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Assistant Cook Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Assistant Cook, or Assistant Chef ensures the kitchen is orderly and assists Cooks to prepare and arrange food. Their duties include cleaning the kitchen area, washing dishes and utensils and ensuring that the Cook has everything required to run the kitchen efficiently.

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What does an Assistant Cook do?

The Assistant Cook’s duties include washing and cleaning the kitchen and food preparation area. They also help with preparing ingredients for foods, beverages and cocktails; testing new dishes and planning menus. Other responsibilities include removing rubbish, washing bins and disinfecting the entire kitchen to meet health and safety standards. The Assistant Cook will also maintain the kitchen inventory, buy and store ingredients and clear the refrigerators.

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Assistant Cook duties and responsibilities

The primary duty of an Assistant Cook is to assist the Cook in the day-to-day operations of the kitchen. Their main duties include:

  • Assisting the Cook in food preparation activities, such as cleaning, cutting, chopping and peeling food ingredients
  • Cleaning and sanitising the food preparation areas based on company and industry hygiene codes and health and safety standards
  • Washing, disinfecting and properly storing cooking and kitchen utensils and equipment
  • Buying, weighing and storing ingredients and food supplies
  • Operating a variety of kitchen appliances and instruments including cutters, knives, mixers and ovens
  • Managing inventory, unloading supplies and organising the storeroom

Assistant Cook skills and qualifications

A successful Assistant Cook candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform duties effectively. These qualifications include:

  • Experience in kitchen operations
  • In-depth understanding of food health and safety regulations
  • Exceptional time management and organisational skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Exceptional physical stamina and strength
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail

Assistant Cook experience requirements

Assistant Cooks have no specific work experience requirements. However, employers prefer candidates who have worked with a cook or have experience in a kitchen-related role. Applicants who have worked in restaurants, commercial kitchens, catering agencies and hotels are ideal for this role. Candidates can also receive valuable experience through volunteering. The ideal candidate should have a good understanding of the protocols and procedures of the food service industry, including health and safety standards. Candidates can receive experience through formal trainings and internships.

Assistant Cook education and training requirements

A Cook Assistant is an entry role with minimal educational requirements. Candidates can be employed with a higher education college course, such as Level 1 Award in Introduction to Employment in the Hospitality Industry, Level 1 Certificate in General Cookery and Level 2 Award in Food Safety. A Hospitality Team Member intermediate apprenticeship is also acceptable to some employers. Some companies will employ candidates with experience and then provide training to familiarise them with company procedures and policies.

Assistant Cook salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for Assistant Cook in the UK is £9.13 per hour. Actual pay may depend on the employer, location, experience, skills and qualifications, exact job duties and responsibilities.

Job description samples for related positions

Here are job description samples for related positions if you are not looking to recruit Assistant Cooks:

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Assistant Cook job description FAQs

Which qualities make for a good Assistant Cook?

Successful Assistant Cooks must be exceptionally detail-oriented because the kitchen environment is fast-paced and involves high-volume activities. This requires being adept at multitasking with the ability to work under pressure and having attention to detail. They should also be flexible because their role can change at any time. During slow times, Assistant Cooks may only need to work in the kitchen. At peak periods, they may also have to assist Servers in the dining area, work with vendors and suppliers and pay utility bills. The best Assistant Cooks have excellent interpersonal skills. This is important because they have to work seamlessly with Cooks, the Chef, Servers, suppliers, management and industry regulators.

How can you make your Assistant Cook job description stand out?

To make your Assistant Cook job description stand out, it’s important to include all the details candidates will need to determine if they are a good fit for the role. Highlight the duties of the role, including food preparation, sanitation and enforcement of health and safety rules in the kitchen area. It’s important to include details of the work, such as the number of hours per week, shifts, holidays and whether Assistant Cooks will work on weekends and public holidays. If you offer on-the-job training and certifications, employment benefits and other career advancement packages, mention them. Also, talk about your work culture and how candidates can help you better serve customers.

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