Senior Chef Culinary Arts

Occupation overview

Senior chefs are passionate about food and producing dishes that delight their customers. They have the ability to work independently and lead a team effectively and efficiently. Senior chefs commonly work under pressure, often during unsocial hours, in a pressurised kitchen environment. They enjoy selecting and working with a wide range of ingredients, and combining tastes, textures and flavours to produce profitable and imaginative dishes, and menus and strive to enhance their skills through continuously practising their techniques


  • Demonstrate a wide range of craft preparation, knife and cooking skills and techniques to develop and produce quality dishes and menus in line with business requirements
  • Create, review and refresh menus in line with business and customer requirements
  • Use technology and equipment effectively when producing dishes to achieve the best result
  • Select and use methods to prepare, produce and present the highest quality dishes and menus using the best available ingredients
  • Work consistently to accomplish the best result
  • Work methodically handling many tasks at once and ensuring they are completed at the right moment and to the required standard
  • Prepare, cook and present food to agreed food safety practices and guidelines, ensuring a clean and hygienic kitchen environment is maintained at all times
  • Ensure ingredients are stored, prepared, cooked and presented to deliver a quality product that is safe for the consumer
  • Support team members and ensure dishes provided are of high quality, delivered on time and as described on menus
  • Use effective methods of communication and operate in a fair and empathic manner that achieves the desired result and demonstrates a customer centric culture
  • Share experience and knowledge to enable team members to develop their skills , knowledge and techniques
  • Motivate and inspire others to perform their role to the best of their ability in line with the business
  • Maintain harmony across the team and with colleagues in other parts of the organisation, identifying and dealing with challenges and problems constructively to drive a positive outcome
  • Actively use techniques and respond to opportunities that help improve competitiveness, business performance, revenue, profit margins and customers’ experience
  • Monitor costs, use forecasting to set realistic targets, effectively control resource allocation and prepare financial cases for development projects
  • Implement sustainable procurement practices, minimise wastage and minimise resource allocation
  • Comply with legal requirements and inspire customer confidence by maintaining the safety and security of people at all times
  • Risk assess situations, identifying and isolating matters of concern, by establishing the cause and intervening accordingly to minimise any risk to people and comply with legislation



  • Understand the principles of food preparation & cooking, knife selection and handling, traditional and modern cuisine, taste, diet and nutrition to produce dishes and menus that meet business and customer requirements
  • Know how to research industry and food trends and how they influence dishes and menus
  • Understand how technology and equipment supports the development and production of dishes and menus
  • Understand how seasonality, provenance and global environmental factors impact on food commodities and therefore on planning dishes and menus
  • Understand how to maximise yield and minimise wastage of ingredients and other resources
  • Know how to produce menu items to standard whilst working in a challenging, time-bound environment
  • Know the food safety practices and procedures to ensure the safe preparation, cooking and presentation of food
  • Know the quality points to look for in ingredients and how to handle and store them to maintain quality, in line with food safety legislation
  • Understand how personal and team performance impacts on the successful production of dishes in different working environments
  • Know how to identify and respond to individuals’ needs in different situations and communicate with customers and colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures
  • Know how to recognise and develop talent, understanding the principles of coaching and mentoring team members to maximise their performance
  • Have an understanding of leadership styles and skills in a business environment
  • Recognise how all staff and teams are dependent on each other and understand the importance of teamwork both back and front of house in achieving business objectives
  • Understand how to develop creative, profitable and competitive menus and dishes in line with the business strategy; its customer profile; culture and constraints
  • Know how to support the overall financial performance of the business
  • Understand the principles of sustainable procurement and waste management
  • Know legislative responsibilities and the importance of protecting peoples’ health, safety and security
  • Know how to identify, plan for and minimise risks to the service and operation



  • Welcome and act on feedback to improve quality of food preparation, cooking and presentation
  • Show commitment to developing skills and knowledge; trying out new ingredients and dishes; practicing and reflecting on different preparation and cooking techniques
  • Use technology and equipment responsibly to ensure it is efficient and maintained in good working order to avoid wastage
  • Challenge personal methods of working and seek methods for improvements, recognising the impact that personal performance has on achieving efficient and effective results
  • Remain calm under pressure to deliver the required outcome
  • Take responsible decisions that support high standards of food safety practices
  • Use a considered approach to managing ingredients to maintain their quality and safety
  • Encourage team to take pride in their role through a consistently positive and professional approach
  • Actively listen and empathise with other peoples’ point of view, respond politely and promote a fair, non-discriminatory and equal working environment
  • Celebrate personal growth and achievement of team members
  • Authentically live the culture and values of the business
  • Be solution focussed to achieve the required outcome and support positive, open communications that help team members achieve the best result for customers and the business
  • Demonstrate a keen business sense with a passionate enthusiasm to provide customers with the best possible experience
  • Be financially aware in approach to all aspects of work
  • Visibly discourage waste and champion sustainable working practices
  • Advocate the importance of working safely and legally in the best interest of all people
  • Think and act quickly to address problems as they arise and keep customers satisfied and operations flowing smoothly


Entry Requirements 

Employers will set their own entry requirements, but it is expected that to start on this apprenticeship standard the individual would have already achieved a level of culinary skills and knowledge to be able to prepare and cook a range of dishes and have supervisory experience



Based on the entry requirements the typical duration for this apprenticeship is 18 to 24 months. The apprenticeship can be spread over a longer period to allow for seasonal business operations.


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Chefs are likely to have achieved supervisory responsibilities before progressing to this apprenticeship standard. Individuals that successfully achieve the senior chef apprenticeship in culinary arts will be well positioned to progress to more senior roles in the industry.


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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