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Job Type:
Minimum USD hourly rate: 17.98
Maximum USD hourly rate: 23.39

Industry: Staff, Dining Services

Company: University of San Diego

Lead Cook

Posting #: 4933
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Staff, Dining Services

Position Title & Department:

Lead Cook; Pavilion Dining

Posting #

Department Description:
Join the University of San Diego culinary team! Be an integral part of our award-winning, nationally recognized culinary program. We are proud to provide 2.5 million meals each year for our campus community of over 8,000 students, in addition to faculty, staff and visitors. Our diverse portfolio of dining locations and services includes; a full service restaurant and pub, retail outlets (four cafes and a coffeehouse), a market and deli, a food court featuring an array of global cuisine, outstanding catering services, athletic concessions at multiple locations, and food service for the child development center.

Pavilion Dining is home to an array of unique dining concepts that fuse distinct ingredients and flavors to create delicious menus in an inviting environment. Menus were developed in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Recipient of a Silver Loyal E. Horton Award presented by NACUFS for excellence in dining.

University Description:
The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Contemporary Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:
The Division of Student Affairs is committed to grounding our policies, programs, and procedures in antiracist practice. With this commitment, we recognize the importance of educating ourselves and holding one another accountable to ensure our work is approached through equity, inclusion, and social justice lens. We recognize our need for ongoing development in this area and continue to strive to improve. We expect all members of the Division of Student Affairs are willing to engage in this work alongside us to uphold our Catholic mission of creating a welcoming environment where the dignity of all students, staff, administrators, and faculty at USD is embraced.

The Lead Cook is responsible for aiding in the organization, coordination, and supervision of the preparation of hot food production, maintenance of quality and/or portion control, and the maintenance of sanitation and safety standards. The Lead Cook, under the supervision of the Chef Manager, acts as a working supervisor in training, coordinating, and evaluating the work of the lower-level cooks and other part time staff. Typically, the Lead Cook performs the more difficult production duties and participates in the recipe and product development. The Lead Cook assists the Chef by developing departmental goals. Perform other duties as assigned.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • As lead cook specializing in Asian cuisine, focuses on making sure production and recipes reflect authentic Asian flavors of the menu
  • Acts as working supervisor for food production for menu items.
  • Supervises and participates in the quality and quantity preparation of all menu items.
  • Reviews service menu and helps assign and coordinate daily workload; organizes work areas to ensure ease of operation.
  • Checks production sheet against inventory to assure necessary items are on hand; plans for backup items as needed.
  • Helps forecast and order food and supplies.
  • Aids in forecasting proper quantity preparation for each item served.
  • Uses correct methods of preparation and instructs staff in correct methods.
  • Ensures products are made to specification and reviews recipes for variances in the finished product, including yield, appearance, taste, and texture. Consults Chef when corrective action is needed.
  • Ensures proper product portioning.
  • Coordinates and instructs staff in appropriate sequential production time frames for maximum quality control.
  • Responsible for the timely delivery, setup, and dispensing of menued items as specified.
  • Responsible for proper storage and utilization of leftovers.
  • Ensures proper rotation and storage of all products.
  • Assists in daily production sheets; responsible for assisting in the completion of production/event records.
  • Assists Chef in the research, development, and testing of new recipes and menus.
  • Attends weekly production meetings.
  • Coordinates production and delegations with Chef on a daily basis.
  • Has primary responsibility for the cleanliness of the kitchen.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Customer Satisfaction:

  • Maintains good customer relations through attitude, appearance, and attention to detail in daily work.
  • Maintains consistent high-quality standards; quality-tests every finished product for taste, texture, appearance, and temperature.
  • Assures that all foods are attractively garnished and appropriately displayed.
  • Supervises service line to assure product quality standards are maintained: temperature, appearance, full pans, garnish, portioning.
  • Ensures that products are not held longer than establishing holding times.
  • Services customer/guest needs with the appropriate sense of business urgency to provide quality service.
  • Reports feedback from the customer to supervisor and/or area manager.
  • Provides input on menuing, and special meals in weekly production meetings.


  • Assists in the direction, supervision, training, and evaluation of cooks and part-time staff.
  • Sets leadership example by a willingness to work on all job tasks.
  • Provides regular feedback to employees regarding performance.
  • Delegates assignments as appropriate and follows up to ensure work is accurate and complete.
  • Operates all kitchen equipment and trains others on proper use.
  • Responsible for a smooth workflow, communication, and ideas through a congenial, caring, and supportive attitude.
  • Ensures that employees understand and adhere to all Dining Services policies and procedures.
  • Reports any problems (disciplinary or otherwise) to supervisor.

Safety and Sanitation:

  • Implements and maintains proper safety and sanitation standards in the workplace.
  • Supervises employees in proper food handling methods and techniques.
  • Coordinates all scheduled cleanup operations.
  • In absence of the supervisor, responsible for the security of the unit.
  • Supervises the energy-efficient operation of equipment. Implements startup/shutdown schedules for equipment.
  • Ensures excellent personal hygiene, including care of uniforms, shoes, and head covering for all staff.
  • Supervises kitchen cleanliness/sanitation during operation.
  • Does not participate in unsafe acts and sets a good example for other workers.
  • Reports all accidents and/or injuries to supervisor, or to Public Safety in the absence of a supervisor, immediately.
  • Reports all equipment maintenance problems to the supervisor.
  • Ensures that all staff know the location of fire extinguishers and Ansul System pull stations and how to use them.

University and Dining Services Policies:

  • Knows and follows all University and Dining Services policies and procedures.
  • Instructs staff regarding Dining Services policies and procedures.

Special Conditions of Employment:

  • Must be able to work a varied hourly work schedule including evenings, early mornings, weekends, and holidays.
  • May be laid off during slow periods (December/January and May).
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule to accommodate intersession and summer conference business.
  • Must have excellent personal hygiene because of contact with food and food products.

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations. For more regarding information USD’s COVID-19 protocols, please visit

Background check: Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes.

Job Requirements:
Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduation from high school or GED equivalent.
  • At least two years of related food service experience working in Asian cuisine; these cuisines can include Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and or/Indian.
  • At least one year of supervisory experience.

Performance Expectations – Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Skills needed: Wok, Sushi Rolling, pickling, steaming, Sautee, deep frying, Asian Quality Rice Making
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision and manage personal and subordinate staff workloads.
  • Must be thoroughly trained in classical and modern food preparation methods and techniques.
  • Knowledge of proper cook times, temperatures, and food preparation procedures and techniques.
  • Understanding of basic sanitation and safety requirements.
  • Strong communication skills and problem-solving abilities; must be able to communicate with employees, University community members, and implement and maintain production records.
  • Ability to organize personnel, work, and materials for maximum productivity; knowledge of basic ordering techniques and maintenance of par stock.
  • Proven ability to supervise and motivate staff, as well as evaluate performance and delegate appropriate responsibilities.
  • Excellent skills in the use of specific equipment and tools as identified below, as well as their preventive maintenance and calibration requirements.

Posting Salary:
$17.98 – 23.39 per hour; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers. Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer. USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position. Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions:
Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click the ‘Apply Now’ button to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review. If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at

Additional Details:
Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit

Advertised: May 16, 2024 Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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