Average Wage for this Career

$67,000 *This figure represents the median wage for this career in San Diego County and not the wages of any specific interviewee

Occupational Outlook


About Chef de Cuisine

Meet award-winning Chef, or Chef de Cuisine, Samantha Parker, who tells us all about her job at family-owned small business The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza and Wine Bar in Oceanside. A chef de cuisine, which is French for ‘head of kitchen’ or ‘head chef’ is a chef who leads and manages the kitchen and chefs of a restaurant or hotel. Samantha started out receiving on-the-job-training (which many experts say is the best way to learn!) at an ice cream shop and a pizza restaurant before she studied the culinary arts. A chef directs and participates in the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts, or other foods. Chefs also plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. This seasoned chef says that besides having the obvious skills in a kitchen, she uses mathematics and builds spreadsheets to keep track of her inventory. Samantha says she does what she does because, “I love the way food brings everybody to together.” She gets to create her own seasonal menus with fresh, local ingredients grown at neighborhood school gardens, fusing her heritage into many of the dishes. Her pizzas are charred in the largest coal fire oven in North County in a restaurant that revolutionized the ‘South O’ culinary scene. Samantha’s story is sponsored by the City of Oceanside. Learn more about being a chef and working in a restaurant at the U.S. Department of Labor Career One Stop.

Education Resources

Associates of Arts in Restaurant Management 
MiraCosta College

Culinary Arts Program 
Vista Adult School

Hotel/Restaurant Management Programs 
San Diego State University

Programs in Culinary Arts and Cooking 
California Culinary Arts Academy