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StarChefs.com has announced the results of its nationwide 2009 Salary Survey: While the 2008 Survey posted significant losses, 2009 showed that some chefs are regaining their fiscal footing. Executive chef salaries rebounded by 6.1 percent from last year's figures. Meanwhile, the lower ranks continued to drop. Sous chef salaries, the only category that did not fall from 2007 to 2008, finally felt the sting of the economic slowdown, dropping 4.4 percent. Line cook salaries continued to dip, falling an additional 2.6 percent.
The survey also revealed the changing demographics of professional kitchens. Although still the minority, women are taking strong leadership roles in the industry. According to our survey respondents, there are as many female executive chefs (13 percent) as there are women chef-owners. As far as location, sous chef salaries in California are well bellow the average of other major cities. New York beat out Miami as the highest-paying employer of executive chefs and exceeded Boston's average executive chef salary by $14,000. However, the survey showed that pastry chefs earn significantly more dough on average in Florida.
The 2009 Salary Survey's conclusions are based on responses from nearly 1400 chefs and other restaurant professionals across the country, and were culled from fine dining, upscale casual, casual, institutional and quick service restaurants. Results can be found at the survey.