Assistant cooks sometimes called apprentice cooks assistant chefs or even kitchen helpers usually work in restaurants or other food service settings. They are supervised by a head cook or chef. They are often put in charge of preparing and seasoning soups sauces and salads and sometimes they actually cook some of the foods. They may also be in charge of carving meat and performing other serving tasks.
In larger establishments they may be assigned to a specific area such as preparation of entrees or preparation of desserts. In most tasks they must work quickly but at the same time pay careful attention to detail. It is important that they remain aware of sanitary food handling. The work conditions for this job can be uncomfortable as kitchens are often hot and steamy and there is quite a high risk of minor injuries from cuts and burns. Assistant cooks usually work in shifts including evening weekend and holiday hours.
The website Apprenticesearch.com states that most employers expect job applicant to have a high school degree. They also need a basic understanding of mathematics and computers because assistant cooks must be knowledgeable about weights and measures and they may be asked to retrieve recipes from a database.
Some secondary schools offer courses related to cooking or arrange placements so that students can get practical experience. Prior to being hired for a paid job they may have to show that they have had experience working as apprentices.
The website www.ehow reports that salaries for assistant cooks in restaurants range from under $16000 to more than $32000 a year with an average of $24000.