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Cook II

Req ID: 7594
Location: Chicago - Bronzeville
# of Openings: 1
Shift: Varies
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


The Youth & Residential Services division of Heartland Alliance provides services for over four hundred children who have entered the country without documents and without their parents. These programs have been helping vulnerable children feel safe and cared for in a multicultural environment since in 1995. We serve boys and girls from all over the world including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America. Fostering an atmosphere of family and security, we attend to the emotional, legal, medical, educational, and recreational needs of the children until they can be reunited with their families either in the U.S. or in their home country. Children have a range of needs from very basic care and services, to more intensive mental health and behavioral treatment.


This position will accurately and efficiently prepare, portion, cook, and present a variety of hot and/or cold food items for various meal periods: to include Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Special/Catered Events.  The Cook II will also provide catering, food planning and preparation services in accord with program guidelines, applicable sanitation standards and contractual obligations.  The general responsibilities of the position include those listed below, but Heartland may identify other responsibilities of the position.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Prepares and cooks foods that may require short and broader preparation time
  • Prepares meals in accord with program needs and applicable federal and state standards, guidelines, and regulations to ensure high-quality food service is provided and maintain food service sanitation standards.  
  • Follows basic recipes and/or product directions for preparing, seasoning, cooking, tasting, and carving
  • Prepares foods under direct supervision or instruction by operating a variety of kitchen equipment to measure and mix ingredients, washing, peeling, cutting and shredding fruits and vegetables, and trimming and cutting meat, poultry, or fish for culinary use
  • Tastes products, reads menus, estimates food requirements, checks production, and keeps records in order to accurately plan production requirements and requisition supplies and equipment
  • Maintains inventory of supplies and food items and assists in ordering of goods.
  • Oversees the   delivery of grocery and catering items, as assigned.
  • Initiates food service preparation and catering for special events.
  • Reports all accidents and injuries in a timely manner
  • Complies with all company safety and risk management policies and procedures
  • May clean and sanitize work stations and equipment and must comply with all HHCS SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures), city, and state regulatory rules and procedures
  • May receive inventory, move, and lift foods and supplies and prepare meals for participants requiring special diets
  • Attends training programs (classroom and virtual) as designated
  • Produces small to large batch goods using advanced and full range of classical cooking techniques
  • May select recipes per menu cycle, prepare bakery items, receive inventory, move and lift foods and supplies
  • Typically performs multi-task cooking duties
  • Intermediate to advanced knife skills required
  • May perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Education and/or Experience:   High school diploma, GED, or equivalent and 3-4 years of relevant experience required.  
  • Language Skills:   Ability to speak, read, and write in English is required. 
  • Skills & Aptitude : Ability to maintain a positive attitude.  Ability to communicate with co-workers and other departments with professionalism and respect.  Maintains a professional relationship with all co-workers, vendor representatives, supervisors, managers, and client representatives.  Requires familiarity of kitchen equipment.  Must be able to read and follow a recipe unsupervised. Involved with more complex requirements of the position.  Applies some advanced cooking skills. Extensive working knowledge of food preparation.
  • License or Certification:  State and city food service sanitation certificate preferred,  
  • Preferred Qualifications:  Food service experience in an institutional setting, school cafeteria, banquet and catering experience preferred.
  • Other Qualifications:   A valid driver’s license required.  Must successfully pass a background check.
  • Mathematical Skills:  Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
  • Reasoning Ability:   Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
  • General Qualifications: Willingness to be open to learning and growing.  Maintain high standards for work areas and appearance.  Maintain a positive attitude.  Ability to work a flexible schedule helpful.  Must comply with any dress code requirements; Must be able to work nights, weekends, and some holidays.


Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    • Ability to stand 90% of time.
  • Required to regularly walk, stoop, kneel, and climb.
  • Required to regularly use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
    • Ability to lift/move 40 lbs., independently, and up to 50 lbs. with assistance. 
    • Required to work regularly with sharp objects.


Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
    • Varying schedule to include evenings, holidays, weekends, and extended hours as business dictates.
  • Generally, in an indoor setting, however, may supervise outside activities and events. 
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is primarily in a controlled, temperate environment; however, may be occasionally exposed to outside weather conditions.
  • The noise level in the work environment is moderate to high.




Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.



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Heartland Alliance requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless Heartland has approved a medical or religious accommodation for you consistent with applicable laws and regulations.