What Is the Job Description of a Saucier Chef?

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The saucier is the highest grade of chef de parti (station chef) in the traditional brigade-style set-up of kitchen staffing where there are different chefs for different types of cooking method or ingredients. Subordinate to the head chef and the sous chef, the saucier is responsible for a variety of specific food preparations, primarily those derived from sauces, glazes and stocks. The term "saucier chef" is derived from the type of pan used to make sauces. The saucier pan has shallow sloping sides to permit easy whisking and pooling of liquids inside.

Sauces

  • Apart from the gravies made to accompany meat dishes (which are prepared by the rotisseur), the saucier prepares the savory sauces used in the preparation of dishes, from butter sauces such as beurre blanc to white sauces like bechamel. Most savory sauces are based on demi-glaze, a mixture of veal stock, and a basic roux (wheat flour and clarified butter). A saucier will ensure that they always have sufficient demi-glaze prepared for a service.

Stews

  • Stews are based upon the stocks in which meat, fish, vegetables (or a combination of them) are cooked in. A saucier is responsible for creating the stocks for stews, usually by roasting meat or fish bones then slow-cooking them in water flavored with stock vegetables (celery, carrot and onion are the most traditional) and herbs. The saucier will then use these stocks to cook stews.

Sautéing

  • The saucier is responsible for any dishes that require sautéing. This is a method of cooking that is relatively fast, using a small amount of cooking fat over a relatively high heat. Food to be sautéed is usually thinly sliced to aid fast cooking times. Sautéing cooks all the ingredients for a dish at the same time (as opposed to, say, pan-frying which cooks a single item, such as a steak) and the food is moved around in the pan to prevent it from burning.

Hot Hors D'oeuvres

  • In French cuisine (for which the brigade kitchen is usually employed), hor d'oeuvres is the name given to entrées. The saucier is responsible for producing any hot hors d'oeuvres ordered. These will primarily take the form of soups, which will be based on the same stocks as used for stews.

Other Duties

  • The saucier chef will also be expected to maintain efficiency and cleanliness at their work station, order sufficient supplies to cover the expected demands of a daily service and to instruct other members of staff to the behest of the sous chef. If the sous chef is indisposed or not at work, the saucier will be expected to cover his duties.

Pay and Conditions

  • According to Payscale's website, a saucier chef can expect to earn between $11 and $14 an hou in July 2010. This translates into an annual salary of between $22,000 and $31,000. However, there are often chances to do overtime which is generally compensated at time and a-half. Like all staff, the saucier will be expected to work lunchtimes and evenings, often in a shift pattern.

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References

  • Photo Credit sauciere image by Ewe Degiampietro from Fotolia.com
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