WHAT DO PREP COOKS DO?
Prep cooks do everything nerd cooks and jock cooks do, but they do it with their collar popped. But if you're interested in getting into the culinary world, but aren’t ready for a chef position, consider becoming a prep cook. Prep cooks are the building blocks of a well-oiled kitchen, doing the routine and day-to-day tasks that are needed to allow the cooks and chefs to turn out perfect meals.
Prep cooks do much of the preparation for the dishes that are served. This includes chopping vegetables, breaking down, cutting or grinding meat, weighing and mixing ingredients, washing and preparing vegetables, storing food, and more. Prep cooks report to the head chef or cook and may work earlier than most other cooks. After all, the food cooked that night needs to be prepped before it can be cooked. So prep cooks are there first.
HOW MUCH DO PREP COOKS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) prep cooks in 2010 made a median income of $19,100 per year, or $9.18 hourly.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
There are no education requirements for becoming a prep cook. You will get all of your training on the job. You might start as a kitchen helper and move your way up to prep cook, once you learn basic knife skills and food handling and workplace safety.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Listening: Prep cooks need to be able to hear and understand specific instructions from their chefs.
- Manual Dexterity: Prep cooks will be using their hands to cut and chop food, as well as other tasks.
- Stamina: Everyone in the kitchen works long hours on their feet over hot stoves and grills. Stamina is needed.
- Teamwork: Prep cooks are part of a team, and in a stressful, fast-paced environment, being a team player and level-headed will help immensely.
CAREER PATHS FOR PREP COOKS
THE FUTURE OF PREP COOKS
Prep cook jobs will grow at an average rate between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.