Sr. Head Cook

US Government, Sheriff/Coroner


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 and will remain open on a continuous basis for a minimum of five (5) business days, until the needs of the Department are met. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.


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

This recruitment is open to the public and being held to establish an open eligible list to fill vacancies in this class until the next recruitment. The eligible list established may also be used to fill positions in similar/or lower classifications.   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. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is among the largest in the nation, providing exemplary law enforcement services focused on a collaborative, dedicated and innovative approach to public safety.  The more than 3,800 sworn and professional staff, along with more than 800 reserve personnel, are committed to serving the needs of Orange County. The Department consists of six organizational Commands comprised of 23 Divisions. Together, these Commands and Divisions provide services including land, air and sea-based patrol, custody operations, investigative services, emergency management, coroner services, forensics and specialty operations, among an extensive list of other public safety services.


The Inmate Services Division includes Commissary Operations, Food Services and Correctional Programs.   The Division provides quality products, professional services, and nutritional meals for the County’s inmate population.  The staff, volunteers and stakeholders assure that the Sheriff’s Department meets or exceeds Title 15 of the Minimum Jails Standards by providing support services, including meals, commissary, educational, vocational, religious and recreational and re-entry transition programs to foster rehabilitation and reduce recidivism of inmates once they leave the Sheriff’s custody.  


Food Services operates multiple kitchens, inmate dining halls, and warehouses. Food Services provides three nutritionally balanced meals daily to each inmate housed in the County’s 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 Sr. Head Cook coordinates, directs, and supervises the work of employees engaged in the preparation, cooking and serving of food for a large population, including medical and religious meals.  This position directly reports to and works closely with the Chief Cook to ensure that the goals are met and aligned with the organization.    


Additional responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Writes and administers accurate performance evaluations
  • Communicates both orally and in writing in the English language as to procedures, recipes, labels, and instructions for food preparation
  • Assists the Chief Cook in preparing menus and estimating food quantity requirements for a large institution
  • Inspects food preparation areas to ensure sanitary procedures are being observed, adequate supplies are available, kitchen equipment is in operating order, and that personnel involved in food preparation and cooking are using the most efficient and effective methods and techniques
  • Ensures high quality food preparation and meal service
  • Coordinates the distribution of meals, ensuring meals are served timely and in an orderly manner
  • Prepares records and reports concerning food preparation activities
  • May assist Chief Cooks in the planning of kitchen activities
  • May perform baking, cooking and other duties as assigned

In addition to a ServSafe certificate, the ideal candidate will possess considerable: 

  • Experience working in the institutional food service industry (e.g. corrections, military, schools, hospital, airline feeding)
  • Knowledge of various computer software programs, food service management information systems
  • Experience in a food service supervisory/management position
  • Familiarity with County, State, and Federal health and safety regulations related to food services

 Thorough knowledge of:

  • Practices, methods and equipment used in preparing, cooking, serving, and storing large quantities of food
  • Menu planning, quantity ordering, and inventory control
  • Principles of supervision
  • Common weights and measures used in preparation and cooking of food

 Ability to:

  • Supervise the preparation, cooking, and serving of large quantities of food, which may include special diets
  • Coordinate cooking processes so that meals are prepared and served on time
  • Supervise leadworkers engaged in seven-day-a-week food preparation and cooking activities
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide up to five digit numbers, including fractions in some assignments
  • Read and understand administrative procedures as well as recipes, labels, and instructions for food preparation
  • Keep detailed records of food service activities and costs, and prepare written reports

Considerable experience directing the preparation and cooking of food for a large number of persons, or any equivalent combination of education or experience which provides the required knowledge and abilities.
 License Required
 Possession of a valid California Driver’s License, Class C or higher, by date of appointment.
here to view the class spec/job description.
The County of Orange is committed to providing a means for applicants who may have a disability to identify areas in which they may request a reasonable accommodation. Applicants are encouraged to contact the recruiter listed for any questions or to request an accommodation during the selection process.
Physical Requirements:
Ability to stand and/or stand for prolonged periods, climb stairs, bend, stoop, and reach in order to retrieve supplies stored above head level and on lower shelves of storage units; lift and carry up to 50 pounds; push, pull, and steer food carts; handle sensitive chemicals; speak and hear well enough to conduct telephone and face to face conversations; vision sufficient to read standard print on recipes and other printed documents, computer screens and to conduct inspections of work site; detect odors and other indicators of food spoilage or unclean conditions in the working area.
Environmental Conditions:

Work in a correctional facility with adult inmates or juveniles who may become violent or abusive. Exposure to extremes in temperature (hot and cold). Frequent exposure to machinery, electrical appliances, fire, heat, cleaning chemicals, sudden temperature changes, slippery surfaces, and noise/vibration, steam hot water and cramped areas.


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 Evaluation Services (N.A.C.E.S.).

Human Resources |Minimum Qualifications
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 Department. 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.

Applications must emphasize all the areas in which the applicant has expertise and accomplishments in the specific competencies related to the position.

Structured Oral Panel Interview (Weighted 100%): Candidates will be interviewed and rated by a panel of job knowledge experts. Each candidate’s rating will be based on responses to a series of questions designed to elicit the candidate’s qualifications for the job. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.
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.


Veterans Employment Preference
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. 

Click here for tips to complete your application.

For specific information pertaining to this recruitment, contact Mary Cortez-Valadez at (714) 834-5834 or email at

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