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Career Story: Cook For A Reform School

Cook For A Reform School

Job Title: Senior Cook

Type of Company: A wilderness camp that serves emotionally troubled boys and girls from 11-17 years old.

Education: High School

Previous Experience: I have worked in the food business for over 20 years.

Job Tasks: My work day starts at 5:30am. I come to camp and get breakfast started for the children. They eat breakfast at 8:am. Then I clean the kitchen up and start to cook lunch. We are a wilderness camp but the state considers us a school so the meals that we prepare here are well-balanced and not your typical wilderness fare. While I am preparing the lunch menu the 11:00 cook arrives to start her shift. She helps to finish preparing the lunch meal. Then at 1:00 we serve the children and feed the staff. At 1:30 we clean up. Then it is time to do our daily paperwork. Thursday is when I do the food order for the following week. Monday is delivery day, so in between breakfast and lunch I try to find time to put the stock away. The 1st of every month there is a lot of paperwork and computer work that has to be done, which then has be sent to Florida.

I have to make sure all of my cooks show up for their shifts. If they don't, I have to find someone to cover. If we have any specials functions I have to make sure all the food is ordered, prepared and served.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is I love to cook and it is pretty close to home. The average stay here for the children is 10-12 months so you really get to know some of the children and it's sad and happy when they graduate.

The worst part of my job is when one of my employees comes to me wanting time off.

Job Tips: Get as much experience as you can and maybe take some courses at a college. Cooking is a good career to get into because everybody has to eat.

Additional Thoughts: The only thing about a career in the cooking field is a lot of kitchens do not provide any medical insurance. But there are some out there that do. Just keep looking.

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