Red Seal Trades
Designation Year: 1964
Cooks prepare, cook, season and present a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, game, pasta, pulses, grains, nuts, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, fruit, stocks, soups, sauces, salads, desserts and baked goods. They provide complete meals or individual dishes. Cooks plan menus, determine the size of food portions and estimate food requirements and cost, as well as monitor and order supplies, and oversee others in the preparation, cooking and handling of food.
They must also be thoroughly familiar with safety requirements, safe work practices and with health regulations pertaining to food preparation and service.
Areas of specialization vary according to where the cook is employed. Cooks may also specialize in ethnic food preparation, or in preparing meals according to dietary recommendations and varying nutritional requirements. Cooks are generally employed in the hospitality and tourism sector (for example in restaurants, hotels, resorts, catering establishments, country clubs and aboard ships) or in institutional settings (for example: hospitals, nursing homes, educational and correctional institutes, camps and military bases).
While some cooks may have regular work schedules, most cooks work shift work, including early mornings, late evenings, holidays and weekends, and the number of hours worked each week varies depending on the type of position and in which establishment the cook is employed.
Cooks often come under a great deal of pressure to provide quick and quality service. They must, at all times, maintain quality of food and ensure that food safety and sanitation guidelines be followed. Workplaces are clean and well lit, but can be hot and space-restricted. Cooks must be able to stand for extended periods of time, to function in close quarters, and to lift heavy objects such as pots and heavy bags. Occupational hazards include burns, cuts, slips and falls. Cooks that work at camps in remote areas must be able to work under adverse environmental conditions and can be away from family for extended periods of time.
Creativity, a keen sense of taste and smell, interest in precision work and a good memory for details are key attributes for people entering this trade. Cooks must be able to remember recipes and be able to adapt them to available supplies and to the current need. They must be conscious of health information such as dietary requirements and allergies. Cooks must also be able to work independently and as part of a team, have good organizational skills and have the ability to multi-task to effectively do their jobs. Other important abilities for cooks include solid mathematical, communication and customer service skills.
Cooks should be able to work with a wide variety of equipment, from kitchen appliances to pots, pans and knives. Some of these tools carry their own hazards such as cuts from knives and burns. Cooks should be versatile enough to assist with any task that needs doing within the kitchen.
With experience, cooks may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They can also move into other positions such as sous-chefs, chefs, executive chefs, banquet managers, food service administrators and coordinators, general managers or food editors. They can also own their own restaurant.
This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of bakers and meat cutters.
Please note that the abbreviations for the provinces use the Canada Post standard.
|National Occupational Analysis (NOA) (NOA that the current Exam is based on)||
|Cover page NOA|
|Exam Counselling Sheet|
|Local Trade Names|
|Essential Skills Profile|
|Interprovincial Program Guide (IPG)||(397 kb)|
|Cover page IPG|
|Job Market Information|
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