Job Description of a Chef Tournant

Sep 21, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chef tournant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and career information to find out if this is the career for you.

A chef tournant works beneath a head chef, helping with various culinary duties in the kitchen. As the exact duties of the chef tourant vary based on need, an individual in this position must have a variety of culinary skills but also the ability to quickly shift focus.

Essential Information

A chef tournant is a floating or relief chef who helps out wherever needed in a restaurant or other professional kitchen. This chef is supervised by the head chef and can be assigned to perform any cooking task or serve as an intermediary between chefs. Most chefs in this position have formal culinary training as well as a few years of relevant experience. Because the job duties vary, a chef tournant needs knowledge in many areas of the culinary arts.

Required Education On-the-job training or associate's or bachelor's degree in culinary arts
Other Requirements Relevant work experience
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 11% for all chefs and head cooks
Median Salary (2018)* $48,460 for all chefs and head cooks

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chef Tournant Overview

Generally found in high-end restaurants or busy kitchens that serve a large number of diners, the chef tournant acts as a jack-of-all-trades. He or she might be required to cook, in addition to serving as a link between the head chef or sous chef and various other cooks and kitchen workers.

The head chef typically determines where the chef tournant will work. These assignments may be for the short- or long-term, and they often change with little notice.


Job duties of a chef tournant vary depending on the dining establishment. This individual might perform management tasks, such as training cooks, setting the production flow and managing inventory. In some operations, the chef tournant works with the other lead chefs to manage the dining operation's budget. He or she also might ensure that kitchen workers meet safety and sanitation standards.


Most chefs have formal training from a two- or four-year culinary arts program. Another way to gain experience is through on-the-job training. Chefs can gain experience by working in various positions within various food service environments, including restaurants, cruise ships, and hotel operations. Because the work of a chef tournant covers all areas of a kitchen, he or she needs to possess advanced skills in all culinary areas. Individuals might want to consider certification through the American Culinary Federation, which certifies various levels of chefs.

Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, employment of chefs is expected to grow much faster than average between 2018 and 2028. In May 2018, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $81,150 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $26,320 or less per year. Chefs working at upscale resorts and hotels often earn significantly higher salaries.

The job description of a chef tournant can vary widely depending on the kitchen, and even by the day or week. Their role is dependent on the needs of a head chef. Often, a wide range of culinary skills are needed, and sometimes management skills may be necessary. Education can be completed at a culinary arts school, and work experience in a restaurant or food service environment may also helpful.

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