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Dining Cook

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Multiple full time Partial Year Career positions available in multiple Dining Halls across the UC Santa Cruz campus.

Must possess a valid license to drive in the State of California and be able to participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) pull notice program.

Benefits to working at UC Santa Cruz include:

  • Medical, Dental & Vision Care Insurance Plans
  • UC Retirement Plans
  • Group Term Life Insurance
  • Legal Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Paid Holidays plus accrued vacation and sick leave
  • Meal Allowance
  • Gym discount at UCSC recreation facilities

UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to policy.

INITIAL REVIEW DATE (IRD): UC Santa Cruz staff jobs are posted until filled. Application materials submitted by 11:59 pm on the IRD will be routed to the hiring unit for consideration. NOTE: Materials submitted after the IRD will be forwarded only at the request of the hiring unit. Submit your materials before the IRD to ensure consideration by the hiring unit.

The IRD for this job is: 01-18-2023

ABOUT UC SANTA CRUZ: UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It’s known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus’s DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.

DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW: Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services (CHES) is a multi-funded organization within the Finance, Operations and Administration (FOA) division at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz. CHES provides leadership in the areas of college student life and residential services, housing services, facilities, employee housing and capital planning, dining services, conference services, early education services, the Bay Tree Campus Store, ID card services, and business and financial analysis for these areas.

CHES provides on-campus housing and dining services to approximately 9,500 undergraduate and graduate students in ten residential colleges and six multi-college affiliated residential communities, which support single students and students with families.

UC Santa Cruz Dining is instrumental in the success of our students as well as providing services to staff, faculty and guests of the campus. Our mission is to be committed to creating a diverse, safe, fun and trusting environment for our guests and team; building an innovative dining program providing high quality service and food while embracing social, nutritional and financial responsibilities.

More information can be found here.

JOB SUMMARY: Under the supervision of Dining Management, the Principal Food Service Worker will work independently in the daily oversight of a Dining Hall Restaurant, Retail location, and/or Catering operations. The incumbent serves as “Lead” for a team and performs a variety of duties related to semi-skilled food preparation, serving or maintenance functions in the kitchen or dining area plus cash handling, customer service, event/food preparation and delivery and overseeing safety and sanitation of the location. The Principal Food Service Worker is expected to have substantial knowledge of the complex operation of the dining or kitchen area and to have previous experience or training in their particular area of work.


Salary Information: $22.67 / hour

No. of Positions: 16

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: to be determined
  • Shift Includes: Day, Evenings, Nights, Weekends - to be determined

Employee Classification: This is a Partial Year Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: Service Employees (SX)

Job Code Classification: 005523 - COOK

Travel: Never or Rarely


60% Food Production:

  • Prepares assigned menu items following recipes and production sheets for all meals. Follows the standard HACCP principles of food preparation, safety and sanitation in food production.
  • Merchandises food including garnishing for serving presentation. Participates in ongoing customer service programs which include “just in time” cooking, demonstration cooking and interaction with customers. Completes service records at end of meal period or shift.
  • Prepares food from scratch including entrees, starches, vegetables, gravies and sauces, soups, breads, desserts, and other dishes. Responsible for preparing entrees and works independently following cycle menus without directions.
  • Makes recommendations to Senior Cook or managers on problem recipes and may up-date, correct and modify recipes

15% Quality Assurance:

  • Performs taste tests for quality and distributes prepared food at correct temperatures prior to service for meals in designated service areas. Batch cooks food items as appropriate.
  • Frequently checks service line to ensure quality control and HACCP standards are met. Stores products to maximize quality and food safety.
  • Stores leftover food properly and makes recommendations for planned usage of leftovers. Prepares and dates food samples taken from service. Independently decides reuse value for foods following HACCP guidelines

15% Safety and Sanitation

  • Ensures the cleanliness, safety and sanitation of designated storage and work areas, kitchen equipment and utensils used in food production.
  • Cleans equipment, work tables, sinks and drains in kitchen areas.
  • As needed or directed, assists with cleanliness of tables, chairs and self-service areas. Sweeps, mops and vacuums floors in dining and kitchen areas. At closing and as directed, cleans all equipment, countertops, tabletops; empties all trash, recycling and compost cans; pulls floor mats and places chairs on top of the tables.
  • Sweeps kitchen floors, mops floors as per current practice and procedure, and cleans out drains.
  • Cleans restrooms to include but not limited to washing sinks, counters, walls, and mirrors. Washes commodes and urinals and mops floors as per current practice and procedure.
  • At opening and as directed, places chairs on the floor and replaces the floor mats.
  • Instructs and directs kitchen staff as needed. Works in a safe and responsible manner while not putting others at risk. This includes complying with applicable policies and regulations, using personal safety gear, observing warning signs, learning about potential hazards and reporting unsafe conditions.
  • Independently and safely uses, assembles, disassembles and trains others in the use of any kitchen equipment. Identifies problems with equipment and reports to management.

10% Other Related Responsibilities

  • May instruct and direct the work of other staff to specified meal requirements. May train, instruct and direct other staff.


  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in a variety cooking techniques and recipes for food preparation in a large dining services program.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of how to prepare sauces, soups, vegetables, baked products and entrees.
  • Demonstrated experience in increasingly complex levels of cooking in a large food service environment as well as general kitchen maintenance or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Communication skills and abilities to direct other staff work and to provide training to less experienced staff.
  • Communication skills to interact with customers and take orders for display cooking or other special events.
  • Knowledge of appropriate temperature requirements for the safe serving, handling and storage of food.
  • Knowledge of how to safely operate a variety of kitchen equipment in a production kitchen.
  • Knowledge of safety techniques and procedures for food preparation, storage, and service.
  • Knowledge of merchandising and presentation techniques of food service.
  • Ability to taste and discern product quality, to read and understand recipes and menus, accurately estimate ingredient requirements, check production and keep records in order to accurately plan production requirements and accurately requisition supplies and equipment.
  • Ability to prepare complex recipes of a complexity appropriate to the job title and perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to follow oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to work independently and in a collaborative team-based environment.
  • Ability to work effectively and cooperatively with people from diverse groups.


  • Bilingual in Spanish/English, or willingness to learn.


  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends, as needed.
  • The University of California has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.
  • Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), this position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter. The selected candidate will be required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect as defined by CANRA and will be required to sign a Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse prior to commencing employment. CANRA Penal Codes, and related definitions, requirements, and responsibilities may be obtained here.

SAFETY STATEMENT: All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.

HOW TO APPLY: If interested, please submit an online application here.

EEO/AA: The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.