Senior Cook - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA Req #906
Sunday, May 9, 2021

Are you inspired to be a part of an organization committed to protecting wildlife around the globe? San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a mission-based, non-profit wildlife conservation organization with two world famous front doors where we unite our passion for wildlife, expertise in wildlife care, and conservation science to save species from the brink of extinction. Our commitment is to provide visits to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park as opportunities to learn about and engage with best-in-class conservation work, and how that work is changing outcomes for wildlife everyday.  


The Senior Cook performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that supports San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction. The Senior Cook works under minimal supervision, performs a variety of moderately difficult duties and exceeds expectations in the preparation and cooking of food in large quantities; assists chef in the overall planning and supervision of the kitchen. This position reports to the Sous Chef/Executive Chef. This class is distinguished from the Cook class in that the Senior Cook consistently demonstrates leadership qualities as well as the desire and ability to engage in positive relationships with internal and external customers.  Supports and mentors non-senior staff.  This senior-level Cook position, serves as assistant to the chef, coordinates and supervises the work of other cooks and kitchen workers, and in absence of Chef may serve as acting Chef. Responsible for the administration of the entire Kitchen area both in the absence and in support of the Chef and/or Sous Chef.



  • Assists chef in menu planning    
  • Prepares and cooks menu items 
  • Ensures complete preparation of all food and kitchen items for events scheduled on Event orders (EO), special events, tastings, etc  
  • Ensures that preparations are complete for the day's menu and sets up and plans ahead looking at all events up to 3 days out or more 
  • Prepares main and side dishes for banquets and buffets     
  • Supports Zoo business needs and represents the kitchen by conducting site visits/VIP demonstrations, Chef’s tables and customer/client interaction to assist in the sales process and client retention.        
  • Walks all buffets and various client events with EO in hand to ensure that food is presented well, back-up plans are solid, EO’s are 100% completed with nothing missing and touch base with contacts/clients/Event Sales & FOH staff to ensure guest satisfaction
  • Accurately creates fire times and ensure proper departure times of all food to ensure all food is set and ready at least 15 minutes out to reflect set times of buffets
  • Ensures that the kitchens are maintained in a clean and orderly condition   
  • Assists Chef/Sous Chef in providing a safe working environment and overseeing cleanliness, safety and sanitation in all kitchens in all areas.
  • Assist in ensuring that we are Health Department, Ecosure and Best Practices compliant        
  • Orders supplies  
  • Conducts the period-end inventory
  • Manage EO production and guest orders  in a friendly, timely and efficient manner        
  • Oversee preparation of food in all areas during assigned shift    
  • Ensure that quality, flavor and presentation of product is above standard at all times    
  • Visually check food quality and continuously perform taste tests of product prepared for guests to ensure quality and consistency             
  • Corrects issues that affect food production, service or quality      
  • Writes detailed prep lists and kitchen orders, assigns duties to team members,
  • Communicate needs of kitchen to team, review and post EO’s and attend EO meetings when necessary.
  • Provides support to the chefs, manager, supervisor and lead of the area   
  • Assists with new hire training and mentors staff     
  • Teach, train, educate, pre-shift, huddle and conduct one-on-one’s with team members in various ways to ensure that our Values, Mission and goals/direction are being continuously re-inforced and respected
  • Engages in the organization’s mission and vision     
  • Adheres to all SDZWA and department policies and practices        
  • Model for punctuality and professionalism      
  • Ensure knowledge of menu and all food products   
  • Visually inspect all food sent from the kitchen      
  • Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics  
  • Check and respond to all emails on a daily basis to ensure good flow of communication        
  • Performs consistently above organization performance standards      
  • Communicate any challenges to Chef/Sous Chef
  • Performs related duties and responsibilities as required



A Senior Cook that consistently demonstrates leadership qualities as well as the desire and ability to engage in positive relationships with internal and external customers. Supports and mentors staff. This senior level Cook position serves as an assistant to the chef, coordinates and supervises the work of other cooks and kitchen workers. Essential functions for this position include performing a variety of skilled duties in preparation and cooking of various food items. Applicant must have cooking experience in high volume, fast paced, full service restaurants. An example of experience would be at least 3 years in a fast-paced restaurant setting and 1 to 2 years of previous cooking experience in a fast paced banquet environment. Must have sauté, broiler and line production experience. Ability to follow and provide verbal direction effectively and work in a team environment is required. Clear, consistent and courteous communication is necessary. Butchering experience is a plus. Selected candidates must have knowledge of inventory control procedures, appropriate temperature for cooking and holding food, ability to follow recipe accurately, understanding portion control, minimizing waste and adherence to recipes. Knowledge of preparing stocks, soups, and sauces without referring to recipe is highly desirable. Culinary school or previous experience supervising or training the kitchen crew is requiredMinimum of 4 years of experience as a cook or relief cook and previous training in a full service restaurant that generates over $1 million in annual sales is considered a plus. Applicants must be available any of the seven days of the week including nights, weekend, and holidays.



Education, training and/or experience which clearly demonstrate the knowledge and skills listed. An example of which would be extensive experience as a cook completion of a commercial cooking apprenticeship or other training program; experience in other restaurants and operations such as catering or fine dining in a senior capacity.  Minimum three years of experience as a cook. Minimum two years of experience in a similar environment. Formal culinary training helpful.



  • Proper preparation and cooking methods for a wide variety of food items
  • Proper usage and care of commercial kitchen equipment and utensils
  • Sanitation and safety methods for food preparation and handling
  • Inventory control procedures and best practices
  • Informational Zoo facts
  • Effective customer relations skills
  • Effective leadership skills
  • Cook and bake food in large quantities
  • Understand recipes and menus
  • Evaluate food condition, doneness, and decorations
  • Operate commercial equipment and utensils correctly and safely
  • Train and supervise cooks and kitchen helpers
  • Communicate effectively (written and verbal)
  • Keep simple records
  • Use cash register (as needed)
  • Accurately complete the period-end inventory
  • Work independently without supervision
  • Maintain a passing grade on Environmental Health Department tests
  • Work in a high volume, fast-paced environment
  • Work in a team environment and motivate others
  • Multi-task and prioritize
  • Follow directions effectively
  • Be a role model in all areas of performance
  • Deal tactfully and courteously with others in a diverse environment
  • Competently perform the representative duties outlined above
  • Perform each essential job function at a high level


  • Location: San Diego Zoo Safari Park - Retail
  • Duration: Year Round
  • Union Position:  $19.16
  • Candidates must be available for an interview if contacted. Full job description available upon request.



WILDLIFE ALLIANCE IS AN EEO/AA/DISABILITY/PROTECTED VETERAN EMPLOYER San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every effort to ensure equal employment opportunities for all individuals and abides by EEO and nondiscrimination provisions of all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

Join our team and build a career protecting wildlife around the globe with your passion for wildlife!

Other details

  • Job Function 9.15
  • Pay Type Hourly
This posting is inactive.
  • 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027, USA