How to Become a Grill Cook

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Of all the cooking jobs on a restaurant’s hot line, the one of grill cook is highly sought after for the lead position it offers and the prestige that comes with preparing the entrée. With the growing popularity of grilled foods as part of a healthy diet with robust flavor, a talented grill cook can find employment easily.

  • Study at a culinary arts school with an emphasis on grill work. While some entry-level grill positions at fast food restaurants train their own grill cooks, if you want to work in the gourmet food industry, hot line certification is necessary.

  • Work your way up. If you don’t have the degree but you’ve worked on the hot line at other restaurants, you have a head start when applying for a top-level position.

  • Develop your organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. When the customer base is large, you will have many table orders waiting and you must be able to prepare all of them in sequence in order to synchronize with the accompanying dishes being prepared in other parts of the kitchen.

  • Expand your grilling repertoire by adding other types of food, such as pizzas, breads and fruits. Mainstream foods, once prepared in ovens or on the stove, are moving to the grill to lend flavor and appeal to the restaurant's menu.

  • Submit your resume to the kitchens of your choice, even if they are not currently advertising for a grill cook. In the food service industry, talent is everything. List your experience and your specialties. Detail your organizational strength. A prospective employer wants to know you can cook two steaks on the same grill with swordfish, preparing each to a different level of doneness and having them all ready to serve at the same time.

  • Network to find the best jobs that never make it to the classifieds. Attend regional or national cooking shows, hosted by the American Culinary Federation or the National Restaurant Association and spend some time talking to the booth representatives.

  • Use the alumni organization from your culinary arts school to contact others when you’re searching for a new position. As the food service industry grows and the customer demands a higher standard of cooking, the need for quality grill cooks increases. If you know your grill, your services will be in demand.

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