Do you really believe that there is just one person behind the awesome 4 course meal that you eat at swanky restaurants? Nope! Chefs or cooks are not the only people responsible for the culinary delights that you see on a restaurant menu. The prep cook is also an important individual in a restaurant kitchen as he or she is responsible for preparing all the ingredients that are eventually cooked and created into “dishes”.
Prep cooks are usually hired at the entry level, where their main job is to cut, chop and prepare meats, vegetables and fruits so that they can be used for cooking. They make soups and salads and ensure that appropriate portioning is done on platters and individual orders. They also ensure the overall upkeep and maintenance of the kitchen area so that sanitization standards can be met.
To work as a prep cook, one does not require more than a high school diploma (and interest in food). Some restaurants or hotels may ask for a degree in culinary arts though. Either way, you have to have an inherent love for food if you want to work at this position. As a prep cook, you will receive on the job training which will be beneficial at time for you to be promoted.
• Measured ingredients and prepared them in accordance to the instructions provided by the chef
• Washed, pealed, cut, chopped and marinated meats, fruits and vegetables according to specific directions provided
• Portioned different types of meats so that they meet the specifications of dishes on the menu
• Made stocks, soups and salads and ensure that they are properly stored for when it is time for them to be served
• Prepared drinks and cocktails and portion food on platters and plates
• Packaged take-away food or leftovers in dedicated packs and ensure that they are properly sealed
• Received supplies such as ingredients, meats, vegetables and fruits and ensure that they are stocked properly
• Performed stock rotation duties and throw away any expired or rotten items
• Placed food trays on warmers and distribute plates to serving / waiting staff
• Kept track of ingredient quantities and food supplies and inform procurement officers of low supply levels
• Stored ingredients in dedicated airtight containers and ensure that the containers are stored in clean areas
• Cleaned kitchen shelves and counters by following the hotel / restaurant’s policies
• Performed cleaning and maintenance on office equipment such as dishwashers, ovens, grills and fryers