Chef & Director of Dining Services
Sterling College, located in the heart of Vermont’s rural agricultural economy and vibrant local food system, invites applications for a Chef & Director of Dining Services to provide leadership for the college ranked #1 in sustainable food by both the Real Food Challenge and Sierra magazine. The College seeks a practitioner who can efficiently manage a sustainable cafeteria operation that daily serves high-quality food to approximately 150 people and caters a variety of special events, while educating about food preparation and the impact of food choices. The creative challenge of the Director position is to simultaneously source food that is seasonal, sustainable, and affordable, consistently serve appealing meals that nourish our community, and safely operate an educational kitchen and dining hall, while collaboratively managing a crew of staff and student workers.
The Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems
The College’s Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems (RFC) encompasses the College’s educational Farm, Forest, and Kitchen, bachelor’s degree programs in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and continuing education programs through the School of the New American Farmstead. The Director, a core member of the RFC team, manages dining service on campus, integrates operations with the Sterling Farm, supports the local food system, promotes health and wellness, conserves resources, and exemplifies food stewardship by aligning with the College’s mission, the RFC Vision, and the Sterling Kitchen Values statements.
Sterling College has ranked #1 in the Real Food Challenge for 2 years running, a testament to our progressive approach to collegiate foodservice. Over 20 percent of the food we serve is sustainably grown and raised on campus by our faculty and students. When purchasing food, we strongly favor local purveyors and eschew ingredients that cannot be sourced to our standards. Our students play an integral role in food production, as Sterling is a federally recognized Work College, with all students working to defray the cost of their education.
In the Dunbar Kitchen, the Director supervises the consistent preparation of high-quality, seasonal, from-scratch meals. We serve three buffet-style meals each day and make basic snacks and hot beverages continuously available. Each meal has one main dish choice, with variations for special diets (including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and grain-free), and resembles banquet-style dining rather than traditional institutional foodservice. Dunbar Kitchen is presently undergoing a significant renovation and will soon be outfitted with modern and efficient commercial equipment, making production simpler. Once the renovation is complete, the Director will be expected to expand the operations of the kitchen to serve the local community, especially in the summer.
Responsibilities of the Chef & Director of Dining Services:
- Hires, trains, schedules, meets with, and evaluates kitchen staff;
- Ensures that the kitchen is safe, sanitary, and operated in compliance with all applicable regulations and licensing requirements;
- Manages the dining services budget in communication with the Business Office;
- Makes sure that all food sourced and served is high-quality, appealing, and exemplifies food stewardship;
- Takes a hands-on approach to management by cooking for several shifts each week;
- Participates in community and RFC meetings;
- Publicly articulates the values of Sterling College and its kitchen;
- Designs and executes seasonally-based menus that are creative, delicious, and within budget;
- Meets the diverse dietary needs of the Sterling community;
- Orders food, maintains inventory, and tracks product usage trends over time;
- Plans, executes, and appropriately bills internal catering for special events (ranging from 5-300 people) on and off campus;
- Supports classes with experiential components that involve food preparation;
- Organizes, teaches, mentors and supervises student workers
- Create a space for all kitchen staff members, including student workers, to experience professional growth and take personal ownership for the success of the College’s dining service.
- Excellent professional cooking skills, with a minimum of 5 – 10 years of experience, or combined experience and relevant study;
- Experience in culinary education or a passion for working with students;
- Current food safety certification;
- Organizational, planning, budget management, record-keeping, word-processing and spreadsheet skills;
- Proven collaborative leadership ability, with the ability to motivate and mentor both students and staff;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills;
- Calm, good humored demeanor in a high-demand, fast-paced environment;
- Ability to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with local producers; and
- Creativity and community mindedness.
- This is a full-time salaried position.
- The Chef & Director of Dining Services reports to the Director of the RFC and regularly collaborates with the Assistant Director of the RFC
- Hours are flexible, but often include mornings, early evenings and/or weekends.
- Position requires full shifts of standing and the ability to lift up to 50 lbs.
Apply by sending a cover letter describing your interest in the position, résumé, and three references to Katie Lavin, Assistant to the President, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application review will begin on Oct 28; the position will remain open until filled. Employment at Sterling is contingent on the verification of background information provided by the applicant.
Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Administrative Assistant
About the Position
The Rian Fried Center of Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems (RFC) at Sterling College seeks a well-organized, self-motivated individual to support the vision of the center and administrative support for The School of the New American Farmstead. The RFC is the instructional area for an experiential and place-based curriculum that integrates the kitchen, farm, and forest. The RFC models food and education systems grounded in ecological principles, increases socioeconomic viability, and builds the practical skill and critical thinking capacities of our students. One of the RFC’s flagship programs is the School of the New American Farmstead (SNAF), which offers continuing education courses for agrarians, culinarians, entrepreneurs, and lifelong learners.
This position will provide comprehensive administrative support to aid in the smooth, efficient, and successful planning, delivery of the RFC vision and the expansion of SNAF. The person in this role must perform a variety of administrative activities, conduct outreach, and provide logistical support for the RFC in general, with a substantial focus on the operations of SNAF. Collectively, these responsibilities require a range of skills and a confident working knowledge of organizational culture, policies, and procedures. The Administrative Assistant reports to the Director of the Rian Fried Center, Charlotte Rosendahl.
- To assist the Director of the Rian Fried Center in managing the administrative tasks of running the center with a substantial focus on managing the School of the New American Farmstead in collaboration with RFC Assistant Director, Nicole Civita
- As part of administering the School of the New American Farmstead the person in this position:
- Performs administrative responsibilities: drafts correspondence and reports; communicates with administration, faculty, staff, and students; maintains programmatic calendar, records and budgets, course curricula and materials; processes and reviews paper and electronic mail;
- Acts as a liaison between the RFC leadership and SNAF course instructors and guests: Assists with preparations for classes and workshops; places orders for approved course and program materials, supplies, and food; arranges and sometimes provides transportation; reserves and coordinates on-campus housing for continuing education students; maintains a current list of off-campus housing resources;
- Facilitates events hosted by the RFC and SNAF: schedules events with appropriate departments; advises and contacts participants or invited guests, prepares agendas and programs, arranges for audiovisual and associated support equipment, coordinates with the Sterling Kitchen, works with facilities to prepare event spaces;
- Promotes a positive image of the College and enhances the experience of our continuing education students by responding to the varied inquiries of, welcoming, assisting, and orienting these visiting members of our extended community;
- Assist and supervise low-income farms, food businesses, and student workers participating in Sterling College’s Stewarding Kitchen program;
- Refers inquiries or problems to the appropriate office or person; troubleshoots and resolves minor problems;
- Ensures professionalism and efficiency in all office operations;
- Safeguards the confidentiality of College administration by exercising discretion in all communications and file management
Required Skills & Background
- Personal commitment to environmental stewardship;
- Bachelor’s degree in a liberal arts field strongly preferred, along with two to four years of relevant experience (or an equivalent combination of education and experience);
- Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail are required. Must be proactive, able to work independently, make decisions quickly, and discern when to seek approval;
- Effective oral and written communication skills are required. Requires a command of grammar, punctuation, spelling, correct usage of the English language, and the ability to proofread;
- Computer literacy is required. This includes proficiency with word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software; comfort connecting and operating basic hardware components; willingness and ability to learn educational information management software;
- Experience maintaining and supervising work in a commercial kitchen is preferred; willingness to be trained in this area is required;
- Requires professional attitude, tact, and diplomacy, balanced with an approachable, warm, welcoming, genuine persona;
- Valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record; ability and willingness to become a Sterling College certified van driver and drive 12 and 15 passenger vans is required.
- This is a full-time, salaried position.
- Hours may include mornings, early evenings and/or weekends. Workload may be more active and demanding during certain parts of the year.
- Sterling College provides equitable pay and a generous policy of paid vacation and holidays, as well as free classes, and other benefits.
Please apply by October 26, 2016, by sending a cover letter and résumé to Katie Lavin, Assistant to the President, at email@example.com