There is a famous saying that everything tastes better when you didn't have to cook it yourself. While that may be true, when you head out to your favorite pub the food also gets a little help from the cook! Cooks are responsible for preparing food in all kinds of eating establishments such as restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, hospitals, and cruise ships. Fast food restaurants are currently the largest employers of cooks in North America.
Cooks are generally responsible for preparing individual or batch meals. They oversee the general operation of the kitchen by supervising kitchen staff and liaising with servers. They maintain inventory of food and ensure that there are sufficient ingredients to fill orders. They work in adherence to food safety guidelines, making sure that meals are prepared properly and on a sanitary surface. Some cooks will do everything from meal prep, to cooking, to setting up buffets. Other cooks choose to specialize in a certain ethnic cuisine or special dishes.
Cooks are responsible for so much more than just preparing a great meal. They must be able to multitask effectively in a fast paced environment. A cook also needs to be in good physical condition since they are on their feet for their entire shift and are often required to lift and transport items that weigh up to 50 pounds or more. A cook must also
- be committed to a high standard of cleanliness and sanitation;
- have good math skills for tracking inventory, ordering accurate amount of ingredients, and adjusting recipes; and
- have a great sense of taste and smell.