Occ. Code 3102300




New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




            Cooks prepare and cook a variety of foods such as meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, salads and baked goods in the kitchen of a state institution.  Incumbents prepare and cook food and usually supervise a kitchen staff in meal preparation and cooking, and also in the cleaning of the kitchen and pantry areas.


            Positions in this class are found in most State facilities with the greatest number in the facilities of the Offices of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and Children and Family Services and the Departments of Correctional Services and of Health.




            Cooks are characterized by the preparation and cooking of a variety of foods including soups, sauces, meats, fish, vegetables, baked goods, etc. and frequently by the supervision of a kitchen staff in the storage, preparation, cooking and dispensing of food; and the cleaning and sanitizing of kitchen facilities, utensils and equipment.


            Typically a Cook works under the direction of a Head Cook and is responsible for the preparation of an entire meal on an assigned shift or for a specific type of cooking such as range cooking, baking or dessert cooking.  In the latter assignments the incumbent would probably not supervise others.  In certain smaller settings, such as the various residential centers of the Office of Children and Family Services, a Cook may be the primary person directly involved with food preparation.


            Head Cooks are typically responsible for and supervise a kitchen staff in a smaller, combined kitchen/dining room operation, or for a group of several smaller food preparation and service areas as exist in the State’s “cottage-style” residential facilities.  They assign the kitchen staff to shifts, requisition food, determine amount of food to be prepared to meet menu requirements and inspect kitchens and pantries to insure that proper preparation, utilization and sanitation procedures are followed.




            Food Service Workers 2 usually work under the direction of a Cook, Head Cook or Food Service Worker 3, and may perform less skilled tasks in the preparation and cooking of food such as weighing ingredients; chopping and grinding meats, vegetables and fruits; watching, turning and stirring food; and tending steam tables when assigned to facility kitchens or pantries.  In some smaller settings as described above Food Service Workers 2 may prepare and cook an entire meal on an assigned shift.


            Bakers perform skilled level baking activities on a full-time basis in a large institutional bakery producing large quantities of bread and other baked products for one or more facilities.


            Dietitians are responsible for consulting with physicians in planning for the special dietary needs of residents and for planning and supervising the preparation and delivery of the special diets and menus to the serving area and living units.




Prepares and cooks a variety of foods for residents, employees, or students within a State facility.


·      Reviews menus to determine type and quantity of food to be prepared.


·      Plans cooking schedule so food is ready at prescribed time.


·      Draws required foodstuffs from kitchen storage areas.


·      Measures, mixes, stirs, cuts, grinds, chops and seasons ingredients according to State recipes using a variety of hand and power kitchen utensils.


·      Bakes, roasts, broils, fries and steams food as called for in recipes.


·      Observes and tastes food and adds ingredients and seasoning to improve texture and flavor.


·      Tests food for completion of cooking time and adjusts heat controls.


·      Carves and divides portions into individual servings.


·      Prepares special foods for residents requiring special diets.


·      Arranges for distribution of food by placing into service trays or packing food into hot boxes for shipment to separate dining areas.



·      May supervise a small staff in distributing food in a cafeteria setting.


·      May personally serve main course of meal in a cafeteria setting.


May supervise a small kitchen staff of Food Service Workers 2, Food Service Workers 1, and in some cases correctional inmates.


·      Makes specific work assignments in kitchen and pantry areas.


·      Directs the general cleaning after each meal.


·      Provides oral and written instructions regarding materials, utensils and procedures to be performed.


·      Demonstrates proper preparation and cooking.


·      Oversees and inspects performance to insure instructions, procedures and standards are observed.


·      Insures that proper sanitation procedures are always followed.




            Cooks have frequent oral communications with all levels of the kitchen staff giving and receiving instructions, information and advice regarding preparation, cooking and serving of food.  They may also have oral and written communications with the dietetic staff to exchange information about the preparation of special foods to meet dietary requirements.  From time to time they also have oral communications with program staff and residents explaining food preparation and service procedures.




            Cooks are typically supervised by Head Cooks who provide work assignments, written recipes and menus and arrange for the necessary foodstuffs and utensils.  The tasks are usually performed independent of direct observation by the Head Cook as the latter may work a different shift or may be preparing food in another food preparation or service area of the facility.


            In a smaller facility where a Cook is the highest level position involved in food preparation, the Cook is supervised by a facility director or administrative officer who reviews food service operations as to quality of food, utilization of resources and adherence to sanitary procedures.  Cooks are also guided by agency procedures and recipes for food preparation, cooking and sanitation.



            Cooks usually supervise a kitchen staff by making work assignments, providing instructions and overseeing and inspecting work for adherence to instructions.




            Cooks use all of the cooking utensils and equipment found in a kitchen such as blenders, bowls, grills, grinders, kettles, knives, measuring devices, mixers, ovens, slicers, etc.




·      Working knowledge of recipes, methods and procedures used in preparing and cooking food in large quantities.


·      Working knowledge of employing and regulating agencies’ sanitary requirements concerning food preparation, cooking and storage.


·      Working knowledge of the operation, cleaning and care of utensils, equipment and kitchen areas.


·      Working knowledge of storage procedures for foodstuffs and leftover food.


·      Basic knowledge of nutritional value of various foods within food groups.


·      Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions.


·      Ability to use and manipulate kitchen utensils and equipment.


·      Ability to perceive differences in form, color and appearance of food to determine completion of cooking time, deterioration or contamination.


·      Ability to communicate instructions and advice effectively to fellow workers.


As assigned


·      Ability to supervise a small kitchen/pantry staff.




            Three years of experience in large-scale cooking, one year of which must have included regular supervision of subordinate employees or working inmates.



Reviewed:  3/03




NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.