What does a Lead Cook do?

Learn all about Lead Cook duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Lead Cook.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A lead cook is responsible for the overall operation of the kitchen. They oversee the preparation of food, ensure that all health and safety standards are met, and train new staff members.

Lead Cook job duties include:

  • Supervise and coordinate activities of cooks and other food preparation workers
  • Direct food preparation workers to ensure that food is prepared according to recipes, quality standards, and presentation standards
  • Estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and control food and labor costs
  • Order supplies, equipment, and foodstuffs
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality
  • Schedule work shifts and organize workloads to ensure even coverage
  • Train new employees in cooking techniques, proper use of equipment, and food safety procedures
  • Resolve conflicts or problems that arise during shift
  • Monitor food preparation to ensure that it is completed in a timely manner

Lead Cook Job Requirements

A lead cook is responsible for the overall operation of the kitchen and must have experience in food preparation, cooking, and menu planning. They must be able to work independently and be able to manage a team of cooks. A lead cook should have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require post-secondary education, such as a culinary arts degree. Many lead cooks are certified through organizations such as the American Culinary Federation.

Lead Cook Skills

  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Multi-tasking
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Teamwork

Related: Top Lead Cook Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Lead Cook

In order to become a Lead Cook, one must have experience in the kitchen and be able to lead other cooks. There are a few ways to get this experience. One way is to start out as a cook in a restaurant and work your way up. Another way is to go to culinary school and learn about different cooking techniques. After you have the experience and knowledge, you can apply for a Lead Cook position at a restaurant.

Related: Lead Cook Resume Example

Related: Lead Cook Interview Questions (With Example Answers)