A prep cook works for a restaurant, caterer, or a similar food-service establishment. A prep cook works under a chef in an entry-level job that is often occupied by an individual who is also currently in culinary school. A prep cook's main tasks include performing preparatory work for the head chef. This includes such tasks as chopping vegetables, peeling potatoes, washing food items, and slicing and dicing food items needed by the head chef. In this way, the prep cook helps ensure the head chef can have prepared food items ready and at hand without needing to stop to prepare anything. A prep cook may also have the duty of preparing salads and breads, as well as salad dressings and sauces. Other responsibilities may include taking items from the freezer or refrigerator, as well as storing foods that need to be covered and properly put away. Prep cooks in general do not do dishwashing or substantial kitchen cleaning.
A prep cook usually works with the goal of becoming a junior chef. They must possess good listening skills and work well under pressure. A prep cook needs to be able to work at a fast pace and follow instruction, as well as take constructive criticism well.
Prep Cook Tasks
- Maintain a hygienic environment and personal appearance.
- Set up and break down equipment, materials, and ingredients.
- Follow standard procedures to prepare ingredients and food products.
- Interact with customers and team courteously.