of food production.

Head Chef: Also referred to as the Chef de Cuisine, the Head Chef runs the daily operations. They bring the Executive Chef’s vision to life, crafting delicious dishes.

Sous Chef: The sous chef plays second fiddle and directly supports the head chef. They step in to manage the kitchen when the head chef is absent.

Chef de Partie: This chef, also known as a station chef or line cook, oversees a specific production area.

Commis Chef: This is an entry-level role where chefs learn the ropes of different stations and embark on their culinary career.

Here’s a Kitchen Brigade Chart from Fine Dining Lovers that breaks down all the different positions.

Why is the Kitchen Hierarchy So Crucial?

The kitchen hierarchy is the backbone of a well-functioning kitchen, ensuring order and efficiency. It facilitates clear communication and assigns responsibilities, preventing chaos during service hours. Moreover, it offers a structured career path for chefs, fostering growth and skills enhancement.

Who is a Senior Chef?

Within the kitchen hierarchy, a senior chef typically refers to roles equal to or higher than the Chef de Partie level – such as the Sous Chef and Head Chef.

A Chef de Partie manages a specific section of the kitchen like grill, sauté, or pastry. They supervise junior chefs and kitchen assistants within their section, playing a pivotal role in upholding food quality standards.

The Sous Chef, the right-hand man of the Head Chef, often oversees kitchen operations in their absence. They have a thorough understanding of every station in the kitchen and can step in when needed.

The Head Chef or Executive Chef supervises the entire kitchen operation, from menu creation to upholding food hygiene standards. They lead the team and make critical decisions.


At CHEFIN, we recognize the significant role of experience and expertise in creating unforgettable culinary experiences. That’s why we collaborate exclusively with senior chefs – those at the Chef de Partie level or above. Our chefs boast extensive culinary knowledge and refined skills, honed over years of professional kitchen experience.

When you choose CHEFIN, you’re not just hiring a caterer; you’re enlisting a culinary maestro who will craft a memorable dining experience for you and your guests.

Keep in mind, every delectable dish you enjoy is the result of a group of devoted professionals laboring relentlessly to make your dining experience utterly perfect. The next time you settle down for a meal, take a moment to appreciate the well-orchestrated whirlwind that constitutes the kitchen brigade.