Unit of competency details

SITHCCC023B - Select, prepare and serve specialised food items (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHCCC023A - Select, prepare and serve specialised food itemsE within Version 2 Unit updated to ensure coverage of skills for sustainability. 31/Dec/2010
Is superseded by SITHCCC401 - Produce specialised food itemsTitle simplified. Unit structure made consistent across all cooking units. Re-worked Elements, Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge to better articulate content. Any ‘must’ statements in Range moved to Required Knowledge and Critical aspects for assessment. Menu planning and promotional content removed as it does not necessarily apply at this level, and is covered in the following units SITHKOP302 Plan and cost basic menus and SITHKOP501 Design and cost menus. 17/Jan/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 01/Jan/2011

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
SIT30907 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Certificate III in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Superseded
SIT40407 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Superseded
SIT40607 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Superseded
SIT30807 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery)Superseded
SIT31007 - Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Certificate III in Hospitality (Catering Operations)Superseded
SIT60307 - Advanced Diploma of HospitalityAdvanced Diploma of HospitalitySuperseded
SIT50307 - Diploma of HospitalityDiploma of HospitalitySuperseded
SIT40707 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Patisserie)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Patisserie)Superseded
SIT40507 - Certificate IV in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Certificate IV in Hospitality (Asian Cookery)Superseded
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110109 Cookery 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 110109 Cookery 02/May/2014 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to plan, prepare and present specialised food items that are more unusual in nature. It covers the preparation and service of specialised items as part of a general menu, as well those offered by enterprises which specialise in particular menu items. Specialised food items may be used as part of classical, contemporary, specialised or ethnic cuisines.

This unit covers cooking at an advanced and specialised level, using a variety of non-standard food items and related specialised techniques.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit applies to those working in hospitality and catering enterprises where specialised food items are prepared and served, such as restaurants, hotels and other catering operations. The role is usually undertaken by cooks and chefs with advanced cookery skills in senior or supervisory positions.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

This unit must be assessed after the following prerequisite units:

SITHCCC001B Organise and prepare food

SITHCCC002A Present food

SITHCCC005A Use basic methods of cookery

SITXOHS002A Follow workplace hygiene procedures.

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

The required outcomes described in this unit of competency contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge and/or the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria




Select specialised food items.


Source suitable suppliers of specialised food items  as required.


Select suppliers according to range, quality, price and enterprise requirements.


Maximise profitability of menu items by negotiating purchase price of both one-off and regular purchases.


Purchase specialised food items  according to quality currently presented.


Minimise wastage through appropriate purchase and storage, taking into account any special requirements.


Plan menus or promotional strategies.


Plan specialised menus or menu items to meet enterprise and customer requirements and achieve an appropriate balance or integration with other items.


Develop menus or promotional material to incorporate or focus on specialised food items.


Price menu items to achieve satisfactory profit levels and to satisfy enterprise requirements.


Take seasonal availability into account when developing menus or promotional strategies .


Create new menu items or dishes using specialised foods and taking into consideration characteristics of varieties of food items, eating characteristics and taste.


Prepare and present dishes using specialised food items.


Prepare  specialised items according to suitable recipes and appropriate techniques, ensuring appropriate flavour combinations, eating characteristics and taste.


Cook  specialised items in a variety of styles appropriate to the food item and as required by the menu, enterprise, customer preferences and relevant cultural norms.


Present food items appropriately to maximise appeal, taking into account particular food characteristics.


Preserve foods where appropriate, using suitable techniques.


Implement hygienic and safe practices.


Identify potential hygiene and safety problems and take appropriate preventative measures  to eliminate risks in the preparation of specialised food items.


Store specialised food items hygienically and according to food safety requirements.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

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

  • negotiation skills to purchase products at cost-effective prices
  • advanced or specialised preparation and cooking techniques
  • safe work practices, particularly in relation to using advanced or specialist cooking and preparation techniques
  • problem-solving skills to deal with breakdowns in systems or equipment
  • literacy skills to research specialised food items
  • numeracy skills to calculate effective cost price and quantities of commodities and other ingredients for specialised food items.

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

  • effects of methods of preparation and cooking on the flavour and appearance of specialised food items
  • culinary terms used to describe specialised food items and equipment
  • history and significance of specialised food items
  • principles and practices of hygiene
  • purchasing and storage of specialist food items.

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, the range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • preparation of a range of specialised menu items of the same or varying categories of food, depending on the enterprise or context
  • preparation of a range of specialised food items to enterprise standards within typical workplace time constraints
  • selection of cookery methods appropriate to the product, and taking into consideration any dietary, historical and cultural issues
  • food safety in relation to preparation, cooking and storage of specialised food items.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • demonstration of skills within a suitably equipped food preparation area, as defined in the Assessment Guidelines
  • access to specialised equipment suited to the food item in question
  • use of a variety of specialised food items
  • industry-realistic ratios of kitchen staff to customers.

Methods of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct observation of the candidate preparing specialised food items
  • case studies to assess ability to suggest and prepare specialised food items in response to particular needs
  • sampling of food items prepared by the candidate
  • written or oral questions to test knowledge of specialised food items
  • review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • SITHCCC024B Select, prepare and serve specialised cuisines
  • SITHCCC029A Prepare foods according to dietary and cultural needs
  • SITHCCC035A Develop menus to meet special dietary and cultural needs.

Assessing employability skills 

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification and in the context of the job role.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Specialised food items  may include:

  • meats, poultry and game other than lamb, beef, pork and chicken
  • offal and specialist meat products
  • unusual fish, shellfish and other foods from salt or fresh water
  • aromatics, flavourings, spices and herbs
  • seeds and nuts
  • fungi
  • preserves, condiments and accompaniments
  • commodities from ethnic cuisines and cultural traditions such as Mexican, Asian and Middle Eastern
  • fruits, vegetables, flowers and salad items
  • aquatic plants, such as seaweeds
  • specialist cheeses and dairy products
  • bush foods and native Australian ingredients
  • specialist cakes, pastries, breads, desserts, preserves and sweets.

Promotional strategies  may include:

  • menus
  • specials lists
  • blackboards
  • flyers and pamphlets
  • media releases
  • internet.

Specialised preparation and cooking  may include:

  • marinating and coating
  • tenderising
  • hanging of meat, poultry and game
  • preserving, including drying, salting, pickling, and hot and cold smoking
  • techniques such as cooking on salt, and using special ovens and cooking utensils
  • earth oven cooking.

Preventative measures  may include:

  • identifying and discarding poisonous or non-edible parts of food items
  • safe handling of food items with potential for injury, such as spines and thorns
  • using particular cooking techniques to maximise quality and appeal
  • safe and hygienic operation of food preparation equipment.

Unit Sector(s)



Competency field

Competency field 

Commercial Cookery and Catering