Hospitality & Tourism
Cooks prepare food using a range of methods, and work in kitchens in restaurants and other places where food is served.
Apprenticeship or traineeship
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Cook do?
Cooks prepare food using a range of methods, and work in kitchens in restaurants and other places where food is served. In large kitchens, cooks work as part of a team, run by the head chef or kitchen manager.
As a cook, you would:
- check the freshness of food and ingredients before cooking
- weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipes
- bake, roast, grill, or fry meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
- boil and steam meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods
- garnish, arrange, and serve food
- make sure that food is served promptly to customers
- follow relevant hygiene, health and safety guidelines
- clean work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, and cutlery.
Key skills and interests
To become a cook, you would need:
- to know how to prepare, cook and present food
- a constant focus on hygiene, health and safety guidelines
- excellent communication skills
- to be punctual
- to work well under pressure and stay calm
- good teamwork skills.
Working hours and conditions
As a cook you would often work long hours, and perhaps on a shift basis. You may work early mornings or late evenings, holidays, and weekends. Part time or seasonal work is often available.
Cooks work in a variety of locations including restaurants, educational establishments, private households and healthcare facilities such as hospitals and aged care homes.
How to become an Cook?
Entry Level Education
You can work as a cook without formal qualifications, and would probably get some informal training whilst working.
You can also become a cook through an apprenticeship or traineeship in commercial cookery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers usually require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Employment of cooks is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Population and income growth are expected to fuel demand for more restaurants and cafes, catering services, and pre-prepared food, resulting in demand for cooks.