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Job Opening: Head Chef

Job Title: Head Chef

Type: Full-time, Exempt, Salaried

Location: Philo Ridge Farm, Charlotte, Vermont

Our Culture

Philo Ridge Farm is a beautiful, productive, diversified farm at the forefront of innovation and conversation around our food system. Our practices are founded in regenerative agriculture to facilitate soil revitalization, and repair the ecosystem of Vermont’s Champlain Valley. We aspire to support the food, farmers, and the incredible bounty of the region.

The 400-acre property is used for a mixture of activities and operations including: fruit, vegetable and flower production, a diversified livestock and haying operation, and a growing food service and hospitality program. We are in our fourth year of production at the farm, and beginning our second calendar year of operating an on-farm market, food service, event space and processing facility.

The market provides a retail outlet for all that we grow and raise on our farm. We have a prepared-foods counter, butcher shop, a full-service cheese program, as well as farm-fresh produce. The market also sells grocery and specialty housewares that highlight and support Vermont's artisans.  Connected to our market is a fully restored barn that will offer a range of educational workshops and events that will further the conversation around food and provide fun and engaging activities for our community. 

We believe in treating our employees, animals, and the soil with respect and care, and we strive to foster a supportive and flexible work environment. We encourage the open exchange of ideas amongst our staff, as we want each member of our team to be able to contribute to the growth and direction of Philo Ridge. All of our employees embody the spirit of sharing, growing together and learning.

Position Overview

The Head Chef is the creative lead at the intersection of our farm and Market. He/she will be  responsible for all aspects of the back-of-house (BOH) operations of the market, and all culinary activities. The foundation of this position is the creation and execution of both a prepared foods and value-added products, both of which are driven by what we grow on our farm. This person thrives in a dynamic environment where the seasonality and the unpredictable nature of farm products are a catalyst for culinary creativity. This is a fast-paced position that requires the Head Chef to develop a balanced mix of seasonally driven dishes using simple cooking techniques and nose-to-tail and root-to-fruit principles.  

The Head Chef is responsible for maintaining quality control; BOH staff management and leadership; maintenance of facilities and equipment; management and reporting of inventory; and working in conjunction with the Food & Beverage Manager on the sales and financial performance of the Market. The Head Chef will directly supervise all kitchen personnel and will support the Market Manager in ensuring front-of-house (FOH) personnel provide an excellent guest experience. The Head Chef reports directly to the Food & Beverage Manager and also works closely with the Market Manager to create a cohesive leadership team that supports the Philo Ridge Farm mission statement, service mission, and core values. The Head Chef will work closely with the Market Garden and Livestock teams who are instrumental providing raw materials the Market. The Head Chef will help support the vision of our developing business into the future with creation of other possible business opportunities and overall growth of our company.

Roles and Responsibilities

Development and management of all prepared food production for the Farm Commons Barn, onsite special events, and any other food service that is executed at Philo Ridge Farm.

  • Develop and maintain a menu that primarily utilizes produce and meat from our farm.  The Head Chef will build product mixes and prepared food menus that are designed to anticipate the seasonality and dynamic nature of ingredients from the farm. Within the framework of the seasonal menus and product mix, a focus on farm products should drive the day-to-day prep and cooking cycles for filling the market with prepared foods.

  • Standardize production recipes to ensure consistent quality; establish presentation technique and quality and portion control standards, and maintain a recipe database for all menu items.

  • Move fluidly between the BOH and FOH. Collect and incorporate customer feedback into dishes and menus. Act as the primary conduit between the BOH, FOH, and land-based teams.

Work closely with the Food and Beverage Manager, Livestock Manager and Market Garden Manager on agricultural operations and strategic production planning.

  • Participate in regular product planning sessions with garden and livestock managers to project upcoming produce and meat availability, and to help set planting and stocking quantities for garden and livestock production.

  • Engages in frequent, informal communication with garden and livestock teams to coordinate and execute the maximum utilization of on-farm products.

  • Regularly assists the garden and livestock teams in the field, and ensures that all BOH team members also regularly work on the garden and livestock teams.

Oversee BOH staff management, leadership and development.

  • Responsible for the hiring, training, development and evaluation of BOH staff, including consistent leadership and mentorship to develop and grow the team.

  • Train staff on technique and best practices including proper food safety, rotation, storage, waste management, recipe procedures, quality and portion control processes.

  • Familiarize staff with livestock and garden operations, including site visits to see other teams in the field

  • Schedule and monitor labor in an efficient, productive and profitable manner, including managing BOH employee hours, approving and submitting to payroll.

  • Impartially and consistently hold employees accountable to all company standards and practices, following disciplinary procedures when necessary.

  • Train employees on safety procedures. Practice and enforce safe work behaviors.

  • With support from the Food & Beverage Manager, maintain BOH employee records, including performance evaluations, hours worked, and time off.

Manage BOH operations and administrations.

  • Manage BOH inventory and ordering, including placing kitchen food and supply orders, and some travel to pick up “will call” accounts.

  • Support the Market Manager in the development, implementation and maintenance of a safety and sanitation program (including Illness and Injury Prevention Program meetings, safety meetings, etc.) in compliance with the Vermont Department of Health, and OSHA safety regulations.

  • Direct and oversee cleaning for kitchen, walk-ins, and other food service areas.

Work collaboratively with the Food and Beverage Manager on the food service sales, budgets, and financials.

  • Review and verify profit and loss statements, and resolve any problems or inconsistencies.

  • Analyze profit and loss statements and item movement reports. Diagnose problems and develop action plans to improve results.

  • Lead end-of-month physical inventory to determine food costs. Help resolve inventory variances.

Actively demonstrate exceptional professionalism and hospitality.

  • Exemplify professionalism, a positive attitude, integrity, and service excellence.

  • Exude leadership and actively inspire those around you.

  • Celebrate the Philo Ridge Farm story. Speak with passion and knowledge about our food and products with all of the guests that visit the market. 

Qualifications

  • At least three years of kitchen management experience in a similar role.

  • Ability to develop, set up, and implement kitchen systems and protocols.

  • Sees problems as creative challenges and opportunities for growth, not roadblocks or excuses.

  • A passion for food and farming with experience creating a dynamic and exciting menu.

  • Proven ability to hire, develop and motivate team members.

  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and able to lead team with poise under pressure.

  • Experience and understanding of both FOH and BOH dynamics.

  • Strong communication, organization, and problem-solving skills.

  • Proven ability to build and cultivate strong, positive relationships with guests, vendors, and team.

  • Driven by a commitment to creating excellent product and providing seamless service.

  • Flexibility and patience within a growing business.

  • Proficient in computer skills, including Microsoft Office products, POS systems, ChefTec or equivalent food costing software.

  • Demonstrated skills in accounting, cost control, and financial analysis.

  • Solid foundation of knowledge in food products and cooking; beer and wine knowledge a plus.

  • Knowledge and understanding of local liquor laws, health and safety regulations, and employee on the job injury reporting requirements.

  • Valid Driver License.

  • Minimum of two professional references.

Compensation

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Process

Candidates should send a cover letter illustrating experience, resume, available start date, contact information, and reference contact information to jobs@biologicalcapital.com. Qualified candidates will be contacted directly. No phone calls please.

For more company information, visit www.philoridgefarm.com and www.biologicalcapital.com