Job descriptions

A kitchen steward works as a sort of support person. He is usually not involved in the actual preparation of food, but keeps things clean and organized so that chefs and food prep assistants can do their jobs efficiently.

Keeping things clean is usually the biggest part of a kitchen steward's job. At the most basic level, this involves washing dishes and scouring pans, though it usually also includes cleaning up workspaces and mopping floors as required. He or she will usually work with chefs and other kitchen staff to make sure that all of the tools and utensils needed for a specific meal or cooking task are washed and ready to go.

Before preparations for each meal begins, the kitchen steward frequently inspects the prep stations, stoves, and appliances like refrigerators and freezers. He or she will make sure that all the necessary equipment is properly stored and readily available for the kitchen crew. If any of the stations require additional cutlery or tools, the steward is normally expected to have these clean and ready for use.

At the end of the day, the steward will typically help get everything put back away and tidied up. This often involves sanitizing workspaces, scrubbing floors, and sealing up unused ingredients. In many respects, he or she is in charge of "closing" the kitchen and making sure that everything is in order for either the next day or the next crew.

If the eating establishment has storage areas separate from the kitchen, the steward is generally in charge of their maintenance as well. This often includes walk-in freezers and refrigerators, pantries, and stock rooms. In addition to daily maintenance, the steward is often required to schedule and perform in-depth cleaning of these areas on a weekly or monthly basis.

Stewards, like most kitchen staff, work in what is known as "shifts." Shifts are usually beginning a few hours before a meal prep and ending several hours afterward.

Though the work is not usually very difficult, it can be physically demanding. Success on the job often requires a lot of strength as well as the ability to stand for long periods of time. In most cases, the work is fast-paced and labor intensive. Stewards must have good communication skills so that they can interact with and take instructions from chefs and others.


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