Established: 07/87
Revised: 07/94
Reactivated: 06/12
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 8



Under general supervision, to plan, organize, coordinate and participate in the preparation, cooking and serving of institutional meals; to train and lead the work of cooks and kitchen assistants in sanitary food handling, preparation and cooking techniques; and to do other work as required.


The Cook series is used by County correctional facilities to provide large quantity meal service to jail inmates and work release center residents within a full service institutional food operation.

The Cook, Senior ensures the proper preparation of meals to meet established standards and special dietary or religious guidelines. Incumbents plan meals, order supplies and oversee the operation of a large kitchen, including leading the work of cooking staff and inmate/resident kitchen assistants.

The Cook, Senior differs from the Cook which does not have budgeting, meal planning or lead work responsibilities. It also differs from the Food Services Coordinator which oversees a larger staff serving a larger inmate population comprised of convicted felons with extensive criminal histories.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Plans and updates menus and recipes to provide appealing meals which meet standards for balanced nutritional value, calorie content and variety; consults with licensed nutritionist for menu review and approval.
  2. Prepares meals according to established menus, including special meals to meet therapeutic and religious dietary needs; uses a variety of cooking methods, including baking, broiling, frying and steaming; cleans, trims, cuts and prepares meats and vegetables.
  3. Oversees, trains and instructs employees and inmate/resident kitchen assistants in proper food preparation techniques, sanitation, safety and work requirements; assists in interviewing, selecting and evaluating assigned personnel; recommends disciplinary actions.
  4. Monitors food service budget; orders and procures food, equipment and supplies; documents expenditures and implements cost control measures; maintains inventory and necessary records to meet state and County standards.
  5. Establishes and maintains sanitation guidelines; monitors security and sanitary conditions of equipment, dishes, utensils, kitchen and dining area; ensures facility meets County health standards.
  6. Coordinates food service activities with department operations; recommends improvements, changes and major purchases.


Working knowledge of: Materials and methods of preparing food for large groups; menu planning, budgeting, purchasing and record keeping for institutional kitchen operations; nutritional meal planning, food production, quality control and meal forecasting; food values and proper food combinations; kitchen equipment use and capability; state health standards for institutional food preparation; occupational hazards and safety precautions; sanitation methods for food preparation and serving areas; basic math, including fractions; security measures in a corrections institution; principles and techniques of food handling, preparation, cooking and storage.

Skill to: Plan and prepare nutritional menus including those to meet therapeutic and religious dietary needs; calculate food and supply requirements for a large number of people; prepare and cook all types of foods in an appropriate, sanitary manner to maintain appealing and nutritious food content; safely operate, clean, and service kitchen equipment and utensils; comply with health and food handling standards; follow and adjust recipes to obtain required quantities; make appropriate recipe substitutions; evaluate food qualities, such as freshness, cleanliness and proper cooking; plan, organize and oversee the work of residents, volunteers and assigned staff to effectively produce nutritious meals on a timely basis; prepare and maintain accurate records and reports; establish and maintain effective working relationships; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.


Duties require considerable standing, upper body movement, reaching, bending and lifting.

Some positions are assigned to work in an adult custody setting involving frequent contact with inmates who may exhibit severe antisocial behavior.


Must possess a valid State of Oregon Food Handler certification or valid food manager training certification that meets the requirements of the Oregon Food Code.

Must be willing to work evenings, weekends and holidays as scheduled.

Within six (6) months of hire: First Aid/CPR certification.

Must successfully pass an extensive background investigation including national fingerprint records check.

Must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer physical assessment. Accommodation requests will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.