How to craft compelling chef cover letter

Earning a role as a chef requires you to have the experience and specialized skills to work with a variety of ingredients to produce high-quality dishes. To land a job in the restaurant of your dreams, you need to write a strong cover letter as a chef that highlights your best professional qualifications.

In this guide, we will teach you all about the 5 key elements needed when writing a cover letter as a chef. Keep reading to learn about:

  • Creating a well-formatted cover letter header & headline as a chef
  • Including tailored content & a personalized greeting in your chef cover letter
  • Writing a chef cover letter introduction that impresses employers
  • Showcasing your best culinary skills & accomplishments as a chef
  • Concluding your chef cover letter with a strong closing statement

1. Creating a well-formatted cover letter header & headline as a chef

The first key elements to focus on when writing your chef coverr letter are the header and headline.

Your cover letter header is located at the top of the document and includes all the necessary information about you and the employer, such as:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name of the restaurant you are applying to
  • The location of the restaurant

Here is an example of a well-formatted chef cover letter header

John Doe, Fine Dining Chef

(123) 456-7890 | |

To: Melanie’s Bistro
1234 Street Address
Salt Lake City, UT, 84044

With the header in place, you will then create your cover letter headline. This is a short title statement that should include:

  • A keyword related to the position
  • An eye-catching number or trigger word
  • A powerful adjective or verb
  • A promise to the employer that indicates the letter is specifically for them

Here is an example of an effective headline on a chef's cover letter

3 Reasons Why My Internationally Trained Palette Makes Me the Perfect Chef for Your Restaurant

Trigger Word/Number: 3 Reasons
Keyword: Palette, Chef
Adjective/Verb: Perfect
Promise: Your Restaurant

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2. Including tailored content & a personalized greeting in your chef cover letter

When you write a cover letter for any job, it is crucial to show the employer your level of commitment and interest. To do so, you must tailor the content of your letter and include a personalized greeting that addresses a specific person by name.

Tailoring your chef cover letter in this way requires you to thoroughly research the restaurant before applying. Key information to look for can include:

  • What qualities the restaurant looks for in staff
  • The different types of cooking styles and cuisine the restaurant offers
  • Which staff member is responsible for reviewing job applications

This last piece of information is what you will use to create your personalized greeting. Including this greeting will immediately indicate to the employer you have taken the time to tailor your letter.

Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings

  • Dear Head Chef Mason Rich,
  • Dear Mr. Mason Rich,
  • Dear Hiring Manager Alex Wilkes,

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3. Writing a chef cover letter introduction that impresses employers

In the introduction of your chef cover letter is where you will make the biggest first impression on employers. As such, your introduction needs to include compelling details, such as:

  • A concise overview of your professional experience & specializations
  • Why you believe you are a great fit for the restaurant
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible)

Pro Tip: Mutual acquaintances can include a variety of people from current or past staff members to major clients or notable customers. Naming a mutual acquaintance helps you to establish rapport with the employer by offering them a trusted professional reference right off the bat.

Here is an example of an excellent introduction from a chef’s cover letter

Dear Head Chef Mason Rich,

I am a pastry chef with more than 6 years of experience working in bakeries and cafes, specializing in gourmet breads and artisan chocolates. A renowned food critic and a regular patron of your establishment – Mr. Jack Smith – recently judged my baking ability in a competition. After awarding me for my work, Mr. Smith informed me of this open position at your restaurant and strongly recommended I apply.

4. Showcasing your best culinary skills & accomplishments as a chef

The most detailed and in-depth parts of your cover letter reside in the body paragraphs. Your cover letter should contain between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that offer key insights into your culinary qualifications, such as:

  • What type of specialized training and skills do you possess?
  • Have you worked with any notable chefs or culinary professionals?
  • What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?

When describing your key skills and accomplishments as a chef, make sure to include details that are as contextual and quantifiable as possible. Remember that you are trying to show the employer your value, so this information needs to help them envision you in their restaurant.

Here are 6 chef skills to consider describing in a cover letter

  • Knowledge of food safety standards
  • Specialized culinary skills (sushi, butchery, baking, etc.)
  • Training in international cuisines
  • Strong palette for taste testing
  • Exceptional time management
  • Collaboration and delegation

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a chef cover letter

In the role of sous chef at [Former Employer], I was responsible for providing essential support to the head chef during busy dinner shifts. As a result of my exceptional efficiency and time management in the kitchen, the restaurant was able to cut back on the support staff needed, reducing staffing expenses by 20%.

5. Concluding your chef cover letter with a strong closing statement

You’ve made it to the end of your cover letter! To finish strong, you need to write an effective closing statement that encourages the employer to contact you. This closing statement should include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • How and when you can be best contacted
  • When you intend to follow up
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of a strong closing statement from a chef's cover letter

It is my great pleasure to be considered for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting with you directly to further discuss my qualifications. I am available Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the best way to reach me during these hours is at (123) 456-7890. I plan to follow up with you next Tuesday if I have not heard back.

Warm Regards,

[Applicant Name]

If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.

Published on May 11, 2022

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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