A pantry cook prepares cold food, such as salads, meat and cheese boards, and chilled soups and sauces in a restaurant or catering business. Garde manger and pantry chef are alternate names for a pantry cook.
Pantry cooks are traditionally responsible for preparing foods stored in the pantry. This tradition dates back to the time before refrigeration, when the pantry cook's responsibilities included preserving food in addition to preparing it. In restaurants serving classically preserved food, the pantry cook continues to smoke meats, pickle vegetables, and prepare confits and aspics. A pantry cook is an entry-level cook position that is a stepping stone towards becoming an executive chef in a professional kitchen.