REPORTS TO: Center Manager, Assistant Manager, Nutrition/Registered Dietitian
The Cook is responsible for guaranteeing that children are served nutritious, good tasting, and appealing meals and snacks. It is the cook’s responsibility to prepare these meals and snacks by methods that maintain high nutrient levels and are sanitary. It is also the cook’s duty to prepare meals ready for family-style meal service and suitable for the children’s age and development. The Cook orders all food and supplies necessary and keeps records required by the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This position involves extensive organizing, problem-solving, record keeping, and time management.
- Minimum of a High school diploma or GED
- One or more years of food production experience and/or professional culinary training preferred
- Previous experience in a large-scale food production operation
- Knowledge of quantity food preparation, equipment, and food purchasing
- Knowledgeable of USDA guidelines and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Current Food Handler’s Card; ServSafe certification preferred
- Working knowledge of Head Start Program Performance Standards and Michigan Childcare Licensing Regulations
- Effective in an environment of cultural diversity; comfortable in a collaborative, team-based work setting
- Proficient in Microsoft Office
- Reliable transportation is required
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- With the guidance of the Assistant Manager, Nutrition/RD, modify menus and recipes and prepare foods to meet the developmental needs of infants and toddlers and the medical and feeding needs of children with disabilities or food allergies.
- Plan work schedule so that food production flows smoothly and meals are prepared on schedule
- Develop and follow standardized recipes, and use portion control methods, including the weighing/measuring of meal components
- Use appropriate guidelines for estimating amounts to be prepared, utilizing leftovers for subsequent child meals wherever possible, and ensuring that extra food or leftovers are distributed or disposed of per policy
- Maintain established standards of sanitation, safety, and food preparation and storage as set by the local and state health departments; maintain an orderly, sanitary, and safe kitchen
- Perform weekly food inventory and place orders for items needed
- Receive, check and sign all food and non-food items deliveries for central kitchen and satellite centers
- Maintain proper hygiene and dress requirements for food service staff
- Model the values of good health and nutrition
- Communicate and problem solve kitchen operation needs with fellow cooks, the Lead Cook, Center Manager, Assistant Manager-Nutrition, and Nutrition Specialist in a timely and professional manner
- Assure the proper care and maintenance of all food service equipment and routine cleaning, identify equipment needs for food preparation/service and assist in purchasing as needed
- Participate in all emergency drills and environmental safety activities
- Maintain adequate safeguards for the privacy and confidentiality of information
- Complete required documentation of relevant activities and submit records and reports in a timely and accurate manner
- Stay abreast of current issues and trends by participation in grantee-sponsored training, center pre-service, and in-service training, and other continuing education, career, and professional development opportunities; read and review regulations and other resources
- Perform other duties as assigned
WORKING AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:
- High level of daily repetitive motion with hands and arms in food preparation, serving, and cleaning activities.
- Continuous standing and walking for most of an 8-hour workday.
- Frequent daily bending and lifting of up to 50 lbs., items are lifted from floor and work tables/counters.
- Regular crouching occurs to retrieve items from lower shelves.
- Regular reaching occurs to retrieve utensils and food items from store shelves and cupboards up to 8′ high.
CONTINUOUS QUALITY IMPROVEMENT AND ETHICAL CONDUCT:
- All staff will use data to help achieve program goals; apply techniques and strategies that promote a culture of learning; identify and address gaps that continuously improve our programs.
- All personnel of Matrix must adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics and incorporate Continuous Quality Improvement efforts into their everyday performance.
- All Head Start employees must adhere to the federal regulations and requirements for Head Start operations including the Program Performance Standards, licensing regulations, and the NAEYC Code of Conduct
- Demonstrate and actively promote an understanding and commitment to the mission and values of Matrix Human Services.