Sr. Institutional Cook

  • Orange County, CA
  • Orange County, California
  • Jun 04, 2022
Full Time Nutrition and Food Services
  • Salary: $45,427.20 - $61,027.20 Annually USD

Job Description


In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates:

Effective July 2, 2021 - 2.5% increase
Effective July 1, 2022 - 3.5% increase

Mandatory Employee Retirement Contributions will decrease on the following dates:

Effective July 2, 2021 - 1.2% decrease

Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate's qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.

This recruitment is open to the public, on a continuous basis, until the needs of the Department have been met. Please be advised this recruitment may close at 11:59 p.m. any day of the week and it is recommended that interested candidates apply immediately.

Incumbents will be periodically rotated through assignments, shifts, including nights, weekends, holidays and correctional facilities.

This recruitment is being held to establish an Open Eligible List to fill vacancies in this class until the next recruitment. This list may be utilized to fill positions of lower-level classifications within the same occupational series. The current vacancies are within the Orange County Sheriff's Department; however, the eligible list may also be used by other County of Orange agencies or departments to fill their vacancies.

Orange County is a desirable place to live and is one of the premier employers in the region, as well as the third largest county in California. At the County you will find variety, individual opportunity, job satisfaction, and the pleasure of working with colleagues who are dedicated to making a positive difference. Over the years, Orange County has established a reputation as an innovative leader among local governments and services over 3,000,000 people who live within its 34 cities. Residents enjoy over 42 miles of pristine beaches, 3 harbors, vast wilderness parks, beautiful nature preserves, and 250 miles of riding and hiking trails. Orange County has top-rated attractions from Disneyland to several major professional sports teams, a wide range of cultural arts as well as some of the highest quality public and private schools in the nation. There is no doubt that Orange County is a great place to work, live, and play.

These positions are utilized throughout the County.

To read more about the different departments that utilize Sr. Institutional Cooks, please click on the links below:

Click here for more information on Sheriff's Department.
Click here for more information on Social Services Agency.
Click here for more information on Probation Department.

To be selected for a position with the Orange County Sheriff's Department applicants must not have been convicted of a felony or be on any form of probation and must pass an extensive background investigation to the satisfaction of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner.

Background screening includes completing of a Personal History Form, interview with a background investigator, fingerprinting and may include a polygraph test. Some of the areas considered in the background screening include prior convictions, traffic violations, drug use and credit problems, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e. degree, license, or official transcripts. Foreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credentials Services (N.A.C.E.S.).

License Required: Possession of a valid California Driver's License, Class C or higher, by date of appointment.

Orange County Sheriff's Food Services operates a total of six kitchens, five inmate mess halls, four warehouses and prepares approximately eight million meals annually. With a staff of 117 and utilizing inmate labor, Food Services provides three nutritionally balanced meals to each inmate housed in the County's five jail facilities. These meals must meet or exceed the requirements set forth by the California Board of Corrections, National Academy of Sciences Recommended Daily Allowances, and the California Daily Food Guide. Food Services also prepares special dietary meals ordered by Correctional Health Services for inmates with special dietary needs as well as religious diets and hot and cold meals including sack lunches for inmates scheduled for court, inmate work crews, and/or emergency operational issues.

The Senior Institutional Cook supervises paid staff and in some assignments is required to direct or train inmates and juveniles in the preparation, cooking and serving of food. In addition, the position prepares, cooks and serves food; checks menu for items to be prepared; estimates number of persons to be served; makes substitutions on the menu when foods indicated are unavailable; determines quantities of ingredients to be used for the number of servings to be prepared; assists in ordering, receiving, checking and storing foods and supplies; reports suspected violations of institutional rules and submits reports of inmate or juvenile ward violations of rules and regulations to a designated authority; prepares records and reports; inspects food preparation areas to see that sanitary procedures are observed and ensures that proper techniques and procedures are being used by persons engaged in food service activities. The position may also perform meat cutting and baking duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working with large volumes of food for banquets or for large groups of people in a setting such as a hospital, the military, a large restaurant, cafeteria, etc. Will have the ability to detect odors and other indicators of food spoilage, push, pull and steer food carts. Incumbents work rotating schedules including weekends, holidays, nights and on an emergency basis as needed.

Experience/Education: Considerable experience cooking food for large numbers of people or any equivalent combination of experience or education which meets the required knowledge and abilities.
General knowledge of: Practices, methods and equipment used in preparing, cooking, and serving large quantities of food; common weights and measures used in cooking; safety standards, sanitation, and maintenance of kitchen and storage areas.
Ability to: Supervise and train paid staff and/or oversee and train jail inmates or juvenile wards in the preparation, cooking and serving of food; direct the preparation of and/or prepare large quantities of food; coordinate cooking processes so that meals are prepared and served on time; add, subtract, multiply and divide up to four digit numbers and fractions; read and understand recipes, instructions and labels; prepare records and reports; and read, write, speak, comprehend, and communicate in English.

Click here to view the class spec/job description.

The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for candidates who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. The following is a description of the physical abilities which are customarily required to perform the essential job functions of these positions and the environmental conditions. Candidates are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed below for any questions or to request an accommodation during the testing/selection process.
Physical Requirements: The ability to perform physical tasks such as lifting above shoulder level; lift over 50 pounds with frequent lifting and/or carrying of objects weighing over 25 pounds; bend, stoop, squat and/or crawl; stand and/or walk for long periods of time; speak and hear well enough to communicate clearly and understandably in person and over the telephone.
Environmental Conditions: Work inside a juvenile institution or jail; exposure to extremes in temperature; some positions will have contact with juveniles and inmates who may become violent or abusive. Frequent exposure to machinery, electrical appliances, fire, heat, cleaning chemicals, sudden temperature changes, slippery surfaces, and noise/vibration, steam/hot water and cramped areas.

Sheriff Human Resources screens all applications to identify the most qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the County. After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.

Written Exam: (Weighted 100%) A written exam consisting of job-related, multiple-choice questions will be administered. Invitations to participate in the written exam will be sent via e-mail.

Based on the Department's needs the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.

After all procedures have been completed, the Sheriff Human Resources will establish an eligible list of qualified candidates.

The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings. Please click here to review the policy.

Only on-line applications will be accepted. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of on-line applications. Application information must be current, succinct and related to the requirements in this job announcement. Your application should demonstrate your professional experience and education related to the specific qualifications/duties listed in this bulletin, including areas which you have developed expertise. For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, contact Mary Felix at (714) 834-5857 or email at


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and laws, regulations, and policies regarding COVID-19 are subject to change. The County of Orange is required to comply with any State or County Public Health Orders which may apply as follows:
  • Workers in correction facilities and detention centers will be required to provide proof of full vaccination from COVID-19 or to wear a FDA-approved mask and undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.


Orange County, as an equal employment opportunity employer, encourages applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Closing Date/Time: Continuous

Job Address

Orange County, California United States View Map