What does a Prep Cook do?

Prep cooks work for food establishments under the supervision of the head chef. Their duties revolve around assisting the head chef in preparing food by chopping and washing vegetables and meats and arranging salads, breads, sauces and dressings. Upon completion of culinary school, prep cooks can become junior chefs in the kitchen.

Although prep cooks do not require further education aside a high school diploma, most prep cooks are currently enrolled in culinary school. Good candidates for this position often possess a keen interest in culinary arts and creative cooking with a strong ability to listen and follow instructions given by the head chef. Additional valuable skills include excellent communication skills and familiarity with general kitchen equipment and appliances. The need to be able to stand and move around for long periods of time is required.

  • Assist the head chef by chopping vegetables and washing food items
  • Ensure kitchen equipment and appliances are ready for use
  • Maintain a clean and hygienic work environment at all times
  • Prepare salads, breads, salad dressings and sauces
  • Gather food ingredients from the refrigerator or freezer as required by the chef
  • Ensure food is stored away properly when not in use
  • Study the menu and prepare ingredients ahead of schedule
  • Learn about the cooking methods and techniques employed in the kitchen
  • Experience working as a prep cook in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong multitasking and organizational skills
  • Good understanding of ingredients, recipes, kitchen safety and hygiene
  • Passionate about culinary arts and creative cooking
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Familiar with general kitchen equipment and appliances
  • Able to follow instructions accurately and efficiently
  • Able to perform well under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • Physically able to stand and move around for long periods of time

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
29%
2 - 4
14%
5 - 7
1%
8+
56%

Common Skill Sets

Excellent Customer Service
Time Management
English Language
Interpersonal and Communication
Problem Solving
Dexterity
GOOD Communication
Attention To Detail

Prep Cook Seniority Levels

Line Cook
34% made the transition
Cook
60% made the transition
See Career Path

Prep Cook Salaries

Average Base Pay

$27,129 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$21K
Median: $27K
$35K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Prep Cook Jobs

Prep Cook Interviews