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Professional Cook Job Description

Kundan Pandey
Cooking is a favorite pastime for many individuals, and for some, it is a profession. Read on to know the job description of a professional cook.
Cooks are inevitably the nerves of hotels and restaurant, because the quality of the food can make a huge difference in the success of the food chain.
Cooking has evolved as an art, a therapeutic choice and with the designation of a chef being one of the most sought-after careers in the culinary field, it is not surprising that many career opportunities in cooking have popped in the restaurant businesses. Pick up any newspaper or surf online, skilled chefs are in high demand in the food service industry.
Various hotels recruit candidates on the basis of cooking tests and interviews. You should know that cooking for a crowd is not a simple task, especially when you are working in a commercial restaurant kitchen unlike the privacy and comfort of your home.

Job Description

Cooks who work in commercial kitchens are graduates of culinary art schools, and they have good educational qualifications. Their job duties include:

Ensure Safety and Sanitation

  • A cook must be responsible, as he/she has to maintain health standards and ensure safety conditions in the kitchen are perfect.
  • Properly wash utensils and vegetables to avoid food-borne diseases.
  • Adopt proper cooking methods so that nutrients are not lost due to over cooking.

Effective Food Management

  • In professional kitchens, time management plays an effective role in order to serve meal orders quickly.
  • Cooks have to ensure that resources utilized in the kitchen are not wasted and ingredients are used in effective manner.
  • Preserving foods and ingredients with safety and managing space for keeping every food item is also an important part of the job.

Expertise in Kitchen Management

  • Cooks organize staff schedule, manage various orders simultaneously, multitask, plan the menu, and ensure that cooking is  carried out effectively.
  • During peak service hours, handling customer orders can be hectic; however, cooks have to handle the pressure.
  • They are also responsible for promoting positive work environment and coordinate staff activities.

Deftness in Cooking

  • For cooks, the ability to cook various types of cuisines and foods is a 'must have', as this is what forms their identity.
  • They have to memorize recipes and experiment with various types of cooking styles.
  • Being well aware of various kitchen appliances and their usage comes through consistent practice.

Average Salary

  • The salary depends on work experience, type of employer, job designation, and work location. Combining all these factors, the average salary is determined.
  • Initially, cooks can earn between USD 16,000 and USD 30,200.
  • With increase in work experience, the salaries can go as high as USD 61,000.
  • The highest salaries and benefits are enjoyed by chefs and cooks in fancy restaurants located in posh areas.
  • The job of a cook varies slightly with the workplace. If he works in a fast food restaurant, he may have to perform other duties; while if he is working in a hotel, it may be restricted to being involved in every aspect of cooking.
Cooking is in itself a mix of art and science. While you must have an inner urge and uncanny knack to cook delicious dishes, you have to be aware of the technicalities of proper cooking styles.
If you have developed a keen interest in this field, then you should move ahead to take further educational qualifications from reputed culinary art schools. Teenagers can work part-time in restaurants and hotels and check if their aptitude matches with their interest.
Being a cook is a rewarding career choice, as this industry has grown drastically in the recent years and hold promises for further growth in the coming years.