101 Chef Interview Questions and Answers

Chef Interview Questions and Answers for freshers, hotel management students and experienced Chefs. Below Kitchen questions and answers covers common, important, general questions, basic, situational, behavioural and experience-based interview questions for Executive Chef, Sous Chef Interview questions, Line Cook, Chef de Partie, Commis I, Commis II, Commis III Chef, Demi Chef, Banquet Chef, Pastry chef, Roast chef and trainees/interns etc.

  1. Why are you interested in this opportunity?
    Don’t make any overt or veiled comparisons to your current or past employers. Instead, do your research on the company and come ready to cite specific details about the organization that is of interest to you, as well as why you can bring value to the company in the role for which you’re interviewing. Showing that you understand the job.
  2. Why did you choose your career as a Chef?
    Example Answer: What attracted me towards being a chef was being able to work with food and creativity, as well an environment with intense workflow. I love everything…if it is about Hospitality.
  3. Why did you join the hotel industry?
    Hospitality offers a job that changes all the time. It is a fast-paced environment where you are doing varied tasks each day. You are on your feet and moving around a lot which helps you think, feel, and react better.
  4. What experience do you have in this field?
    Provide details of previous experience in F&B Production/Kitchen or Related Hotel experience.
  5. What are the main responsibilities of a modern Executive Chef?
    The Executive Chef sets the tone and tempo of the kitchen. This individual is the administrative head of the entire kitchen. The main responsibilities of the Executive Chef include planning, purchasing, supervision, training, preparation, hiring and also guest service & satisfaction.
  6. What are the four basic types of knives?
    French Knife, Paring Knife, Boning Knife, Carving Knife.
    Learn More about different types of Knifes 1.1k.
  7. What factors contribute to the development of a cuisine?
    Typically when a style of food preparation is labelled a cuisine, it represents either a particular country (Geographic region) or Philosophy (Religious or Cultural)
    Examples of Cuisines: Continental Cuisine, Indian Cuisine, Chinese Cuisine, New Nordic Cuisine 156 etc.
  8. What is the temperature danger zone?
    This is a temperature range between 45°F – 140°F (7.2°C – 60°C) in this the bacteria grows rapidly.
  9. Explain FIFO?
    FIFO – First in First Out; Food received first should be used first.
  10. Why the food handler should wear a neat and clean uniform?
    A clean uniform is not only a sign of good sanitation practices, it is also a sign of personal pride.
  11. What is HACCP?
  12. What are the classical Cuts for vegetable?
    Julienne Cut, Batonette Cut (French Fry Cut), Small Dice (Squar Baton), Medium Dice Cut, Large Dice Cut, Slice, Chop, Mince, Emincer, Shred etc.
    Learn More about different types of Vegetable Cuts 490.
  13. What are the three basic rules of personal hygiene for the food handler/chef?
    General Personal Hygiene, 2) Clean Hands and 3) Sanitary food handling.
  14. List three rules for safe knife handling?
    Keep your mind on what you are doing.
    A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.
    Use the right knife for the job.
    Read more about the safe knife handling tips 238
  15. What is the use of a boning knife?
    Boning knife is designed to bone out meat, poultry, and fish. It is available with varying degree of blade flexibility to allow for the most delicate fishbone and the harder more resilient bones of large cattle.
  16. What is the use of a Paring knife?
    Paring knife is small and easy to handle for peeling and coring fruits and vegetables.
    Read more about the types of knives used in hotel kitchen 1.1k
  17. What information should a recipe contain?
    Name of the Dish.
    Yield (Number of portions)
    Ingredients and amount of each.
    Method of preparation.
  18. How do you get your inspiration?
    Reading cookbooks, keeping up with the latest trends and dining out on local flavours.
  19. What do you know about the flattop, grill, and saute stations?
    I know that each kitchen tool can be used in a diverse way to create very tasteful cuisine. Flattop, can be used to simmer sauces and stocks in a controlled temp. The grill can be used to reheat Asian type foods, and saute station can double as an egg and omelette station, hot cereal station as well.
  20. Have you resolved a conflict with a kitchen helper?
    I am a peacemaker so I always know how to handle conflict, One need to listen to the problem and begin with a calm voice and a positive response and usually that will stop the problem.
  21. What is your favourite food to eat?
    Italian, love pasta, because of the variety, there’s a hundred different ingredients you can use in pasta and it still tastes delicious.
  22. How many types of tea?
    Tea can be divided into six basic categories: black, dark (including puer), oolong, yellow, green, and white.
  23. What is a Menu?
    A menu is a list of food and beverages offered to customers and the prices
  24. What is a Cover?
    Cover – Refers to the number of seating available at the restaurant.
  25. What is a PAX?
    PAX – Refers to the number of guests.
  26. Why do you cool foods
    The main reason to cool foods is to inhibit spoilage.
  27. What are the different methods of cooking
    Baking, Frying, Roasting, Grilling, Broiling, Saute etc.
  28. What is the serving temperature of an ICE CREAM?
    The ideal serving temperature for most packaged, scoop-able ice cream is 5–10 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 to -12 °C)
  29. Name a few types of Pasta and pasta sauces?
    Penne Pasta with Bolognese, Farfalle with pesto, Fusilli with Olive Oil Sauce.
  30. What is an emulsion?
    An emulsion is the even dispersal of one liquid throughout another liquid.
  31. Why do emulsions breakdown
    Liquid is added too quickly, temperature variances etc. can cause the emulsion to breakdown.
  32. How is an emulsion stabilised?
    The use of emulsifiers, finely divided solids, polysaccharides, proteins or even thick liquids can help stabilise an emulsion.
  33. Name some herbs and spices used in the kitchen.
    Anise / Star Anise, Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cayenne, Celery Seed, Chervil etc.
    Read more about the types of Herbs and Spices used in hotel kitchen 236
  34. Different types of BAR?
  35. Public Bar – Often known simply as bars or lounges
  36. Service Bars – at which bartender prepare drinks only for servers who then take the drinks to the guest.
  37. How many courses are there in French classical menu?
    17 courses are in the French Classical Menu 898.
  38. What is called a flavouring mix?
    Bouquet Garni – Characteristics – A personal selection of herbs, vegetables and occasionally spices, often tied with a string.
    Used in – Stock, Soups, Sauces etc.
  39. What is primary a seasoning
    Salt, in its various forms is the primary seasoning agent.
  40. What are the four types of primary seasoning?
    Rock Salt, Sea Salt, Flavoured Salts, Soy.
  41. Name a few sauces used for pasta?
    Browned butter sauce, Tomato Sauce, Garlic and Oil Sauce, Cream Sauce, Meat Sauce.
  42. What are the characteristics of Basil?
    Aromatic green leaf, member of the mint family. Can be grown fresh in warm weather.
  43. How many types of bread?
    Baguette, Bagel, Brioche, Chapatti, Ciabatta, Foccacia, Naan, Tiger bread, Tortilla
  44. What is a Buffet?
    A buffet is a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners serve themselves. A form of service à la française, buffets are offered at various places including hotels, restaurants, and many social events.
  45. Name a few kinds of Breakfast cereal?
    Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms
  46. Name a few items from French classical menu?
    Hors-d oeuvre (Appetizer), Potage (Soup), Oeuf (Egg), Farineaux (Pasta or Rice) Read more about French Classical Menu 898
  47. What are the characteristics of Cinnamon?
    Aromatic bark from cinnamon or cassia tree with a reddish brown colour. A native of India.
  48. What is Menu compiling/ Menu Development?
    Menu Development focuses primarily on the dish selection and design of a menu. When developing custom menus for clients, we look at the brand’s story, guest demographics, local ingredients, and specialities.
  49. What is the consideration of menu compiling?
    Hotel’s or Restaurant brand’s story, guest demographics, local ingredients, and specialities etc.
  50. What do you like most about being a Sous Chef?
    The ability to see different management styles from different chefs and the ability to learn different cuisine styles from different chefs. All of these things help me to grow and become better rounded.
  51. How to calculate costing in food and beverage at the restaurant?
    Food Cost Per Dish = Food Cost of Ingredients x Weekly Amount Sold.
    Total Sales Per Dish = Sales Price x Weekly Amount Sold.
  52. What is suggestive selling?
    Suggestive Selling – A Technique by which servers can increase guest satisfaction and sales by encouraging guests to order such extras as appetisers, cocktails, wine, dessert etc.
  53. What are the characteristics of Curry / Curry Powder?
    Mixture of approx. 20 or more spices, peppery, yellow in colour, include turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, clove, cinnamon etc. Spiciness can very from mild to very hot.
  54. What are called premium brands?
    A costly call brand of liquor specified by guests when they order cocktails.
  55. What is called a Marinade?
    The final flavouring agent is the marinade, a seasoned liquid in which a product is soaked for the purpose of either flavoring or tenderizing or both.
  56. Name few raw marinade?
    Olive oil, honey, salt, black pepper etc.
  57. What do you call a set meal menu?
    A set menu is a menu with a specific set of meals to choose from. The price charged for each meal is the same.

Example of set meal or fixed menu is here: Sample South Indian Fixed Breakfast Menu 49

  1. What is a la carte menu?
    A Menu that offers and prices each food item on an individual basis. Guests may select from a variety of different salads, entrees, vegetable, desserts, and beverages. All items are individually priced.
  2. What is Cyclical Menu?
    A menu that changes daily for a certain number of days then repeats the sequence.
  3. What is a Vegan Menu?
    A strict vegetarian menu which doesn’t contain any animal products whatsoever.
  4. What are the characteristics of Honey?
    Honey seasons slightly with sweetness and provides and agent that will enable herbs and seasoning to stick to the fish better.
  5. What is MSG?
    MSG – Monosodium glutamate which is a secondary source of seasoning.
  6. What is difference between spice and herb?
    The terms herb and spice are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact two distinct types of seasonings, made from different sections of plants and processed in different ways.
  7. What is a Hot plate?
    A hot plate is a portable self-contained tabletop small appliance cooktop that features one, two or more electric heating elements or gas burners. A hot plate can be used as a stand-alone appliance but is often used as a substitute for one of the burners from an oven range or a kitchen stove.
  8. What is use of wine in cooking?
    Wines have unlimited uses in the kitchen. They contribute not only flavour to dishes, but also acidic value, sugar and salt.
  9. Why are fresh herbs considered better?
    Fresh herbs are always preferred over dried herbs because the flavour tends to be more complex and complete.
  10. How are Herbs Categorised?
    Herbs are categorised as either fresh, dried, pickled and frozen.
  11. Why is proper presentation of food important?
    Poor presentation of well prepared food will lower its value.
  12. What all skills are required for food presentation?
    Presenting food properly requires a high level of skill, knowledge and imagination.
  13. What are the basic factors of food presentation?
    Temperature, Flavour, Colour, Shapes, Texture and Garnish.
  14. What is COSHH?
    COSHH – Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
  15. What is a KOT?
    KOT stands for Kitchen Order Ticket.
  16. What is Cheque?
    The final bill which is presented to the guest which contain the details or items ordered, quantity and total bill value along with any applicable taxes and service charge.
  17. Explain your typical day as a chef?
    Emphasise the nuances of the job to convey an impression of intimate knowledge. For example, ordering food so that there is always enough fresh supply, while choosing it so that the dishes are varied and interesting. It requires knowledge of the qualities of ingredients, as well as familiarity with the market and suppliers. The chef’s routine includes the ability to coordinate these administrative tasks with the art of cooking.
  18. What the difference between a flash point and a smoke point?
    Smoke Point – The smoke point, also referred to as the burning point, is the temperature at which an oil or fat begins to produce a continuous bluish smoke that becomes clearly visible, dependent upon specific and defined conditions.
    Flash Point – Considerably above the temperature of the smoke point is the flash point, the point at which the vapours from the oil can ignite in air, given an ignition source.
  19. Why do you want to work here?
    This can be anything from “A good work environment” to “a desire to grow in my career” or even “an opportunity to make a difference in this excellent restaurant”. You can lay it on a bit thick with this question.
  20. What does POS stand for?
    POS – Point of Sale System or Point of Sale Machine
  21. What is Physical inventory?
    A physical inventory requires that all items in storage be counted periodically. To be an effective control, physical inventory should be taken at least monthly. The inventory records are kept in a spreadsheet or in another system reserved for that purpose.
  22. What is a Perpetual Inventory?
    A perpetual inventory is simply a running balance of what is on hand. Perpetual inventory is best done by keeping records for each product that is in storage.
  23. What are the three parts of EGG?
    EGG is made of Yolk, white and shell.
  24. Define the term Fruit?
    Fruits are defined as the edible re-productive body of a seed plant, especially one which has a sweet pulp associated with the seed.
  25. What are the common potato cuts?
    Fine Dice, Dice or Cube, Julienne, Batonette, Slice, Wedge, French Fry, Paysanne – Quarter Segment.
  26. What is the cooking time for Large Macroni?
    13 to 15 Minutes
  27. What are the different types of breakfast egg preparation?
    Soft Boiled Egg, Hard Boiled Egg, Scrambled Egg, Fried Egg, Omelettes, Poached Eggs etc. Read more about different types of breakfast egg preparation 105 here.
  28. What are the types of Eggs used in Kitchen?
    Read this article for types of eggs used in cooking 359.
  29. Explain the term Aiguillette?
    Aiguillette: Long thin strip cut in a slice from a breast of poultry, especially duck.
  30. Define the term Attereaux?
    Attereaux: Small items of meat, fish, vegetables on a skewer, dipped into a sauce, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried; served as a hot hors-d’oeuvre.
  31. What is a Bisque?
    Bisque: Cream soup made of shellfish such as crab, lobster or prawns.
  32. Define the term Blanquette?
    Blanquette: A white stew of chicken, lamb, rabbit or veal, garnished with mushrooms, onions and croutons.
  33. What is a Signature Entree?
    A menu items that the guests perceive as special and closely associated with the restaurant promoting it. Signature menu item helps build repeat business and guest loyalty.
  34. Who is a Lacto Vegetarian?
    An Individual who does not eat meat but eats dairy products (But no Fish or Egg) in addition to vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.
  35. What is called a Bouillon?
    Bouillon: Clear but not clarified stock, usually served as a soup but can also be made into a sauce.
  36. Who is Chef du rang?
    The staff member who is responsible for taking orders, serving drinks, preparing food at the table, and collecting the guest payments in a ‘Cart Service’.
  37. Who is Commis du rang?
    The staff member assist Chef du rang in the ‘Cart Service’.
  38. Who is a Calamaio or Calamari?
    Calamaio, or Calamari: The squid or inkfish…
  39. What is a Consomme?
    Consommé: Very clear soup made by clarifying a stock and adding a garnish.
  40. What is a Crouton?
    (a) Small diced fried pieces of bread for a thick soup
    (b) Heart-shape slice of bread as garnish in a stew
    (c ) Thick square or oblong of bread for roast game birds**
  41. Define the term Fleuron?
    Fleuron: Crescent-shape piece of baked puff pastry to garnish, e.g., a fish dish.
  42. Kebab?
    Kebab: Small pieces of fish or meat, with onion, tomato, bay leaf, etc., threaded on a skewer and grilled; another name for brochette.
  43. What is Langoustine?
    Langoustine: The Dublin Bay prawn, an orange-pink crustacean that stays the same colour when cooked.
  44. What are the types of Mustard?
    Mustard: The three main kinds are English – strong, French -milder, and German – spiced with herbs; also coarse or fine, made with red wine, cider or vinegar, thus there are dozens from which to choose.
  45. What is Ratatouille?
    Ratatouille: Sliced onion, egg-plant, baby marrow, tomatoes” pimentoes, etc., stewed together as a vegetable dish.
  46. What is Supreme?
    Supreme: A quality piece of fish or meat, e.g. supreme devolaille is a breast of chicken.