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Career and Education Opportunities for Institutional Cooks in Honolulu, Hawaii

Institutional cook career and educational opportunities abound in Honolulu, Hawaii. The national trend for institutional cooks sees this job pool growing by about 9.7% over the next eight years. Institutional cooks generally prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.

Income for institutional cooks is about $16 per hour or $33,620 yearly on average in Hawaii. Nationally, their income is about $10 per hour or $22,210 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Cooking, people working as institutional cooks in Hawaii earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Cooking nationally. Institutional cooks work in a variety of jobs, including: baker, ship's cook, and cafeteria worker.

There are twenty-four schools of higher education in the Honolulu area, including three within twenty-five miles of Honolulu where you can get a degree to start your career as an institutional cook. Given that the most common education level for institutional cooks is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Honolulu 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.
  • Personal Chef. Prepare meals in private homes.
  • 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

Kauai Community College - Lihue, HI

Kauai Community College, 3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766-9591. Kauai Community College is a small college located in Lihue, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,104 students. Kauai Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.

Leeward Community College - Pearl City, HI

Leeward Community College, 96-045 Ala Ike, Pearl City, HI 96782-3393. Leeward Community College is a medium sized college located in Pearl City, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,771 students. Leeward Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated three and seven students respectively in 2008.

Kapiolani Community College - Honolulu, HI

Kapiolani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816-4496. Kapiolani Community College is a medium sized college located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,221 students. Kapiolani Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cooking and Related Culinary Arts which graduated four and fifty-two 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: Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii photo by ErgoSum88

Honolulu is located in Honolulu County, Hawaii. It has a population of over 374,676, which has grown by 0.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Honolulu, 180, is far greater than the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Honolulu are accommodation and food services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is accommodation and food services, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 31.1% of Honolulu residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Honolulu residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 33.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Waiokeola Congregational Church, Daijingu Temple of Hawaii and Wesley Methodist Student Center are among the churches located in Honolulu. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Honolulu is home to the Livingston Pool and the Mamala Bay Golf Course as well as Spalding Memorial Tennis Courts and Kuhio Park. Shopping malls in the area include Aina Haina Shopping Center, Ala Moana Shopping Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Honolulu can choose from Kosuga Inc, Hawaiian Condo Resorts Inc and Honolulu Airport Hotel for temporary stays in the area.