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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Moreno Valley, California

Moreno Valley, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for institutional cooks. There are currently 22,800 jobs for institutional cooks in California and this is projected to grow 14% to 26,000 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for institutional cooks, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.7% over the next eight years. In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

The income of an institutional cook is about $12 per hour or $26,760 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $10 hourly or $22,210 annually on average. Institutional cooks earn less than people working in the category of Cooking generally in California and less than people in the Cooking category nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: dietary cook, diet kitchen cook, and cook supervisor.

The Moreno Valley area is home to thirty-one schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Moreno Valley where you can get a degree as an institutional cook. The most common level of education for institutional cooks is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become an institutional cook if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Institutional Cook

Institutional Cook video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, institutional cooks prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Institutional cooks cook foodstuffs in line with menus, special dietary or nutritional restrictions, or numbers of portions to be served. They also clean and inspect galley equipment and work areas to insure cleanliness and functional operation. Equally important, institutional cooks have to apportion and serve food to facility residents or customers. They are often called upon to wash pots and other cooking equipment. Finally, institutional cooks clean and cook meat, fish, or poultry.

Every day, institutional cooks are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for institutional cooks to train new employees. They are often called upon to bake breads and other pastries. They also compile and maintain records of food use and expenditures. They are sometimes expected to direct efforts of one or more staff who help in preparing and serving meals. Somewhat less frequently, institutional cooks are also expected to formulate menus that are varied and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.

Institutional cooks sometimes are asked to decide on meal prices, on the basis of calculations of ingredient prices. They also have to be able to monitor menus and spending to insure that meals are prepared economically And finally, they sometimes have to formulate menus that are varied and appetizing, taking advantage of foods in season and local availability.

Like many other jobs, institutional cooks must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Moreno Valley include:

  • Chef. Direct the preparation, seasoning, and cooking of salads, soups, or other foods. May plan and price menu items, order supplies, and keep records and accounts. May participate in cooking.
  • Food Service Aide. Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Food and Beverage Supervisor. Supervise workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
  • Restaurant Chef. Prepare, season, and cook soups, meats, or other foodstuffs in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Institutional Cook Training

San Bernardino Valley College - San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino Valley College, 701 South Mount Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92410-2798. San Bernardino Valley College is a large college located in San Bernardino, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,317 students. San Bernardino Valley College has 2 areas of study related to Institutional Cook. They are:

  • Cooking and Related Culinary Arts, two to four year.
  • Foodservice Systems Administration/Management, associate's degree and two to four year.

College of the Desert - Palm Desert, CA

College of the Desert, 43-500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260. College of the Desert is a medium sized college located in Palm Desert, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,632 students. College of the Desert has less than one year, one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated two, two, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Riverside Community College - Riverside, CA

Riverside Community College, 4800 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92506. Riverside Community College is a large college located in Riverside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 34,058 students. Riverside Community College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated five, five, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional: A key purpose of the Certified Correctional Foodservice Professional certification is to develop the highest standards in.

For more information, see the American Correctional Food Service Association website.

Certified Culinarian: An entry level culinarian professional within a commercial foodservice operation.

For more information, see the American Culinary Federation, Inc. website.

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Quality Coffee Certification Program: The purpose of QCCP is to provide operators with sales tools and knowledge that will help them begin or enhance their own quality coffee program for their customers.

For more information, see the National Automatic Merchandising Association website.

School Nutrition Specialist: The Credentialing Program of the School Nutrition Association was created to enhance the professional image of school nutrition professionals.

For more information, see the School Nutrition Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Moreno Valley, California

Moreno Valley, California
Moreno Valley, California photo by Slowking_Man

Moreno Valley is situated in Riverside County, California. It has a population of over 190,871, which has grown by 34.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Moreno Valley, 121, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Moreno Valley are priced at $225,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Moreno Valley, down from three hundred ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Moreno Valley are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 14.0% of Moreno Valley residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Moreno Valley is 17.3%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Moreno Valley residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Trinity Baptist Church, Sunnymead Wesleyan Church and Sunnymead Baptist Temple are some of the churches located in Moreno Valley. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Moreno Valley is home to the Sunnymead Chamber of Commerce and the Lawless Ranch as well as Pedrorena Park and John F Kennedy Veterans Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moreno Valley Mall at Towngate Shopping Center, Moreno Valley Plaza Shopping Center and Moreno Valley Shopping Center. Visitors to Moreno Valley can choose from Best Western Image Suites and Best Western Image Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.