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Lead Cook

Apply now Posting #: 3679
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Staff, Dining Services

Position Title & Department:

 Lead Cook; La Paloma
Posting #


Department Description:

Join the University of San Diego culinary team! Be an integral part of our award-winning, nationally recognized culinary program. We are proud to provide 2.5 million meals each year for our campus community of over 8,000 students, in addition to faculty, staff and visitors. Our diverse portfolio of dining locations and services includes; a full service restaurant and pub, retail outlets (four cafes and a coffeehouse), a market and deli, a food court featuring an array of global cuisine, outstanding catering services, athletic concessions at multiple locations, and food service for the child development center.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The Lead Cook is responsible for aiding in the organization, coordination and supervision of the preparation of hot food production, maintenance of quality and/or portion control, and the maintenance of sanitation and safety standards. The Lead Cook, under the supervision of the Chef, acts as a working supervisor in training, coordinating and evaluating the work of the lower level cooks. Typically, the Lead Cook performs the more difficult production duties and participates in recipe and product development. The Lead Cook assists the Chef by developing departmental goals.

Duties & Responsibilities:


• Acts as working supervisor for food production for menu items.

• Supervises and participates in the quality and quantity preparation of all menu items.

• Reviews menu and helps assign and coordinate daily workload; organizes work areas to ensure ease of operation.

• Checks production sheet against inventory to assure necessary items are on hand; plans for backup items as needed.

• Helps forecast and order food and supplies.

• Aids in forecasting proper quantity preparation for each item served.

• Uses correct methods of preparation and instructs staff in correct methods.

• Ensures products are made to specification and reviews recipes for variances in finished product, including yield, appearance, taste, texture. Consults Chef when corrective action is needed.

• Ensures proper product portioning.

• Coordinates and instructs staff in appropriate sequential production time frames for maximum quality control.

• Responsible for the timely delivery, setup and dispensing of menu items as specified.

• Responsible for proper storage and utilization of leftovers.

• Ensures proper rotation and storage of all products.

• Assists in daily production sheets; responsible for assisting in the completion of production/event records.

• Assists Chef in the research, development and testing of new recipes and menus.

• Attends weekly production meetings.

• Coordinates production and delegations with Chef on a daily basis.

• Has primary responsibility for the cleanliness of the kitchen. 

Customer Satisfaction 

• Maintains good customer relations through attitude, appearance and attention to detail in daily work.

• Maintains consistent high-quality standards; quality-tests every finished product for taste, texture, appearance and temperature.

• Assures that all foods are attractively garnished and appropriately displayed.

• Supervises service line to assure product quality standards are maintained: temperature, appearance, full pans, garnish, portioning.

• Ensures that products are not held longer than establishing holding times.

• Services customer/guest needs with the appropriate sense of business urgency to provide quality service.

• Reports feedback from customer to supervisor and/or area manager.

• Provides input on menu, and special meals in weekly production meetings. 


• Assists in the direction, supervision, training and evaluation of cooks and part-time staff. • Sets leadership example by willingness to work all job tasks.

• Provides regular feedback to employees regarding performance.

• Delegates assignments as appropriate and follows up to ensure work is accurate and complete.

• Operates all kitchen equipment and trains others on proper use.

• Responsible for smooth workflow, communication and ideas through a congenial, caring and supportive attitude.

• Ensures that employees understand and adhere to all Dining Services polices and procedures.

• Reports any problems (disciplinary or otherwise) to supervisor. 

Safety and Sanitation 

• Implements and maintains proper safety and sanitation standards in the workplace.

• Supervises employees in proper food handling methods and techniques.

• Coordinates all scheduled cleanup operations.

• In absence of supervisor, responsible for the security of the unit.

• Supervises the energy-efficient operation of equipment. Implements startup/shutdown schedules for equipment.

• Ensures excellent personal hygiene, including care of uniforms, shoes and head covering for all staff.

• Supervises kitchen cleanliness/sanitation during operation.

• Does not participate in unsafe acts and sets a good example for other workers.

• Reports all accidents and/or injuries to supervisor, or to Public Safety in the absence of a supervisor, immediately.

• Reports all equipment maintenance problems to supervisor.

• Ensures that all staff know the location of fire extinguishers and Ansul System pull stations and how to use them. 

University and Dining Services Policies.

• Knows and follows all University and Dining Services policies and procedures.

• Instructs staff regarding Dining Services policies and procedures. 

Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Graduation from high school or GED equivalent.
  • At least two years of related food service experience and at least one year of supervisory experience.

Performance Expectations - Knowledge Skills and Abilities: 

  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and manage personal and subordinate staff workloads.
  • Must be thoroughly trained in classical and modern food preparation methods and techniques.
  • Knowledge of proper cook times, temperatures and food preparation procedures and techniques.
  • Understanding of basic sanitation and safety requirements.
  • Strong communication skills and problem solving abilities; must be able to communicate with employees, University community members, and implement and maintain production records.
  • Ability to organize personnel, work and materials for maximum productivity; knowledge of basic ordering techniques and maintenance of par stock.
  • Proven ability to supervise and motivate staff, as well as evaluate performance and delegate appropriate responsibilities.
  • Excellent skills in the use of specific equipment and tools as identified below, as well as their preventive maintenance and calibration requirements.

Special Conditions of Employment:

Must be able to work a varied hourly work schedule including evenings, early mornings, weekends and holidays. May be laid off during slow periods (December/January and May). Must be able to work a flexible schedule to accommodate intersession and summer conference business. Must have excellent personal hygiene because of contact with food and food products.

The employee will frequently walk; stand; talk; hear; use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects,tools or controls; reach with hands and arms. The employee will occasionally sit (for meetings and foodplanning) and must occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 75 pounds. The employee must be able tosee closely and be able to adjust focus for preparing food, measuring ingredients and displaying menuitems. The employee must wear goggles and gloves when using chemicals and observe proper foodhandling techniques. Must be able to stand for long periods of time.

Tools & Equipment Used:

Various cooking and kitchen equipment (knives, ovens, slicers, carts, etc.), cleaning equipment and chemicals.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Posting Salary:

$19.31 - $21.83/Hour; Excellent Benefits. 

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package, to include medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University (with three year vesting period), and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

Education: Tuition opportunities supporting the education of employees and eligible dependents. Professional development. Culinary Institute of America Accredited Trainings.

Job Tools: Advancement opportunities. Complimentary tasting meals. Uniform, including (slip resistant) shoe reimbursement, provided.

Attractive Shifts: Minimal late night hours. Ten paid holidays. No Christmas Day or New Year’s Day shifts.

Discounts: USD Torero Store, Bartell Hotels, local event tickets. Free tickets to most USD sporting events.


Special Application Instructions:
Resume Required
Click 'Apply Now' to complete our online application and, for full consideration, please upload a resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu
Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act, the University of San Diego publishes a combined Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for review. This report includes institutional policies concerning: campus security; procedures for reporting crime, fire, and other emergencies; emergency response and evacuation procedures; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response standards and protocols; alcohol and drug policies; and statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred within the institutions Clery reportable geography. Individuals may request a print copy of the report at the University of San Diego Department of Public Safety, located in the Hughes Administration Center, Room 150.