A Day in the Life of a Prep-Cook
Prep Cook (Former Employee) – Alexandria, VA – August 1, 2014
Working at Goodwin House, I noticed that the commitment to high quality standards was not the only commitment made by working there. The commitment to working for each other was what made my experience in Goodwin House's Dining Services department so worthwhile. As a beginner in the field of cooking, I worked my hardest to learn everything I could to be of use to my team (head chef, replaced by head chef Campbell, Lead cooks Howard and Nerissa) who supported me through every struggle and accomplishment I had. From guidance and support, to critiques on my creations, my coworkers helped me to become a valuable asset to the team. My work quickly improved thanks to their help, and my duties expanded from serving plates and checking labels to preparation of entrees and side dishes (and my favorite, omelets).
On an ordinary day, I would start my shift at 4 o'clock. I would begin by helping to prepare the serving line where food servers would bring table orders for me to serve up. After preparing the line, I would begin assisting with loading food carts, taking temperature sheets, and ensuring that there were plenty of bread rolls in the warmer. At dinner time, coordination was key. As the line server, I had to coordinate with servers to get meals out the door with the food in the best condition. I also had to coordinate with coworkers at food prep tables to replenish the lines food before we ran out of anything and delayed a residents meal. Upon closing, my duties were to clean up the line, help prepare food for the next day, and check the walk-in fridge for correct food labels and more... expiration dates. Expired food would obviously be unacceptable, so ensuring we only kept the highest quality food in the walk-in was paramount.
The hardest part about this job was ensuring that I kept my head straight and cool, a fast paced environment is the breeding ground for disaster. However, by staying calm and collected, coordinating these tasks was a breeze. After all, a team environment requires team members to stay cool and to communicate effectively, otherwise if one person is in a bad mood, the whole team will be affected. As a team, we identified tasks and potential problems, established how we would handle the problems, and dealt with it. As I said before, the commitment was not only to the quality of service, but also to each other. That is what I loved most about my job at Goodwin House, the team was like a second family. less
excellent experience in cooking, strong team members, friendly work environment, free lunches.