On the latest episode of Avec Eric, chef Eric Ripert takes us in a tour of his restaurant Le Bernardin with sous chef Eric Fricker. The two chefs talk stations: at Le Bernardin, people must master each station individually, working their way up through all the stations, potentially ending up as a sous chef. Everyone starts at the bottom — at the fish pass station — cleaning fish and learning about freshness and quality.
In the video they explain what each station does, but here's the order of the progression: fish pass to garde manger to canapes to vegetable station to hot appetizers to the monk station to the saute station, eventually landing at the sauce station. This process can, of course, take years. After all that, then you might get to be sous chef. Said Fricker, "The sous chef is an extension of the sauce job as well. As a saucier you're looking to coax stuff out of ingredients. As a sous chef, you're looking to coax stuff out of your staff."
But wait! There's even a sous chef progression. "You start as a junior sous chef and then you evolve and get close to the chef, and one day almost like a bird who's ready to fly, you go on your own and become the chef," said Ripert, joking. "Or you can stay with us forever."
Video: Tour of Le Benardin's Kitchen Stations