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Line Cook Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Line Cook, or Chef de Partie, occupies a support role in the kitchen of a restaurant or other food service establishment where they prepare ingredients and dishes under the guidance of a Head Chef. Their duties include cleaning and preparing food, cooking meals, and maintaining a sanitized work environment.

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What does a Line Cook do?

Line Cooks are an essential part of the restaurant and food service industry. They support the Chef and are responsible for preparing ingredients, sauces, garnishes, and sometimes entire dishes. This takes some of the workload off of the Chefs so the restaurant or food service establishment can run more efficiently. They know how to follow recipes, use standardized ingredients, and meet expectations for distribution of food products. They are also well-versed in regulations and methods required to ensure safety and the absence of food-borne pathogens and contaminants, including safe temperatures to cook and keep food, proper washing procedures, and an understanding of how to keep tools and prep areas clean and properly sanitized.

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Line Cook duties and responsibilities

The daily duties and responsibilities of a Line Cook can be straightforward and somewhat common, though the types and number of meals they prepare can vary from day to day. These duties can include:

  • Memorizing recipes, policies, procedures, and standard portion sizes
  • Preparing ingredients and components of each recipe on the restaurant’s menu
  • Maintaining freshness of product and rotating old product out
  • Working with a team of Cooks to handle varying levels of activity
  • Maintaining a clean, sanitary, and safe workspace at all times to avoid contamination
  • Being aware of and following all kitchen health and safety regulations and guidelines

Line Cook skills and qualifications

Functioning as a Line Cook requires a professional demeanor and the ability to adapt to constantly changing situations. Some of the key skills and qualifications required for the position include:

  • Professional and responsible conduct
  • Comfortable in fast-paced, high-pressure environments
  • Teamwork skills
  • Good verbal communication skills
  • Organizational skills

Line Cook experience requirements

Line Cooks need to have extensive experience in food preparation and cooking. The level of familiarity with general restaurant policies and procedures that this entails often requires at least one to three years of experience working in a restaurant.

Line Cook education and training requirements

To ensure that Line Cooks have the basic skills and responsibilities they need to perform their job duties, a high school diploma or GED is generally required. Line Cooks may also be required to have a relevant college degree and/or certificate in the culinary arts if they don’t have relevant work experience. While certifications aren’t always needed for this job, some can be helpful for the Line Cook, including culinary arts certificates, ServSave Food Handler certificates, private chef certifications, and other specialist certifications.

Line Cook salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, a Line Cook in Canada can expect to make an average salary of $16.12 per hour. This rate may be dependent on experience, location, and employer.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Line Cook job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Line Cook and a Prep Cook?

Prep Cook is an entry-level cooking position in a kitchen. These workers handle food preparation to allow other cooks to more efficiently put meals together. Line Cooks, however, tend to run specific stations and may be in charge of Prep Cooks or use their preparation to create meals for customers.

What is the difference between a Line Cook and a Sous Chef?

Line Cooks can be seen as a lower management position in the kitchen, whereas Sous Chefs lead and supervise all of the other Cooks and Kitchen Staff. While Line Cooks manage their specific station and any Prep Cooks who work under them, a Sous Chef will oversee all of the stations in the kitchen to ensure that everything works smoothly. Not every restaurant has a Sous Chef.

Who does a Line Cook report to?

A Line Cook can report to several different people, depending on the structure of the restaurant in which they work. In some restaurants, they report to the Head Cook, Executive Chef or Sous Chef in the kitchen. In other restaurants, they may report directly to the Assistant Manager or Restaurant Manager.

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