The job description of a line cook calls for preparing a large portion of the food that comes out of the kitchen of a restaurant or other eating establishment. A line cook works directly under a head chef or sous chef who provide training and instructions.
A line cook is usually assigned the task of preparing the food in a specific area or along the line in a restaurant kitchen such as the vegetable prep area or the grill.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Line Cook
•Helps set up the whole kitchen prior to a restaurant’s opening.
•Sets up a station by bringing all containers of necessary food items to that point in the line.
•Cooks a specific portion of each plated meal as assigned by either the head or sous chef.
•Assists with cutting, marinating and precooking foods.
•Keeps pace with other cooks on the line so that all food is ready for each plate at the same time.
•Steps in to help another line cook who is running behind.
•Assembles dishes and provides garnishment.
•Plates food in an attractive manner to maximize customer enjoyment.
•Pitches in, along with the rest of the staff, to maintain sanitary conditions and organization in the kitchen.
•Wraps unused items and stores in proper areas at the end of a shift, and shuts off all equipment at the station.
•Cleans and sanitizes the area with soap and warm water.
•Participates in cleaning the rest of the kitchen before the restaurant closes for the night.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•Has knowledge of standard cooking, baking and grilling techniques.
•Possesses excellent communication skills.
•Works cooperatively and efficiently in a team environment.
•Has the ability to perform calmly under pressure.
•Uses critical thinking and reasoning skills to solve problems quickly.
•Manages time effectively.
•Understands and follows written and verbal directions explicitly and asks questions for clarity when necessary.
•Learns new recipes and new procedures rapidly.
•Possesses strong mathematical skills.
•Stays up-to-date on changes in state and county sanitation requirements.
•Manages material resources well and places new orders soon enough to prevent running out of supplies.
•Monitors personal performance and makes improvements where needed.
Education and Experience
•High School Diploma.
•Certificate in culinary arts or a related area from a vocational or technical school.
•Associates degree from a community college in a food or cooking related field.
•Degree from a culinary arts institute including coursework in sanitation, cooking and baking skills and culinary arts professionalism.
•Industry certification from the American Culinary Federation.
•Stands on feet for long periods of time while cutting, stirring, grilling, frying and otherwise preparing food.
•Performs heavy lifting by carrying large sacks of flour, sugar, frozen meats, vegetables and other ingredients.
•Works odd hours like late evenings, early mornings, weekends and holidays.
•Endures hot temperatures, loud noises and some stress in the fast-paced commercial kitchen environment.
•Sustains occasionally minor cuts, burns and bruises on the job.
•Yearly salaries range from$18,000 to $22,000.
•Average hourly salaries range from $12 an hour to $16 an hour.