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Cook Specialist II (2184)

Cook Specialist II

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: DJ30
  • Class Code: 2184
  • Established: 10/23/1953
  • Revised: 07/11/1979
  • Title Changed: 05/02/2001


Under supervision, to prepare, cook, and dispense food for the residents and employees of a State institution; to care for culinary equipment, supplies, and work areas; to supervise, instruct, and work with employees and helpers from the resident population; may instruct, lead, or supervise inmates, wards, or resident workers; and do other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Cooks in large institutions normally work with other cooks as a part of a shift team. Different items of food are prepared separately in large quantities and specialized fixed equipment such as steam- jacketed kettles and revolving ovens are used.


In small institutions, the cook on each shift usually prepares an entire meal with the assistance of helpers and may plan menus. Equipment used may be either kitchen ranges and portable utensils or specialized fixed equipment such as steam-jacketed kettles and revolving ovens.


Employees in the next higher class of Supervising Cook I assign work, supervise, and give instruction to culinary employees and helpers from the resident population.


Employees in the next lower class of Cook Specialist I assist the cook, baker, or butcher-meat cutter by performing the less responsible and less skilled work required in preparing, cooking, and dispensing food. Through training and experience, Cook Specialists I are expected to develop skill in quantity cooking.

Typical Tasks

Prepares, cooks, and dispenses soups, sauces, meats, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, salads, salad dressing, fruits, pastries, desserts, breads, and beverages; cleans and maintains culinary utensils and equipment and the working area with the assistance of helpers; assigns work and gives instruction and training to employees and helpers from the resident population, evaluates their performance, and takes or recommends appropriate action; may plan menus; inspects personnel and working areas and maintains safety and sanitation standards; reports on the work progress of assistants; keeps records; as required, requisitions, receives, inspects, stores, and inventories supplies; and acts for the Supervising Cook in his absence.

Minimum Qualifications

Either I


Two years of experience in the California state service performing the duties of a Cook Specialist I.



Three years of experience as a cook in one or a combination of the following:


1. Preparing food for at least 250 persons a meal with experience at the various stations, not less than six months of which shall have been in charge of the work of kitchen helpers or others doing similar work. or


2. Personally preparing complete breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for 50 or more persons a meal. (Short-order cooking experience is not considered qualifying.)


(Full-time training in a recognized trade school for cooks and bakers may be substituted for not more than two years of either type of the required experience on the basis of one month of such school attendance being equal to two months of experience.)

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles, procedures, and equipment used in the storage, care, preparation, cooking, and dispensing of food in large quantity; kitchen sanitation and safety measures used in the operation, cleaning, and care of utensils, equipment, and work areas; food handling sanitation; food values as well as nutritional and economical substitutions within food groups; principles of effective supervision and instructing and working with assistants and helpers from the resident population; food accounting and keeping records and preparing reports.


Ability to: Communicate at a level required for successful job performance; prepare and cook all food groups and use appropriate equipment; judge food quality; plan work schedule and prepare and follow menus, recipes, and formulas; determine food quantities necessary for groups of varying size; instruct and work with assistants and helpers from the resident population; keep records and prepare reports; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.

Special Personal Characteristics

Sympathetic understanding of and willingness to work with resident population of State institutions; personal cleanliness; good sense of smell and taste; and freedom from communicable diseases.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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