Cooks prepare and present a wide variety of foods. Cooks duties may include some or all of the following: prepare complete meals or individual dishes and food product, prepare special dietary consideration foods and meals, participate in the scheduling and supervision of kitchen staff, oversee food production operation, maintain operational inventory and record, participate and maintain effective sanitation procedures, may plan menus and determine food quality, quantity and cost, participate in the hiring and training of food production staff. Cooks may specialize in the preparation of ethnic or specialty dishes. 

    Education and Training

    • Completion of secondary school is usually required. 
    • Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program for cooks or Completion of college or other program in cooking or Several years of commercial cooking experience are required. 
    • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in all provinces and territories. 
    • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified cooks upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination. 

    The Workplace

    Cooks perform some or all of the following duties: 

    • Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods 
    • Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef 
    • Schedule and supervise kitchen helpers 
    • Oversee kitchen operations 
    • Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment 
    • May set up and oversee buffets 
    • May clean kitchen and work area 
    • May plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies. 
    • May hire and train kitchen staff 

    Skills for Success

    The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

    • Reading 
    • Collaboration
    • Communication

    Sample Job Titles

    • Restaurant server 
    • Teacher 
    • Business owner 
    • Line cook 
    • Short order cook 

    Companies and Sectors

    • Restaurants 
    • Hotels/resorts 
    • Food service chains 
    • Catering firms 
    • Remote campsites 
    • Institutions 
    • Eco tourism 
    • Travel operations 
    • Food processors 
    • Self-employed