Prepare appetisers and salads



About this unit

This unit is about preparing and presenting appetisers and salads in a commercial kitchen or catering operation. It applies to cooks in all hospitality and catering enterprises where food is prepared and served such as restaurants, hotels, clubs, cafeterias and other catering operations. These cooks usually work as part of a team and under supervision.

Appetisers normally either precede a meal or are served as accompaniments to drinks. They include a range of hot and cold dishes that can be either classical or modern, and vary in ethnic and cultural origins. Salads may be vegetable or fruit-based, and may also include classical or modern and varying ethnic and cultural types.


  • Organise and prepare food (SITHCCC001A)
  • Present food (SITHCCC002A)
  • Follow workplace hygiene procedures (SITXOHS002A)



You must:

  • be working in a fully equipped operational commercial kitchen, including industry-current equipment (see specifications; link opens new window)
  • use authentic ingredients
  • have industry-realistic ratios of kitchen staff to customers.
  • prepare dishes for customers within typical workplace time constraints
  • work to the professional standard of your restaurant or catering company

You will be given a variety of suitable ingredients, and required to prepare a variety of appetisers and salads from different recipes and cultural backgrounds, and present them attractively and creatively.

Your assessor will consult your supervisor on the actual recipes, as they must be appropriate to your organization's menus.


1. Prepare and present a variety of salads and dressings.

  1. Choose suitable ingredients that meet enterprise quality standard for salads and dressings.
  2. Prepare salads using fresh seasonal ingredients to an acceptable enterprise standard to maximise nutritional value, eating characteristics and taste.
  3. Prepare suitable sauces and dressings to either incorporate into, or accompany, salads.
  4. Present salads attractively according to enterprise standards.
  5. Produce appetisers to an acceptable enterprise standard using the correct ingredients ensuring symmetry and neatness of presentation, appropriate ingredient combinations, precise and uniformly cut ingredients, and attractive serviceware and garnishes.

2. Prepare and present a range of hot and cold appetisers.

  1. Select and prepare glazes correctly, where required.
  2. Select and use correct equipment to assist in production of appetisers.
  3. Use quality trimmings or other leftovers where and when appropriate.
  4. Prepare and present appetisers in a hygienic, logical and sequential manner within the required timeframe.
  5. Present appetisers attractively according to classical, cultural or enterprise standards.

3. Store appetisers and salads.

  1. Store appetisers and salads in appropriate conditions and containers and at the correct temperature to maintain freshness, taste and quality.

4. Other required skills.

  1. Knife skills
  2. Safe work practices, particularly when using knives
  3. Work efficiently within realistic workplace time constraints, logical and time-efficient work flow.
  4. Minimize waste and follow environmental considerations.
  5. Solve minor problems such as shortages of ingredients, mistakes or problems in commodities or meals produced, and equipment failure
  6. Read menus and orders.
  7. Calculate portions against orders.




How you will be assessed

  • Your assessor will observe you preparing the required foods and will taste samples.
  • If your assessor is not your workplace supervisor, your supervisor will also be asked for a reference on your performance on the job of specific skills.


Interview questions

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

  • historical development and current trends in salads and appetisers
  • suitable commodities and food combinations for use in salads and appetisers
  • compatible dressings and sauces for incorporating into or accompanying salads
  • methods of attractive presentation for salads and appetisers
  • nutritional values of appetisers, salads and salad ingredients and the effects of cooking on nutrients
  • culinary terms commonly used in the industry with regard to appetisers and salads
  • principles and practices of hygiene related to working in a kitchen, including appropriate uniform and other personal protective equipment.