Fish cook

A fish cook


Fish cooks are responsible for the cooking, garnishing and sauce making for the fish courses with the exception of deep fried fish and grilled fish, done by the grill cook.

The duties of a fish cook include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing fish dishes for customers.
  • Weighing, measuring, mixing and preparing ingredients according to recipes.
  • Steaming, cooking, mincing or boiling fish, vegetables, and other ingredients.
  • Checking food and ingredients for freshness.
  • Arranging and garnishing dishes.
  • Working well under pressure and within the time limit.
  • Ensuring that kitchen area, equipment and utensils are cleaned.
  • Helping lead and inspire the kitchen staff with the restaurant manager.

Working conditions

Like all cooks, fish cooks work in restaurants, hotels, and other food service establishment. They often work early mornings, late evenings, weekends and holidays. Most fish cooks work full time. They often wear uniforms, such as aprons or jackets.

Fish cooks are often exposed hazardous situations and conditions that produces cuts or minor burns. They may work near contaminants and hazardous equipment.

Fish cooks are often exposed to hot and cold temperatures, such as when working near ovens or retrieving food from freezers. They sometimes work in a noisy and distracting environment.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to fish cook:

sea food restaurant cook
sea food cook
seafood cook
fish station chef
seafood restaurant cook
fish fryer
fish chef
fish restaurant chef
fish section cook
fish frier
fish restaurant cook
fish section chef
fish station cook

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or a culinary school degree is generally required to work as fish cook. Prior experience in food and beverage service, or food preparation is an asset.

The ability to use slicers, mixers, grinders, or food processors is significant in that role. As well as the ability to handle work in a fast-paced environment.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Fish cook is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Fish cook career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to fish cook.

grill cook
diet cook
fish preparation operator

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of fish cook. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of fish cook with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

pastry chef
private chef
head pastry chef
head chef

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of fish cook.

  • Comply with food safety and hygiene: Respect optimal food safety and hygiene during preparation, manufacturing, processing, storage, distribution and delivery of food products.
  • Order supplies: Command products from relevant suppliers to get convenient and profitable products to purchase.
  • Slice fish: Cut fish or fish parts into fillets and smaller pieces.
  • Store raw food materials: Keep in reserve raw materials and other food supplies, following stock control procedures.
  • Receive kitchen supplies: Accept the delivery of ordered kitchen supplies and make sure everything is included and in good condition.
  • Use food preparation techniques: Apply food preparation techniques including the selecting, washing, cooling, peeling, marinating, preparing of dressings and cutting of ingredients.
  • Cook seafood: Prepare seafood dishes. The complexity of the dishes will depend on the range of seafood used and how they are combined with other ingredients in their preparation and cooking.
  • Dispose waste: Dispose waste in accordance with legislation, thereby respecting environmental and company responsibilities.
  • Work in a hospitality team: Function confidently within a group in hospitality services, in which each has his own responsibility in reaching a common goal which is a good interaction with the customers, guests or collaborators and their contentment.
  • Handover the food preparation area: Leave the kitchen area in conditions which follow safe and secure procedures, so that it is ready for the next shift.
  • Use reheating techniques: Apply reheating techniques including steaming, boiling or bain marie.
  • Use culinary finishing techniques: Apply culinary finishing techniques including garnishing, decorating, plating, glazing, presenting and portioning.
  • Use food cutting tools: Trim, peel and slice products with knives, paring or food cutting tools or equipment according to guidelines.
  • Ensure cleanliness of food preparation area: Guarantee the continuous cleanliness of kitchen preparation, production and storage areas according to hygiene, safety and health regulations.
  • Maintain a safe, hygienic and secure working environment: Preserve health, hygiene, safety and security in the workplace in accordance with relevant regulations.
  • Maintain kitchen equipment at correct temperature: Keep the refrigeration and storage of kitchen equipment at the correct temperature.
  • Use cooking techniques: Apply cooking techniques including grilling, frying, boiling, braising, poaching, baking or roasting.

Optional knowledge and skills of fish cook

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fish cook. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Seafood processing: Process of all marine finfish, crustaceans, molluscs and other forms of aquatic life (including squid, sea turtle, jellyfish, sea cucumber, and sea urchin and the roe of such animals) other than birds or mammals, harvested for human consumption.
  • Fish anatomy: The study of the form or morphology of fish species.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of fish cook. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Prepare dairy products for use in a dish: Prepare dairy products for use in a dish by cleaning, cutting or using other methods.
  • Prepare saucier products for use in a dish: Make saucier products for use in a dish by cleaning, cutting or using other methods.
  • Comply with standard portion sizes: Adhere to set portion sizes by cooking meals according to standard food portion sizes and recipe specifications.
  • Prepare salad dressings: Make salad dressings by mixing desired ingredients.
  • Handle chemical cleaning agents: Ensure proper handling, storage and disposal of cleaning chemicals in accordance with regulations.
  • Cook vegetable products: Prepare dishes based on vegetables in combination with other ingredients if necessary.
  • Plan menus: Organise menus taking into account the nature and style of the establishment, client feedback, cost and the seasonality of ingredients.
  • Cook sauce products: Prepare all kinds of sauces (hot sauces, cold sauces, dressings), which are liquid or semi-liquid preparations that accompany a dish, adding flavour and moisture.
  • Execute chilling processes to food products: Carry out chilling, freezing and cooling operation processes to food products such as fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, catering food. Prepare food products for extended periods of storage or half prepared food. Ensure safety and nutrition qualities of frozen goods and preserve products in accordance with specified temperatures.
  • Prepare vegetable products for use in a dish: Make vegetable products, such as vegetables, pulses, fruits, grains and mushrooms for further use in dishes.
  • Store kitchen supplies: Keep delivered kitchen supplies for future use in a safe and hygiene place according to guidelines.
  • Advise customers on seafood choices: Provide advice on the available seafood and on ways of cooking and storing it.
  • Control of expenses: Monitor and maintain effective cost controls, in regards to efficiencies, waste, overtime and staffing. Assessing excesses and strives for efficiency and productivity.
  • Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.
  • Check deliveries on receipt: Control that all order details are recorded, that faulty items are reported and returned and that all paperwork is received and processed, according to the purchasing procedures.
  • Prepare egg products for use in a dish: Make egg products for use in a dish by cleaning, cutting or using other methods.

ISCO group and title

5120 – Cooks

  1. ESCO
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Chiefs and Dinner Cooks – Working Conditions – Illinois WorkNet
  4. Restaurant Cook Job Description – BetterTeam
  5. Featured image: Photo by Oscar Chevillard on Unsplash
Last updated on June 8, 2022

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