Chef salary in South Africa


Once upon a time, not many people wanted to become chefs. Fast forward to today, it has become one of the most prestigious and high paying jobs in different countries. There is so much to say about chefs beyond how much they earn.

Are you in South Africa and you want to be a chef? We will show you in this post how much you are likely to earn monthly. Along with this, we will show you different types of chefs and what it entails to become a chef.

Chef salary in South Africa

Chef salary in South Africa

Who is a chef?

It is not strange to see people confuse chefs for cooks, if you have been making the mistake, there is a difference. A chef is a person that undergoes specialized training for the mastery of different culinary forms. Along with this, the chef gets to provide creative innovation concerning the menu, food preparation, and how food is presented.

This is different from a cook who also receives training but this time in mastering food preparation. The major difference between a chef and a cook is that the cook mostly receives directions from a chef.

Types of chef

People are more conscious of their food these days than any other period in history. As a result, professionals are in very high demand in the food and hospitality sector. If you desire to become a chef then you need to know the different kinds of chefs that exist. This will give you the luxury of mobility in this sector.

Let’s chef out some of the common types of chefs in the world today, most of which you will find in South Africa.

Executive chef – An executive chef is also known as the Chef de Cuisine. This position is the ultimate desire of every chef. They are usually the managers of kitchens and as a result, it is their responsibility to oversee personnel, the payroll, the creation of menus, etc. They pretty much run the kitchen.

Sous chef – This is also known as the assistant chef. Many people see them as the right-hand of the Executive chef. They help in the management of kitchen staff and also creating dishes to be added to the kitchen menu.

Senior Chef – Before now, this position was referred to as the Chef de Partie. The responsibility of this chef revolves around a particular menu which they will specialize in. In this area, the senior chef oversees kitchen staff assigned to them and sees to the excellent delivery of the meal.

Demi chef – These individuals perform a similar role to the senior chef. They also specialize in a specific meal and then direct staff assigned to them to prepare such meals. A major example of this is sushi chefs.

Pastry chefs – These chefs focus more on the preparation of loaves of bread, chocolates, and pastries. Their dishes are usually the main components of dessert menus and they work in conjunction with bakers and other pastry specialists. You can apply to pastry chef colleges to acquire training in this line of work.

Where can a chef work?

You are probably asking yourself this question so let’s help you out. The truth is that there is a huge demand for chefs these days and the opportunities available are not necessarily found in traditional kitchens. You must have seen several television shows that have pushed certain chefs to celebrity status.

Who would have thought this was possible some two decades ago? People now want more than average food today which has created room for an almost insatiable demand. So where can a person who graduates from a culinary institution find work? Here are a few suggestions below:

  1. Spas and resorts
  2. Bed and breakfasts
  3. Restaurants
  4. Exposition and convention centers
  5. Railroads
  6. Hotels and short stay apartments
  7. Campgrounds
  8. Extended stay and retirement homes
  9. Cruise lines
  10. Country clubs
  11. Amusement parks
  12. Country clubs
  13. Many other locations

The truth is that your brand is always a better investment and will open doors for more income. You can become a chef entrepreneur and work as any of the following:

  1. Personal or private chef – These chefs work in kitchens owned by very rich and famous individuals. In doing this, they usually make a name for themselves and maybe employed at such locations for the rest of their lives.
  2. Celebrity chefs – This allows you to share your culinary prowess on television and the internet. Many chefs have their shows today where they teach others to cook different recipes. You can make a lot of money from this especially if you have a YouTube channel and make use of social media.
  3. Restaurateurs – This involves starting your restaurant which gives you the luxury of freedom to create your dishes and recipes. As a restaurateur, you have the opportunity to display how creative you can be in the kitchen space.

Requirements to be a successful chef

The truth about chefs is that they are different from other professionals. There are certain skills and talents that a chef is expected to have if they are going to be successful in the industry. Check out some of them below:

  1. Cooking – Of course, this is the first criteria. You must be able to cook at an excellent level every time. We aren’t saying you will always have the answers, but you should be able to come up with something presentable.
  2. Vision – Know what you want to achieve with each dish and set up a clear path to achieve this.
  3. Be able to work with numbers – A lot about cooking has to do with numbers, from time to ingredients. You must show tact with numbers.
  4. Emotional intelligence and being able to work under pressure.

Chef salary in South Africa

Averagely, an executive chef in South Africa earns about 29,600 ZAR every month. The salary range for chefs lies between 14,500 ZAR and 46,200 ZAR. It may be more depending on several factors such as location, experience, and skill level.


There you have it, all the information about chefs and their salary in South Africa. Do you have any of the qualities above? You may want to consider being a chef, it is quite an interesting occupation.