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Dining Senior 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 general supervision of Sous Chefs or Managers, the Senior Cook prepares food that is complex and of the highest quality, which is appropriate to the skill level of a Senior Cook. Prepares assigned recipes for residence hall meals and other events, providing the highest quality of service to the customers. The incumbent will fill a leadership role in the kitchen by organizing and directing all assigned production staff for meal service. Follows all policies, rules and regulations of the University. Ensures health and safety guidelines are practiced. Performing under general supervision, this is a leadership kitchen position with the appropriate level of experience and competency in food preparation, productions and kitchen management.


Salary Information: $24.73 hourly

No. of Positions: 8

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, with a to be determined furlough period

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: Service Unit (SX)

Job Code Classification: 005522 – COOK SR

Travel: Never or Rarely


50% Food Operation:

    • 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 on-going customer service programs which include “just in time” cooking, demonstration cooking and interaction with customers. Completes production service records at the end of each meal period or shift.
    • The Senior Cook is responsible for the preparation of the majority of entrees and the more complex “from scratch” recipes involving complex directions or measurements and special sauces.
    • Will train all assigned personnel to meet high quality production, service and safety standards. Makes recommendations to managers and updates, corrects or modifies recipes as needed.

    25% Quality Assurance:

      • Ensures all food prepared during the shift is of the highest quality and is presented at its best by continually tasting and observing the food items that are being held and/or are on the serving lines. Continually observes and trains others in the kitchen and serving area in proper cooking techniques. Adheres to recipes and HACCP standards, presentation of foods and cleanliness of areas.
      • 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.
      • Communicates with managers and takes appropriate action when foods and/or food presentation is not of the highest quality and will take appropriate action such as removing item, adjusting finished product, placing product in a new serving vehicle for better presentation, etc.
      • Stores products and leftover food properly to maximize quality and food safety. Prepares and dates food samples taken from service. In addition, independently decides reuse value for foods and usage of leftovers following HACCP guidelines.

      15% Safety and Sanitation

          • Ensures the cleanliness, safety and sanitation of designated storage and work areas, large and small equipment and utensils used in food production and service.
          • 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, and tabletops; empties all trash, recycling and compost cans; pulls floor mats and places chairs on top of tables.
          • 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 and works in a safe and responsible manner while not putting others at risk.
          • Complies 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 Duties:

            • Coordinates schedules with manager.
            • May instruct and direct the work of other kitchen staff to specified meal requirements. Provides training to other staff on the safe operation and maintenance of kitchen equipment.
            • Oversees and coordinates production operation and staff to meet operation deadlines. Trains and directs production staff on how to correctly prepare, cook and present menu items.
            • Interacts with customers, explaining menu variety and cooking questions.


              • Strong demonstrated knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of cooking techniques and recipes for food preparation in a large dining service environment.
              • Strong demonstrated knowledge of how to prepare sauces, soups, vegetables, baked products and entrees.
              • Strong 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 sufficient to direct other staff work and to provide training to less experienced staff.
              • Communication skills needed to interact with customers and take orders for display cooking or other special events.
              • Extensive experience directing or leading the work of other cooks and kitchen staff.
              • Knowledge of appropriate temperature requirements for safe serving, food handling, and food storage.
              • 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, to 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 Spanish/English or willingness to learn.
              • Culinary education or equivalent combination of education and experience


              • 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.