What does a kitchen assistant do?
Kitchen assistants are responsible for cleaning the kitchen, carrying out basic food preparation tasks, and ensuring that chefs have everything they need. They may also unload deliveries from suppliers and organise the storeroom.
Keeping the kitchen clean and following strict hygiene and health and safety rules is an important part of the work. This involves making sure that equipment, kitchen appliances, work surfaces, floors and walls are kept clean. Kitchen assistants are also responsible for the washing up.
The work is quite often allocated to a particular kitchen department. Responsibility could therefore be mainly for the preparation of vegetables, or preparation of raw fish or meat. Assistants will use a variety of kitchen equipment such as automatic mixers, chipping machines and specially designed knives and cutters.
What's the working environment like working as a kitchen assistant?
Hours of work vary and may include evenings, weekends and public holidays. Work in a factory or business is likely to have more regular hours.
Part-time, casual or seasonal work may be available.
Kitchen assistants spend most of their time on their feet in the kitchen, which is often hot, steamy and noisy. The job can involve heavy lifting.
Protective clothing will usually be provided by the employer.
What does it take to become a kitchen assistant?
To be a kitchen assistant, you should:
- Have stamina and enthusiasm
- Be flexible
- Be able to carry out set tasks quickly and efficiently
- Have good communication skills
- Be able to work as part of a team.
Kitchen assistant career opportunities
There are usually plenty of vacancies for this type of work.
With experience and further training, it may be possible to work towards becoming a chef. On completion of NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in Food Preparation and Cooking or with equivalent experience, promotion may be possible to trainee or commis chef.
It may be necessary to change employer for progression.