Three years of experience as a subchef. Pass the chef de cuisine exam. Three more years of experience as a chef. Tests for certified executive chef (CEC).
Also known as a head chef or master chef, an executive chef is the head chef in general. This position is the pinnacle of any chef's career. An executive chef doesn't spend all of his time cooking, but instead manages all the kitchen operations. There is usually only one executive chef in each restaurant.
Currently you cannot work as a professional chef nor have you ever worked as a professional chef. After gaining experience as a chef, they can apply for positions such as teachers or executive chefs in a kitchen. This growing popularity of dining out is expected to increase demand for teachers and executive chefs over the next decade. Master and executive chefs are responsible for creating the establishment's menus and the recipes used to prepare the foods served at the establishment.
Master and executive chefs may need to be available for any shift, depending on the establishment where they work, and they generally work 12-hour shifts to oversee all kitchen operations throughout the day. Master or executive chefs are often hired by restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, schools and companies that offer dining options to employees. Master or executive chefs are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the kitchen and everything that comes out of it, so the position is fast-paced and has a high level of responsibility. Working as a teacher or executive chef is often the last step in the career of an aspiring cook or chef, so the process of becoming one can take many years, even decades.