Careers at UMass Amherst

Cook I (Central Kitchen)

Apply now Job no: 503117
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Blue Wall Cafe
Categories: Food Service/Hospitality

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Prepares and cooks simple dishes using a grill, fryolater, toaster or other related food service equipment.  Performs a variety of routine tasks in the preparation and serving of food to order. May also be required to prepare more complex dishes to assist the Cook II and Cook III. May be required to do preparation work. Performs related work as required.


Essential Functions

  • Prepares food items according to recipe and standard operating procedure to fill customer orders in a timely fashion.
  • Prepares and cooks food items in small or large quantities according to recipe and standard operating procedure to fill customer orders in a timely fashion.
  • Cleans food preparation areas using standard procedures to maintain safety and sanitation standards.
  • Monitors the quality, quantity and timeliness of food served according to standard to maintain quality control and consistency of product served.
  • Monitors the flow of business by checking the number of customers in line and adjusting food preparation procedures or requesting additional help as necessary to minimize delay for customers.
  • Assists employees of higher grades in preparation of more complex dishes, i.e. soups, sauces, gravies.  May be required to prepare dishes that are more complex by using standard recipes and computerized recipes.
  • May be required to adjust recipes for simple menu items as needed.
  • May be required to substitute type and amount of ingredient to recipe to enhance appearance and quality.
  • Evaluates food for quality, quantity, appearance, temperature, and taste by tasting and observing to determine proper freshness, preparation, and portioning.
  • Store foods in sanitary storage areas and at proper temperature to prevent spoilage.
  • Communicate with Cook II and Cook III and supervisors to report food and menu problems.
  • Makes Coffee
  • Reads and uses computer generated standard menus and recipes to prepare meals.
  • May be assigned to other units within the food service department.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • At least one year of full-time or equivalent part-time, experience in the preparation and cooking of food in a hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, catering firm, government or private institution.  A diploma or certificate from a recognized trade, technical or vocation school at high school level or higher, with a major in culinary arts, food services or food trades may be substituted for the required experience.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to prepare and cook simple and complex dishes to order using a grill and other related food service equipment.
  • Knowledge of sanitary methods and procedures used in food preparation.
  • Knowledge of safety methods and procedures used in the operation of food service equipment.
  • Willingness to work varied shifts and irregular hours including weekends, holidays and nights.
  • Willingness to communicate with customers while performing display cooking.
  • Knowledge of the types and uses of utensils and equipment used in large quantity food preparation and cooking such as ovens, knives, stoves, steamers, fryolators, coffee machines, etc.
  • Ability to supervise, including planning and assigning work according to the nature of the job to be accomplished.
  • Ability to provide training, work assignments, and functional supervision to student employees.
  • Ability to read and understand recipes.
  • Willingness to work under exposure to the hazards of wet and slippery floors, seasonal high and low temperatures (indoors as well as outdoors) and sharp surfaces.
  • Ability to establish rapport, maintain harmonious working relationships and deal effectively with customers and agency personnel from varied backgrounds.


Additional Details

Incumbents must be certified as food handlers within six months of the appointment start date through a recognized program approved by the University of Massachusetts (i.e. ServSafe).


Work Schedule

11am-7pm; may require weekends and holidays


Salary Information

Grade 10


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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