Job Duties of an Assistant Cook

An Assistant Cook works under the direct supervision of an Executive Chef or Sous Chef. Assistants Cooks work in restaurants, cafes, kitchens, and hotels. The Assistant Cook is responsible for preparing food as directed by a senior cook, plating dishes in an attractive way, and ensuring the quality of different dishes. Assistants Cooks are responsible for knowing how to use a variety of techniques to prepare whatever dish he or she is assigned to. Often, in a large kitchen, a Assistant Cook is assigned to a single station where he or she will be responsible for preparing a single type of food.

Job Duties of an Assistant Cook

An Assistant Cook does the majority of the actual cooking in a kitchen.  He prepares everything from main dishes to salads, breads, pasta and even desserts. Depending on the size of the kitchen, an Assistant Cook may work a single station, such as the pasta station, or may be responsible for any number of dishes as needed. The following is a list of some of the duties of a Assistant Cook:

  • Storage and disposal of food. An Assistant Cook is usually responsible for the storage of food, both incoming stock and leftovers.  A Assistant Cook will often assist in unloading delivery trucks and ensuring that food is stored in the appropriate conditions. After food service, the Assistant Cook is responsible for determining if leftovers of either prepared or partially prepared food can be reused or if they must be disposed of.
  • Testing Recipes. Assistant Cooks are often called upon to help Executive Chefs test new recipes.
  • Recording Supply Use. Assistant Cooks will be asked to keep track of what supplies they use to aid in re-ordering supplies as necessary.
  • Clean and prepare cooking station. The Assistant Cooks will be responsible for his or her own station, ensuring that all items are appropriately cleaned and ready for use before and after each shift.  During food service, the Assistant Cook is responsible for keeping the station in working order and fully stocked.
  • Food preparation. The Assistant Cook is responsible for preparing items prior to a meal service, such as chopping vegetables, butchering meat, or cleaning seafood. 
  • Maintain Sanitation Standards. The Assistant Cook is responsible for ensuring that the kitchen meets sanitation standards as set by the Executive Chef and local regulatory bodies.

Assistant Cook Salary: How much money does an Assistant Cook make?

A position as an Assistant Cook is one of the steps along the path toward becoming an Executive Chef.  The Assistant Cook does much or all of the actual cooking in a kitchen, ranging from preparing items before food service to cooking and plating prepared items.  As with any other kitchen position, the salary for a Assistant Cook depends on where you work, your experience, and your skills.  Assistant Cooks can make between $16,000 and $35,000 or more annually, depending on a variety of factors.  As you gain experience in the kitchen, employers will be willing to pay more for your skills.  Entry level chefs can expect to be at the lower end of this pay scale. However, students who complete a degree in culinary arts are more desirable to employers and command a much higher salary.