Cooks are restaurant workers who typically work under a head chef. They are responsible for preparing dishes, often from beginning to end. They must work with speed and precision as they often must push out food to customers as quickly and efficiently as possible while maintaining high standards of quality. Cooks are responsible for much of the cooking and assembly of a restaurant’s dishes. They also prepare, clean, and restock their stations whenever necessary. Cooks may sometimes supervise subordinates, and they may delegate certain tasks such as clearing or stocking a station.
Cooks are often trained at a culinary school, receiving degrees in food preparation and related fields. Formal culinary training isn’t always required for restaurants; many cooks learn on the job under sous chefs or head chefs. Typically, fine dining establishments have formal educational requirements.
Although being a cook can remain a career in and of itself, there is room for advancement. Cooks often may be promoted to sous chef or even executive chef if they work hard and develop other qualifications such as creating a menu.
Cook, Restaurant Tasks
- Clean and sanitize work stations and equipment.
- Taste products and keep records in order to accurately plan food production.
- Stock, date, rotate and check temperature of product.
- Follow recipes and product directions for preparing food.
- Operate a variety of kitchen equipment.