What Is a Chef Tournant?

A chef tournant is usually a chef who serves in both a management and a cook capacity. A chef tournant is sometimes called a relief chef.

A chef tournant is typically found in busy restaurants that have many customers. He or she may also be found in high-end restaurants, hotels and on cruise ships. A chef tournant is expected to have a wide variety of knowledge since the daily duties of the position change regularly. The restaurant’s head or executive chef determines where the chef tournant will work on any given shift. Assignments in the position may be short-term, long-term or, in the case of cruise ships, specific to a certain area.

Chef tournants may be required to fill in and cook or they may be responsible for overseeing the kitchen staff as a middle manager. In the management role, chef tournants may train cooks and manage inventory. Many chef tournants are responsible for ensuring that all safety and environmental protection regulations are followed.

Depending on the location of the job, chef tournants may be required to have knowledge of specific cooking techniques and cuisine. Experience working in high-volume kitchens provides the chef tournant with the expertise needed to guide others through various processes such as buffet preparation.

Chef tournants often have multiple years of post-secondary education or culinary certifications. However, many chef tournants gain experience through on-the-job training.