6322 – Cooks Required for Canada. Apply Today!

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6322 - Cooks Required for Canada. Apply Today!

Cooks prepare and cook a wide variety of foods. They are employed in restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other health care institutions, central food commissaries, educational institutions and other establishments.

Cooks are also employed aboard ships and at construction and logging campsites.

Apprentice cooks are included in this unit group.


  • Illustrative example

  • apprentice cook
  • dietary cook
  • first cook
  • grill cook
  • hospital cook
  • institutional cook
  • journeyman/woman cook
  • licensed cook
  • line cook
  • second cook
  • short order cook
  • apprentice cook
  • assistant cook
  • banquet cook
  • breakfast cook
  • broiler cook
  • cafeteria cook
  • camp cook
  • caterer cook
  • construction camp cook
  • cook, apprentice
  • cook, camp
  • cook, domestic
  • cook, ethnic foods
  • cook, fishing and merchant vessel
  • cook, institution
  • cook, kosher foods
  • cook, second
  • cook, first
  • cook, small establishment
  • cook, third
  • diet kitchen cook
  • dietary cook
  • domestic cook
  • ethnic food cook
  • first cook
  • grill cook
  • hospital cook
  • institutional cook
  • journeyman/woman cook, journeyman cook, journeywoman cook
  • kosher foods cook
  • licensed cook
  • line cook
  • logging camp cook
  • mess cook
  • pastry cook
  • pizza cook
  • railway cook
  • restaurant cook
  • second cook
  • ship's cook
  • short order cook
  • special diet cook
  • special orders cook, hospital
  • therapeutic diet cook
  • third cook



  • Chefs (6321)
  • Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations (6711)


Main duties

Cooks perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods
  • Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef
  • Schedule and supervise kitchen helpers
  • Oversee kitchen operations
  • Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment
  • May set up and oversee buffets
  • May clean kitchen and work area
  • May plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies
  • May hire and train kitchen staff.

Cooks may specialize in preparing and cooking ethnic cuisine or special dishes.


Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a three-year apprenticeship program for cooks
    Completion of college or other program in cooking
    Several years of commercial cooking experience are required.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in all provinces and territories.
  • Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified cooks upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.


Additional information

  • The Red Seal endorsement allows for interprovincial mobility.
  • There is mobility among the various types of cooks in this group.
  • Progression to supervisory or more senior positions, such as chef, is possible with experience and training.



People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Prepare and cook complete meals or individual dishes and foods
  • Prepare and cook special meals for patients as instructed by dietitian or chef
  • Plan menus, determine size of food portions, estimate food requirements and costs, and monitor and order supplies
  • Inspect kitchens and food service areas
  • Train staff in preparation, cooking and handling of food
  • Order supplies and equipment
  • Supervise kitchen staff and helpers
  • Maintain inventory and records of food, supplies and equipment
  • Clean kitchen and work areas
  • Recruit and hire staff
  • Organize and manage buffets and banquets
  • Manage kitchen operations


Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation

  • Skills

  • Communication
    • Teaching and Training
  • Information Handling
    • Processing Information
  • Analysis
    • Planning
    • Projecting Outcomes
  • Management
    • Recruiting and Hiring
    • Co-ordinating and Organizing
    • Supervising
  • Operating and Repairing Equipment, Machinery and Vehicles
    • Operating Stationary Industrial Equipment
  • Service and Care
    • Cleaning and House/Shop Keeping
    • Cooking, Preparing, Serving
  • Knowledge

  • Manufacturing and Production
    • Food Production and Agriculture
  • Law and Public Safety
    • Public Safety and Security
  • Business, Finance and Management
    • Client Service
    • Clerical

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

  • Read warnings written on signs, labels and packaging, e.g. read labels on appliances to learn about burn and electrical shock hazards. (1)
  • Read text entries on forms, e.g. read comments on requisition forms to learn about the delivery of fresh produce. (1)
  • Read notices, bulletins and alerts, e.g. read allergy alerts and food recalls issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to learn about affected products and consumption hazards. (2)
  • Read food safety information, e.g. read shellfish food safety tips issued by Health Canada to learn about cross contamination hazards and how to safety store, thaw and cook seafood. (3)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read sequenced instructions for the operation of equipment, such as commercial pressure cookers and fryers. (3)
  • Read a variety of trade magazines, brochures and website articles, e.g. read articles in magazines, such as Food Service and Hospitality, to learn about technological advances in commercial kitchens. (3)
  • May read legal agreements, e.g. read contracts to learn about the terms and conditions stipulated in long-term food purchase agreements. (4)
 Document use
  • Scan labels on product packaging and equipment to locate data, such as ingredients, potential allergens, cooking times and equipment settings. (1)
  • Interpret symbols and icons, e.g. interpret Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) hazard symbols found on cleaning products. (1)
  • Locate information on gauges and digital readouts, e.g. locate the temperatures of refrigerators and ovens on digital thermometers and sensors. (1)
  • Enter data into a variety of forms, e.g. enter data, such as dates, times and quantities, in stock reconciliation forms and chef report sheets. (2)
  • Locate data in a variety of tables, e.g. locate data, such as times, costs, and quantities, on recipe cards, invoices and food orders. (2)
  • Locate data in complex forms, e.g. locate data, such as billing information, guest numbers, times, locations, food and beverage requirements, charges, décor and furniture setup, in event confirmation sheets. (3)
  • Write brief reminders, e.g. write brief notes to remind co-workers about the particulars of upcoming catering events. (1)
  • Write brief comments on recipes, e.g. note changes to ingredient quantities and cooking temperatures on recipes. (1)
  • Write brief notes in forms, e.g. write notes on requisition forms to specify delivery times and handling instructions. (1)
  • May write memos and bulletins, e.g. may write memos and bulletins to co-workers to explain changes to meal preparation routines and food safety procedures. (2)
  • Write incident reports, e.g. complete incident reports for workers' compensation boards to describe events leading up to accidents and the actions they took afterwards. (2)
  • May write non-routine reports, e.g. write reports to management to request equipment upgrades or describe serious incidents, such as thefts or robberies. (3)
  • Use petty cash to purchase small quantities of supplies. (1)
  • Take measurements using basic tools, such as scales, containers and thermometers, e.g. use measuring cups to measure the volume of beef stock needed for soup recipes. (1)
  • Compare weights, temperatures and dimensions to specifications, e.g. compare the temperature of refrigerators to food safety specifications. (1)
  • Estimate the yield of bulk items, e.g. estimate the number of servings a three kilogram salmon will yield. (1)
  • May prepare customers' bills, e.g. may total customers' bills for catering functions and banquets and apply discounts and taxes. (2)
  • May calculate costs of menu items, e.g. calculate the cost of ingredients for promotional dinner specials. (2)
  • Calculate ingredient quantities when modifying recipes, e.g. calculate ingredient requirements to double and triple recipe yields. (2)
  • Convert the weights and volumes of ingredients between Imperial and Metric systems. (2)
  • Manage inventories of ingredients and supplies, e.g. use consumption data from previous functions to determine the amount of meat needed for future events. (2)
  • Estimate the time required to prepare food for catering functions and banquets. (2)
  • May schedule sequences of activities and tasks, e.g. establish meal preparation timelines and staffing requirements for large banquets. (3)
  • May develop budgets, e.g. head cooks may develop annual budgets by forecasting operating expenses and revenues. (3)
  • May analyze sales data to establish consumer trends and the popularity of menu items by day, month and season. (3)
  • Estimate the quantity of ingredients and supplies needed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. (3)
 Oral communication
  • Speak with suppliers to learn about the availability of supplies and their cost. (1)
  • Discuss work assignments with co-workers, e.g. speak with kitchen staff to coordinate the use of equipment. (2)
  • May instruct kitchen and food servers, e.g. explain food safety protocols to apprentices. (2)
  • Make product suggestions and participate in product development meetings, e.g. offer suggestions and opinions about the type, flavour and appearance of menu items. (2)
  • May speak with customers, e.g. speak with customers to learn their opinions about recipes and the manner in which food was prepared and served. (2)
  • May negotiate contracts with suppliers, e.g. may negotiate with suppliers to establish the terms and conditions of food and equipment purchases. (3)
  • Contend with staff shortages. They call in replacement staff and ask workers to stay longer. (1)
  • Decide what supplies need to be ordered and when. (1)
  • Face shortages of ingredients and supplies. They substitute ingredients, replace menu items and contact suppliers to request rush deliveries. (2)
  • Encounter substandard and spoiled ingredients. They investigate the cause and speak with suppliers and staff to ensure ingredients meet quality standards. (2)
  • Discover that a recipe has not turned out as expected. They add other ingredients to improve the taste and start over if the food does not meet quality standards. (2)
  • Receive complaints from customers. They speak with customers about their concerns and establish where the fault lies. They speak with suppliers, kitchen staff and food servers to address quality and service issues. (2)
  • Decide how to modify recipes to meet customer needs. They alter ingredients and food preparation practices to accommodate customers with severe food allergies. (2)
  • Choose ingredients for menu items and specials. They consider the freshness and availability of ingredients and the food preferences of their customers. (2)
  • Decide the order of food preparation and housekeeping tasks. They consider factors, such as cooking times, customer preferences and the availability of staff and equipment. (2)
  • Evaluate the quality of ingredients using criteria, such as freshness, appearance, taste, size and texture. (2)
  • Evaluate the appearance and taste of the foods they produce, e.g. use their knowledge of food presentation and flavouring to determine whether a soufflé is suitably prepared. (2)
  • May evaluate the performance of kitchen staff, e.g. evaluate the performance of apprentices by considering their ability to maintain sanitary conditions and prepare food within acceptable timeframes. (2)
  • Plan tasks and review and modify work priorities and deadlines on an hourly, daily and weekly basis in order to ensure a smooth workflow and maximum efficiency. They coordinate their work plans with co-workers to schedule access to ovens and equipment and coordinate work between various work stations. Menus are generally planned on a longer basis, usually monthly. They also plan regularly to ensure an adequate stock and rotation of supplies. (2)
  • Source new recipes by conducting Internet research, reading trade magazines, referring to cookbooks and speaking with colleagues and suppliers. (2)
  • Locate prices and product codes by referring to paper-based and electronic catalogues and by speaking with suppliers. (2)
  • May evaluate the efficiency of kitchen operations, e.g. head cooks assess the organization of job tasks and the use of staff and equipment to optimize operations. (3)
  • Find information about trends and new cooking methods and products by reading recipes, magazine articles and cookbooks, consulting with other cooks and by visiting other restaurants. (3)
 Digital technology
  • May use spreadsheet software to monitor inventory. (1)
  • Use calculators to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating ingredient requirements. (1)
  • May use specialized software applications to calculate the protein levels, calories and carbohydrates of menus items. (1)
  • Use digitally controlled kitchen equipment, such as pressure fryers and cookers, to prepare foods and menu items. (1)
  • May use enterprise digital assistant (EDA) devices to manage inventory and reorder supplies. (1)
  • May use word processing software to write memos, short reports and recipes. (2)
  • May use specialized databases to maintain inventories of ingredients and supplies. (2)
  • May use specialized databases to input and retrieve recipes. (2)
  • May use spreadsheet software to calculate ingredient requirements for non-standard orders. (2)
  • May use specialized restaurant management software to input costs and receivables and to generate sales summaries and income and expense statements. (2)
  • May use communication software to send email messages and attachments to suppliers. (2)
  • May use browsers and search engines to locate recipe ideas and information about equipment. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by apprenticeship trainers, suppliers, employers and associations. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where they seek and offer advice about recipes and health trends. (2)
  • May use advanced spreadsheet features to create budgets and track capital, staffing, leasing, inventory and operating costs. (3)
 Additional information

Regulation by Province/Territory

Some occupations require certification from a regulatory authority. Certification can be compulsory or voluntary, depending on the occupation.

  • If the certification is compulsory, you must be certified before you can practice the occupation and use its professional designation.
  • If the certification is voluntary, you don’t need practice this occupation.

Find out if your occupation is regulated and contact the regulatory authority to learn about the certification process.


Table listing provincial regulation requirements
Location Job title Regulation Regulatory body
Canada Ship’s Cook Regulated (compulsory) Transport Canada
British Columbia Cook (Professional Cook 3) Regulated (compulsory) British Columbia Industry Training Authority

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