What Skills Does a Cook Need?

If you are considering pursuing a career as a cook, you must understand the skill and knowledge requirements that you need to succeed in this dynamic industry! Of course, each employer will have slightly different needs, but many skills are constantly in demand in restaurants all over America. We will go through the most in-demand skills in the cooking industry and show you how to highlight them in your resume!

But, first, how’s that resume looking? If you’re here reading about the skills a cook needs, chances are you’re in the process of applying for cookery jobs. Make sure your resume highlights all your skills and knowledge in the best way by following a resume example courtesy of ResumeHelp. They even have a cook resume example!


Although there are many different members in a kitchen at one time, each with a specific job, as a cook, you will always be required to pursue some level of multitasking. For example, maybe you’re cooking two main courses simultaneously, or you’re simmering a sauce in one pot and plating up a dish next to you. You must remain organized and patient, no matter which tasks you are doing simultaneously.

Active Learner

When it comes to cooking, it takes decades of hard work and commitment to make it to a head chef role. So, to get there, you must take advice and listen to tips thrown your way. Whether you learn by assisting a sous or head chef, or you decide to complete a training program, showing that you are open to learning new cuisines and techniques will show an eagerness and open-minded approach that many establishments desire.

Attention to Detail

Here lies the answer if you’ve ever followed a recipe and wondered why chefs include a ‘pinch’ of random ingredients. Small details can enhance flavors and take a dish from mundane to extraordinary. As a cook, paying attention to detail in all areas of your craft, such as writing recipes, making meals, plating up, etc., allow your skills to excel while providing your customers with great-tasting food.

Kitchen Hygiene

This skill may not come to your head immediately when you think of creating a sublime dish, but understanding kitchen hygiene and keeping a clean workplace is vital to working in a kitchen. From sanitizing your appliances to wiping down after service, kitchen hygiene will be a skill implemented in all parts of your day as a cook.

Passion and Creativity

When a cook is passionate about the food they are cooking, you will be able to taste this difference. That said, you must apply your passion to all dishes you make to ensure you produce the best results that are bound to get people talking. When your mindset is based on passion, you will be able to apply your creativity to what you do, from trying new ingredient combinations to devising entirely new recipes!


From the lengthy process of cooking duck breast to waiting for your assistant cook to chop up vegetables, you will need to apply patience every day in this profession! You can’t rush things and must always cook ingredients for the exact amount of time required. So remember to remain patient, even in stressful moments during peak service.


You will quickly realize that succeeding as a cook isn’t a one-person effort and instead requires the kitchen team to rally together to provide exceptional service for their guests. Therefore, teamwork skills and knowing your role within the group are essential!


Although you work as a team, as a cook, you will likely have to lead the rest of the kitchen to victory. So, remain level-headed and ensure everyone is doing their job to the best of their ability, and you will a winner!