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University of San Diego
  • Position Number: 3497997
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Position Type: Food Services

Lead Cook, La Paloma Caf

Posting #: 4228

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.

At La Paloma enjoy globally inspired, simple, sustainable, local food for your mind and body.

University Description:
The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman 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 humanitys 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, acts as a working supervisor in training, coordinating, and evaluating the work of the lower-level cooks. 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.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Acts as working supervisor for food production for menued items.
  • Supervises and participates in the quality and quantity preparation of all menued items.
  • Reviews 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. 2.

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 knows 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.

The University of San Diego is requiring all employees to follow our Covid-19 vaccine requirement process.

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 and at least one year of supervisory experience.

Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • 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.

Certificates Licenses Registration:
  • Food Service Manager or Serve Safe Certification required by the State of California

Posting Salary:
$22.26 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

Education: Tuition opportunities supporting the education of employees and eligible dependents. Professional development. Culinary Institute of America Accredited Trainings.

Job Tools: Advancement opportunities. Complimentary tasting meals. Uniform, including (slip resistant) shoe reimbursement, provided.

Attractive Shifts: Minimal late night hours. Ten paid holidays. No Christmas Day or New Years Day shifts.

Discounts: USD Torero Store, Bartell Hotels, local event tickets. Free tickets to most USD sporting events.

Special Application Instructions:
Resume Required Click 'Apply Now' to complete our online application and, for full consideration, please upload a resume to your application profile for the hiring managers review. If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at

Additional Details:
Hours: 37.5 hour 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: November 01, 2022
Applications close: Open until filled

To apply, visit

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