17 Chef De Partie Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a chef de partie, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

If you’re looking for a career in the culinary arts, a chef de partie position is a great way to start. This role is the first line of defense in the kitchen, and it’s the chef de partie’s responsibility to make sure all the food that goes out is of the highest quality.

In order to be successful in a chef de partie interview, you’ll need to be able to answer questions about your experience in the kitchen, your understanding of food safety, and your ability to follow recipes. You’ll also need to be able to talk about your passion for food and cooking.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of questions that you may be asked and sample answers that will help you showcase your skills and knowledge.

Are you comfortable working in a fast-paced kitchen environment?

Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable with the pace of a busy kitchen. They want to know that you can work quickly and efficiently while still maintaining quality in your food preparation. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and focused when working under pressure. Show them that you have experience working in a fast-paced environment and that you enjoy it.

Example: “I love working in a fast-paced kitchen because I feel more productive and efficient when there’s a lot going on around me. When I’m stressed or anxious about something, I find that I perform better at my job. I’ve worked in several high-pressure kitchens before, so I am used to the pace. I also find that I learn new techniques and skills much faster when I’m working in an active kitchen.”

What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of being a chef de partie?

This question can help interviewers get to know you as a person and how you feel about your job. They may also use this information to determine whether the position is a good fit for you. When answering, try to focus on positive aspects of being a chef de partie while still being honest about any challenges you might face.

Example: “My favorite aspect of being a chef de partie is getting to work with talented chefs every day. I love learning from them and collaborating on new dishes. My least favorite aspect would be the long hours. While I enjoy my work, sometimes it’s hard to balance family life when working such long shifts.”

How do you manage stress while working in a busy kitchen?

Working in a busy kitchen can be stressful. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and techniques needed to manage stress while working under pressure. Use your answer to show that you are able to stay calm, focused and organized even when things get hectic. Explain how you use your time management skills to prioritize tasks and keep yourself on schedule.

Example: “I find that staying organized is one of the best ways to manage stress in a busy kitchen. I always make sure to write down my daily tasks so I know exactly what needs to be done. This helps me avoid forgetting important steps or assignments. Another way I manage stress is by taking deep breaths. When I feel overwhelmed, I take a few moments to myself to relax and refocus.”

What is your favorite dish to prepare, and why?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a chef and understand your cooking style. Your answer should include what dish it is, why you like preparing it and how you prepare it.

Example: “My favorite dish to prepare is my grandmother’s lasagna recipe. I love making this dish because it reminds me of her every time I make it. She taught me everything I know about cooking, so when I make this dish, I feel connected to her. To make this lasagna, I start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, I boil water in a large pot and add salt to season the water. Next, I cook the noodles for five minutes before draining them and adding ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, ground beef, tomato sauce and spices.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to manage a difficult customer or client.

As a chef de partie, you may have to interact with customers or clients. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle difficult people and situations. In your answer, try to show that you are good at customer service. Explain how you would approach the situation if it happened again.

Example: “I once had a customer who was upset because they didn’t get their food on time. I apologized for the delay and explained why there was a wait. The customer seemed satisfied with my explanation. If I ever encountered a similar situation in the future, I would explain the menu to them before they ordered. This way, they could choose something that takes longer to prepare.”

If we visited your station during service, what would we see you doing?

This question is a great way to see how the chef de partie plans their work and what they do during service. It also allows you to show your interviewer that you know what each station does and how it contributes to the overall success of the kitchen.

Example: “If I were working at my current position, I would be prepping ingredients for the next course while checking in with my sous chef about any last-minute changes or requests from guests. Then, I would begin cooking the next course according to the recipe’s instructions. Once the food was ready, I would plate it and send it out to the dining room.”

What would you do if you noticed a fellow chef de partie skipping steps when preparing a dish?

The interviewer may ask you this question to assess your leadership skills and how you would handle a colleague who is not following proper procedures. In your answer, try to show that you value teamwork and encourage others to do the same.

Example: “I would first talk with my colleague about why it’s important to follow all steps when preparing dishes. I would also explain what each step does for the final product and how skipping one can affect the quality of the dish. If they still don’t comply, I would report them to my manager so they could take appropriate action.”

How well do you communicate with other kitchen staff, such as bakers and dishwashers?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your communication skills and how well you work with others. Use examples from past experiences where you had to communicate with other kitchen staff members, such as when you needed help or advice from a baker or dishwasher.

Example: “I have worked in kitchens where the chef de partie was also the sous chef, so I’ve been responsible for communicating with all of the kitchen staff. In my last position, however, we had two chefs de partie who each oversaw different areas of the kitchen. I would often need to communicate with them about orders that required both their expertise. For example, if an order came in that required both our baking and sautéing skills, I would let them know what I needed and they would do the same. This helped us ensure that every customer received their meal quickly.”

Do you have any experience working with seasonal ingredients?

Seasonal ingredients are those that are available only for a limited time. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re familiar with the concept of seasonal ingredients and how they can affect your work as a chef de partie. If you have experience working with seasonal ingredients, share what kind of challenges it presented in your previous role. If you don’t have any experience working with seasonal ingredients, explain why not and talk about how you would handle this situation if you were hired.

Example: “I do have some experience working with seasonal ingredients. In my last position, I was responsible for creating dishes using seasonal vegetables. This was challenging because we had to create new dishes every day based on what produce was available. It also meant that sometimes we didn’t use all of the produce before it went bad. To solve this problem, I started planning our meals ahead of time so we could use up all of the produce by the end of the week.”

When preparing a complex dish, what is your process for ensuring each step is completed correctly?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you plan your work and ensure quality. Your answer should show that you have a system for ensuring each step of a recipe is completed correctly, while also demonstrating your attention to detail.

Example: “I always make sure I read through the entire recipe before starting any prep work. This helps me get an idea of what ingredients I’ll need and when they will be needed. Once I’ve started prepping, I try to complete one step completely before moving on to the next. For example, if I’m sautéing vegetables, I’ll cook them until they’re soft before adding anything else. This ensures everything is cooked evenly and nothing burns.”

We want to improve our menu by adding more vegetarian options. What would you suggest as a vegetarian-friendly dish to add to our menu?

This question can help the interviewer understand your creativity and problem-solving skills. Use examples from past experiences to highlight how you would approach this challenge.

Example: “I think it’s important to have a variety of vegetarian options on the menu, especially if you want to attract more customers. In my last position as chef de partie, I noticed that we didn’t have many vegetarian dishes. So, I suggested adding a few new vegetarian items to our menu each month. This way, we could rotate through different vegetarian dishes while still offering some of our most popular meals.”

Describe your experience with food presentation.

Food presentation is an important part of the chef de partie’s job. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with food presentation and can do it well. In your answer, explain how you would approach food presentation in this role. Share a specific example of when you did this successfully.

Example: “I’ve always been interested in food presentation. I took a class on it in culinary school, which helped me learn some basic techniques for making food look more appealing. I also worked as a sous chef at a restaurant where we had a special menu every night. We were required to create our own dishes that looked beautiful but tasted great too. I learned a lot about presentation during that time.”

What makes you stand out from other chefs?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you view yourself as a chef. They want to know what makes you unique, so share something that sets you apart from other chefs. You can talk about any special skills or certifications you have, but you can also mention personal traits like creativity or leadership.

Example: “I think what makes me stand out is my attention to detail. I am always making sure the kitchen is clean and organized, which helps our team work efficiently. Another thing that makes me stand out is my ability to lead others. I love helping my fellow chefs with their questions and giving them advice when they need it.”

Which other restaurants do you admire, and why?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your experience and how you compare it to other restaurants. You can use this opportunity to discuss what you like about a specific restaurant’s menu, service or atmosphere.

Example: “I really admire the way that Chef John at The French Bistro creates his dishes. He uses fresh ingredients in all of his meals, which I think is important for quality food. His restaurant also has an elegant atmosphere with excellent customer service. I would love to create dishes that are as delicious as his.”

What do you think is the most important skill for a chef de partie to have?

This question can help interviewers understand what you value as a chef de partie. They may ask this question to see if your skills align with their company’s values and goals. When preparing for this question, think about the most important skill you have that helps you succeed in your role.

Example: “I believe the most important skill for a chef de partie is communication. As a leader on the line, it’s my job to make sure everyone understands their responsibilities and how they fit into the larger picture of the kitchen. I also think organization is an important skill because it allows me to keep track of all the tasks I need to complete each day.”

How often do you update your cooking knowledge and skills?

Employers ask this question to see if you are committed to your career and want to improve yourself. They also want to know how often they need to provide training for new employees. In your answer, explain that you have a passion for cooking and learning about it. Share some of the ways you stay up-to-date on current trends in the culinary world.

Example: “I am passionate about my career as a chef de partie, so I make sure to read food blogs and magazines regularly. I also subscribe to online courses where I can learn more about specific techniques or ingredients. I find these resources very helpful because I can do them at home when I have free time. I also attend conferences and seminars hosted by local chefs.”

There is a new trend in the industry that goes against everything you’ve learned about cooking. How would you react?

This question is designed to test your ability to adapt and learn new techniques. It also shows the interviewer how you react to change, which can be important in a kitchen environment where things are constantly changing.

Example: “I would first try to understand why this trend was becoming popular. I would then research it thoroughly before deciding whether or not to incorporate it into my cooking style. If I decided to use it, I would make sure that I understood exactly what I was doing so that I didn’t ruin any dishes.”


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