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Chef Salaries Fall For First Time in Four Years

By Alan Gray

StarChefs.com Publishes Fourth Annual Salary Survey

StarChefs.com, the culinary insider magazine has announced results for the fourth annual Salary Survey, which more than 1,000 people responded to.

Nationally, average salaries in the culinary industry dropped significantly last year.

Prior to 2008, wages had seen steady increases over the past four years, with executive chef salaries hovering around $77,611. 2008 saw a drop of almost $3,000, dragging salaries down to an average of $74,869.

In 2007, average pay for Pastry chefs was around $53,017, but the survey shows a 13% nosedive in 2009. While this is a significant drop, the survey shows individual salaries of most chef/owners, executive chefs, and chefs de cuisine surveyed remain well above US median household income, which sit at $50,740.

The survey also shows that Chefs working in in hotel restaurants reported the highest salaries - more than in other restaurants.

The industry is still dominated by men and the disparity in wages remains. Of those responding to the survey, 78% were men and male wages are slightly less than 20% higher than wages for women.

As expected, wages also vary by city. Executive chefs in New York State average $81,600, but they were edged out of top stop by Miami, where the average was $90,333.

cullinary education experience chart
cullinary education experience chart

We found that the industry continues to be dominated by men who, on average, are still making more than their female counterparts. Of those who responded to our survey, 78% were men. And according to our survey results, male executive chefs make 18% more than female executive chefs. Salary survey respondents report that executive chefs get the highest salary in New York State with an average of $81,600, but Miami is the highest paying city with a reported average of $90,333.

Executive chefs were also the highest paid of all chefs, as expected.

The StarChefs.com 2008 Salary Survey also revealed extensive information about the food industry as a whole. Data collected also includes other demographic information, such as age, education, gender, ethnicity, geographic location and many other slices of information in this industry.

StarChefs.com says that culinary professionals from all over the US responded to the their Salary Survey, and they shared a lot of valuable information, other than where they work and how much they make.

The complete 2008 StarChefs.com Salary Survey Results are available in a PDF at the website.

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