County of Alameda

First Cook (#7535)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Service Employees (004)
$28.98-$34.37 Hourly / $2,173.50-$2,577.75 BiWeekly /
$4,709.25-$5,585.13 Monthly / $56,511.00-$67,021.50 Yearly

Under direction, to assist in planning, organizing and supervising food preparation, cooking and meal service on an assigned shift; and to do related work as required.


First Cooks work in the institutional kitchen of the Probation Department, they are shift supervisors working under the supervision of a Dietitian or Supervising Cook, and may act as Supervising Cook in their absence. They supervise Cooks, SAN (Assistant) Cooks and Food Service Workers in preparing, cooking, and serving food, and personally prepare the more difficult menu items, such as meat, poultry and fish courses that require baking or roasting. In the central kitchen at the juvenile institutions, the First Cook may supervise wards working in the Food Services who serve and clean in the dining areas. First Cooks report to the Supervising Cook, Food Services Manager or Institutional Managers.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Supervises and gives instruction and training to kitchen employees, evaluates their performance and takes or recommends appropriate action.

2. Prepares, cooks and dispenses food and serves as lead cook on a shift; may act as a Supervising Cook in their absence.

3. Apportions the food to the various dining rooms and other locations.

4. Supervises the maintenance of culinary utensils and equipment and the cleaning of various storage and work areas.

5. Inspects and maintains food handling practices and safety/Sanitation standards; supervises garbage disposal.

6. Requisitions, receives, inspects, stores and inventories supplies.

7. Confers with the Food Service Manager, Supervising Cook or a Dietitian to determine the amount of food to be prepared; may assist in the planning of menus or the ordering of food.

8. Keeps records and prepares reports.

9. Prepares, sets up and serves special events under the direction of the Supervising Cook.

10. Under the direction of the Supervising Cook, follows the policy and procedures of the National School Lunch Program and the Board of Corrections Title 15 and Title 24 Juvenile Standard for Minimum Standards for Local Detention Facilities

Either I

The equivalent of two years of experience in the class of Cook in the Alameda County classified service. (Non-classified includes District Attorney’s Office, Hospital Authority, and the Consolidated Courts.)



The equivalent of three years’ full-time quantity cooking experience, of which one year was in a supervisory capacity over cooks and allied workers with responsibility for supervising and assisting with the preparation, cooking and serving of meals for at least 300 persons.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Modern principles, methods and equipment used in the storage, care, handling, preparation, cooking, baking, dispensing and serving quality food in large quantities.

• Kitchen sanitation and standards, safety and the cleaning and care of utensils and equipment.

• Food values in general, and acceptable equivalents or substitutes within food groups.

• Principles of effective supervision.

• Quantity and quality standards of food production and service.

• Kitchen sanitation and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) standards, safety and cleaning and care of utensils and kitchen equipment.

Ability to:

• Plan, organize, direct, effectively train and supervise the work of others.

• Prepare and cook all groups of food skillfully.

• Plan and organize food preparation and serve operations to meet fixed schedules while providing a high standard of finished product.

• Convert recipes and determine food quantities for varying sized groups.

• Maintain accurate records and prepare reports as required.

• Follow detailed written and verbal instructions.

• Work effectively with a wide variety of people.

TT:Lm-h Retyped: 3/85
TAT:Lm-h Revised: 5/85
TZ:pb Updated: 12/86
Old document: 0707h
New document: Jobspecs/7535
CSC Date: 7/10/85
VH:pf Rev. 12/20/01
CSC Date: 1/30/02


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 11 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.