Line cooks are responsible for most of the food that comes out of the kitchen at our favorite restaurants. They are makers and contributors who create delicious meals that bring the chef’s menu to life.
They work under an executive chef or sous chef, and are typically assigned to work at a particular station on the line. The station can be related to the equipment used, like the grill or stove, or to the type of food being prepared, like meat or seafood. Beyond cooking, line cooks also help make sure the kitchen is clean, operational, and properly stocked. They work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays, and need to be able to stay on their feet for long periods of time in fast-paced, often high-pressure environments.
Formal education is not required to be a line cook, but completing a degree or certificate in culinary arts can be helpful for career advancement. Most line cooks start as prep cooks first to gain experience in the kitchen through on-the-job training. Line cooks are also required in most states to obtain a food handler’s permit. Jobs for cooks are expected to grow 10% by 2029.