What does a Line Cook do?
Line Cooks work in a restaurant performing basic food preparation tasks and assisting the Executive Chef. They typically complete smaller responsibilities like cutting meat, mixing sauces or chopping vegetables. Line Cooks are often assigned a certain task each time they work and will stay in that section of the food preparation line for a majority of their shift.
They’re responsible for cleaning their prep station and making sure it’s set up properly before the start of their shift. They’ll also stock the kitchen as needed. Line Cooks must regularly check the food prep and storage areas to ensure they don’t violate any health codes or safety regulations.
Line Cook skills and qualifications
A qualified Line Cook needs a strong set of skills that ensure teamwork and organization in the kitchen. Candidates should have the following qualifications:
- Completion of vocational school or a two-year associate degree
- At least one year of cooking experience
- Excellent kitchen administration knowledge and ability to work as part of a team
- Strong organization and active listening skills
- The ability to work on your feet for most of the day and lift 30 pounds at a time
- Exceptional time management skills
Line Cook salary expectations
A Line Cook makes an average of $13.56 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Line Cook education and training requirements
Most Line Cook positions require no formal education besides a high school diploma. However, Line Cooks can pursue college degrees and certificates in areas such as culinary arts, food preparation, cooking, baking, recipe design, food safety and kitchen administration. A Line Cook learns on the job even if they have prior work experience. This is because each employer follows different procedures, and there is a wide range of safety and regulatory policies.
Their training includes vegetable preparation, butchering of meat and seafood, cooking sauces, making recipes and translating instructions into finished dishes. Candidates can also obtain certifications in safe food handling, specialist skills such as gourmet baking and advanced cooking skills.
Line Cook experience requirements
An experienced Line Cook will have excellent food preparation and cooking skills. They will know the different methods of chopping vegetables, dividing meat, filleting fish and combining salads, herbs and spices, along with how to portion dishes and work with precision to bring recipes to life. They will also know the safe and proper methods of operating different kitchen appliances and utensils.
They will need stamina to work long hours in a fast-paced kitchen. They also need to be able to lift heavy objects and collaborate effectively with other kitchen staff to meet client and executive expectations.
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