A Prep Chef's Duties

Written by neal litherland
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A Prep Chef's Duties
A prep chef has a variety of duties that must be completed in the kitchen. (chef image by Charles Taylor from Fotolia.com)

A prep chef is the low man on the totem pole in a chef's kitchen. On the other hand, it's the efforts of the prep chef that help keep things running smoothly and that allows the other cooks further up in the hierarchy to properly complete their jobs without a hitch.

Food Preparation

A prep chef's primary duty is to prep food and ingredients for use by other chefs. Prep chefs will make sure that herbs and spices are in place, grate cheese, assemble salads, chop vegetables and occasionally put together entr�es. There is no actual cooking involved in the prep chef's duties, but he sets things up so that the other chefs can have all of their tools and ingredients ready when it comes time for them to do the actual cooking in the restaurant.

Food Storage

A prep chef will also be responsible for properly storing food. Leftover food that wasn't cooked will have to be put away in the proper location (refrigerator for meats and vegetables or the pantry for breads and other types of food). Additionally, a prep chef might be responsible for disposing of food that was cooked but not eaten (the customers' leftovers). Generally speaking, the latter duty is reserved for busboys and other kitchen employees, but a prep chef may be required to assist them in this duty.


A prep chef may also have to complete a number of kitchen maintenance duties. Cleaning up all the cooking surfaces and wiping down the cutting boards may be on the list. Additionally, prep chefs may have to wash dishes (or at least run the dishwasher and put the silverware and flatware away afterward) and take out the garbage. These more menial tasks may also include taking meals out to customers at some restaurants. That depends on the restaurant though, and how busy the staff is that particular night.

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