A line cook should possess excellent knife skills, as well as a thorough understanding of basic cooking equipment. Candidates should be comfortable working in fast-paced environments in which quality work is of the utmost importance. Because of this fast-paced environment, candidates should be strong enough mentally to handle large amounts of stress. Positive and energetic interaction with other team members is required. Light amounts of lifting (usually less than 20 pounds) may be required as well. Work typically is performed in an industrial-style kitchen. Applicants must be comfortable standing in one spot for a long period of time. Reading comprehension is critical, as line cooks will be expected to read and follow recipes with no mistakes. Applicants should be very comfortable working as part of a team.
Line cooks have one direct superior (head chef) who will assign cooks to a station. Line cooks are responsible for their designated station and must understand that the failure of one station often means the failure of the entire kitchen. Clientele will include customers entering the restaurant and any catering customers.
A high school diploma or a GED typically is required, but at least a two-year degree in the culinary arts is preferred. A typical work day is eight hours and includes kitchen preparation during the times the restaurant is not in a meal rush.
Line Cook Tasks
- Clean and sanitize work stations and equipment.
- Taste products and keep records in order to accurately plan food production.
- Operate a variety of kitchen equipment.
- Follow recipes and product directions for preparing food.
- Stock, date, rotate and check temperature of products.