Cook

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Description:
  • Prepares, seasons and cooks food in a dining or catering establishment.
Work Tasks (may include any combination of the following):
  • Examines foodstuffs to ensure quality; regulates temperatures of ovens, grills and other cooking equipment; prepares and cooks food; seasons food during cooking; portions food, places it on plates, and adds gravies, sauces and garnishes; stores food in temperature controlled facilities; prepares food to meet special dietary requirements; may plan menus and estimate food requirements; may train other kitchen staff and apprentices.
Work Environment:
  • Works indoors usually in fast-food, commercial kitchens or take-away bar settings.
  • Works in adequately heated and ventilated work spaces, however conditions may become hot.
  • Many hot liquids and surfaces and sharp instruments exist in a kitchen environment.
  • Kitchens can be very confined work spaces, however there will be significant variations depending upon the size of the establishment.
Work Function/Activity1:
  • Medium physical work demand level. Medium physical demand is likely to be required when lifting, pulling or carrying.
  • Staff constantly walk or stand about the kitchen, and occasionally sit.
  • Occasionally stretching and reaching across and twisting of the body or neck is required especially when preparing and mixing food on stoves or reaching up for equipment.
  • Contact with skin irritants or water is frequent in the form of steam, dishwashing water, detergents and other cleaning agents and various cooking ingredients. Gloves may be utilised in certain circumstances.
  • Repetitive movements are likely on a frequent basis for some tasks such as cutting and slicing.
  • Uses hand tools frequently, such as kitchen equipment items including knives and a wide range of other utensils.
  • Occasionally employees bend, squat or crouch to facilitate kitchen tasks such as picking up bags of ingredients.
  • Mental activities necessary include food preparation, cooking, cleaning and organisational skills.
Further Comments:
  • There are limited opportunities for flexibility of movement.
  • Shift work will be common.
Entry Requirements:
  • A New Zealand Register Level 4 qualification or at least three years of relevant experience. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification. For entry-level positions on-the-job training may be sufficient.

1 This document is based on ANZSCO, 2006 (code 351411). Other sources of information that may have been consulted are industry contacts, employers, newspapers and internet-based sources. For physical demand level definitions see Matheson, L.N. (1996). Functional Capacity Evaluation.