A head cook is responsible for organizing the food preparation, organizing the kitchen operations, and ensuring the quality of the food presented. Head cooks' duties include monitoring the food inventory, creating new recipes, researching current market trends, responding to guests' inquiries and complaints, distributing kitchen tasks to the staff, and maintaining budget goals while maintaining the highest food quality. A head cook must always adhere to the sanitary procedures and hygienic standards, as well as have a broad knowledge of the food industry.

Head Cook Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real head cook resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Operate mixers and manage ingredients to meet product quality and uniformity standards.
  • Accommodate all campers and staff with dietary restrictions, food allergies as well as providing vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Follow all equipment and safety procedures in all operations including slicers, choppers, mixers and other meal processing equipment.
  • Operate mixers and manage ingredients to meet product quality and uniformity standards.
  • Scramble eggs, sausage, potatoes, biscits and gravy.
  • Create and execute menus for the buffets.
  • Train workers in methods of cooking, prep-cook, floater, and dishwasher.
  • Ensure attractive display of food items, showpieces, etc., on display counters, buffets or where require.
  • Check food temperatures as well as coolers, freezer, and dishwasher to ensure that kitchen is within health guidelines.
  • Maintain and follow proper hygiene and sanitation standards.

Head Cook Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 41% of Head Cooks are proficient in Kitchen Equipment, Meal Preparation, and Food Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Business skills, Communication skills, and Creativity.

We break down the percentage of Head Cooks that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Kitchen Equipment, 41%

    Utilized computer software specific to nutrition analysis, menu planning, scheduled maintenance and repairs for kitchen equipment.

  • Meal Preparation, 15%

    Manage cooks for the operation on a 365 Yearly basis and use of donations and purchased food for meal Preparation.

  • Food Service, 7%

    Lead and oversaw food service workers and advised management on productivity.

  • Food Preparation, 3%

    Emphasized maintaining food preparation and serving area in a condition that exceeded compliance standards for sanitation.

  • Quality Standards, 3%

    Followed recipes and maintained quality standards according to corporate guidelines.

  • Safety Standards, 2%

    Monitored sanitation practices and followed kitchen safety standards in all work areas.

"kitchen equipment," "meal preparation," and "food service" aren't the only skills we found head cooks list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of head cook responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a head cook to have in this position are business skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a head cook resume, you'll understand why: "executive chefs and chefs who run their own restaurant need to understand the restaurant business" According to resumes we found, business skills can be used by a head cook in order to "make all kitchen and food preparations for the following business day. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling head cook duties is communication skills. According to a head cook resume, "chefs must communicate their instructions clearly and effectively to staff so that customers’ orders are prepared correctly." Here's an example of how head cooks are able to utilize communication skills: "people skills, communication skills and great team work and leadership skills, and high tempo production. "
  • Creativity is also an important skill for head cooks to have. This example of how head cooks use this skill comes from a head cook resume, "chefs and head cooks need to be creative in order to develop and prepare interesting and innovative recipes" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "be aware of and plan accordingly special dietary needs and allergies responsible for helping in food control and inventory. "
  • In order for certain head cook responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "leadership skills." According to a head cook resume, "chefs and head cooks must have the ability to motivate kitchen staff and develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with them." As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "learned leadership skills and how to stay focused and productive in a fast paced working environment. "
  • Yet another important skill that a head cook must demonstrate is "time-management skills." Chefs and head cooks must efficiently manage their time and the time of their staff This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a head cook who stated: "ensured food orders were placed and arrived on time * ensured kitchen was in working order and sanitary. "
  • Another skill commonly found on head cook resumes is "dexterity." This description of the skill was found on several head cook resumes: "chefs and head cooks need excellent dexterity, including proper knife techniques for cutting, chopping, and dicing." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day head cook responsibilities: "drop chicken, manage kitchen, make batter , lift heavy objects , close/open, clean fryers , etc. "
  • See the full list of head cook skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious head cooks are:

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    What Cook/Dietary Aides Do

    A cook/dietary aide is an individual who works along with the dietary managers, cooks, and dieticians. Dietary aides prepare meals, beverages, and snacks. They set up tables or dining areas with proper order and cleanliness. They serve meals and make sure that the hygiene and safety protocols for food are followed all the time. The skills significant for this job include attention to detail, strong communication skills, excellent customer service, and knowledge in food preparation and its safety protocols.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take cook/dietary aide for example. On average, the cook/dietary aides annual salary is $16,922 lower than what head cooks make on average every year.

    Even though head cooks and cook/dietary aides have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require kitchen equipment, meal preparation, and food service in the day-to-day roles.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a head cook responsibilities require skills like "quality food," "food storage," "sanitation practices," and "kitchen operations." Meanwhile a typical cook/dietary aide has skills in areas such as "meal service," "food handling," "patients," and "diet orders." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Cook/dietary aides tend to make the most money in the hospitality industry by averaging a salary of $29,467. In contrast, head cooks make the biggest average salary of $43,083 in the manufacturing industry.

    On average, cook/dietary aides reach similar levels of education than head cooks. Cook/dietary aides are 0.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Cook/Dishwasher?

    Cooks/dishwashers must develop kitchen skills to excel in this line of job. Each cook or dishwasher must learn to develop skills in food preparation, sanitation, and customer service. Cooks or dishwashers can be assigned to different areas, either in the kitchen area, food preparation, or in washing dishes. The scope of their responsibilities may include the cooking surface area, specific food items, or menu items. Also, they are expected to maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen, assist in preparing food, and may do any other duties demanded by the chef.

    Next up, we have the cook/dishwasher profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a head cook annual salary. In fact, cook/dishwashers salary difference is $12,709 lower than the salary of head cooks per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of head cooks and cook/dishwashers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "kitchen equipment," "food preparation," and "safety standards. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real head cook resumes. While head cook responsibilities can utilize skills like "meal preparation," "food service," "quality standards," and "servsafe," some cook/dishwashers use skills like "wash dishes," "customer service," "dishwashers," and "prep food."

    Cook/dishwashers may earn a lower salary than head cooks, but cook/dishwashers earn the most pay in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $27,723. On the other side of things, head cooks receive higher paychecks in the manufacturing industry where they earn an average of $43,083.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, cook/dishwashers tend to reach similar levels of education than head cooks. In fact, they're 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Cook/Trainer Compares

    A line cook/prep cook is responsible for assisting with food preparations, ensuring that all ingredients are readily available and stored safely. Line cook/prep cook tasks also include reviewing and updating menus to keep the customers' patronization. Their duties also include researching the current food industry trends, managing customers' inquiries, resolving serving complaints, monitoring food supplies and inventories, and complying with sanitary regulations. A line cook/prep cook must have excellent time-management and multi-tasking skills to perform various tasks under strict time demands and a fast-paced environment.

    The third profession we take a look at is cook/trainer. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than head cooks. In fact, they make a $12,141 lower salary per year.

    Using head cooks and cook/trainers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "kitchen equipment," "food preparation," and "quality standards," but the other skills required are very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from head cook resumes include skills like "meal preparation," "food service," "quality food," and "servsafe," whereas a cook/trainer might be skilled in "food handling," "cleanliness," "culinary," and "food safety. "

    When it comes to education, cook/trainers tend to earn similar education levels than head cooks. In fact, they're 0.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Line Cook, Prep Cook

    Line cooks, prep cook tend to earn a lower pay than head cooks by about $11,430 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, head cooks and line cooks, prep cook both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "kitchen equipment," "food preparation," and "quality standards. "

    Each job requires different skills like "meal preparation," "food service," "allergies," and "food storage," which might show up on a head cook resume. Whereas line cook, prep cook might include skills like "food handling," "culinary," "customer service," and "salad station."

    In general, line cooks, prep cook make a higher salary in the retail industry with an average of $33,354. The highest head cook annual salary stems from the manufacturing industry.

    The average resume of line cooks, prep cook showed that they earn similar levels of education to head cooks. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 0.2% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.0%.