Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is hiring a Culinary Director!
Are you a visionary and collaborative culinary leader who is experienced in high-volume cooking, passionate about connecting people with nature through local and seasonal ingredients, and committed to supporting our IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) goals? We’re looking for a Culinary Director to support our mission to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research. We do this work together in a community dedicated to being inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible, where every person is valued, respected, and appreciated.
The Culinary Director will strive to achieve a profitable food service operation while maintaining quality standards that promote Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, connect to the mission, and enhance the guest experience. The Culinary Department is part of a broader integrated effort to create a seamless expression of our mission and values for all components of a guest’s visit, contributing to a transformational culinary experience that both advances our mission and generates financial support for the Gardens and vendors in our community.
A member of the senior management team, this position is chiefly responsible for setting the vision and direction for how culinary experiences at the Gardens support this expression of mission and values, including advancing IDEA principles and fostering a sense of belonging. Accordingly, this person participates in the development and implementation of leadership initiatives, strategic plans, and organization-wide policies and programs that contribute to the Gardens’ overall success.
The Gardens will be opening a newly renovated $7m Café in winter 2023, and the person in this position will have a unique creative opportunity to design new menus for the summer 2024 season, including planning for associated kitchen operations and systems in a freshly renovated space. They will be the chief architect for achieving this new vision while planning appropriate operational efficiency and sustainability in collaboration with their team.
Starting salary of $70,000 – 85,000
This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position. The typical work schedule is 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Weekend and holiday hours will be required, depending on seasonal needs, in addition to evening hours during Gardens Aglow.
Review of applications begins November 1, 2023.
Physical and environmental factors:
Occasionally required to sit, walk, and stand for long periods of time.
Required to use hands to hold, carry, handle, or feel; required to reach with hands and arms.
Required to talk and hear.
Occasionally required to bend, lift, or climb.
Often required to lift up to 50lbs.
The work environment includes exposure to heat, moisture, and cold.
Duties & Responsibilities
Direct and set a vision and trajectory for the culinary experience, including playing a key role in renovations, capital improvements, and expansion of offerings across campus.
Develop high-quality menus designed for high-volume production, prioritizing local, seasonal, ingredients, and dietary options that meet a variety of cultural, dietary, religious, and economic needs.
Plan and develop systems to improve quality and operational efficiencies in an institutional food service setting.
Provide food and beverage for events within the Gardens. Develop an in-house catering program, expanding in scale over time as on-site Gardens event spaces grow.
Lead the integration of the Gardens’ commitment to an inclusive guest experience within culinary operations.
In collaboration with Facilities, Marketing, Guest Experience, and other departments as appropriate, oversee the successful functions of public spaces associated with the culinary experience (menu displays, product merchandising, dining area layout, waste and recycling, etc.).
Create and oversee the annual department budget.
Manage operational costs, set and achieve financial benchmarks, and strive to maintain profitability.
Manage or oversee inventory, ordering, receiving, and coding.
Hire and supervise Culinary team members.
Train team members in Gardens’ policies, customer service standards, and food service procedures, rules, and safety.
Set clear expectations and communicate with team members in areas of performance improvement.
Maintain necessary licensing, permits, and certifications.
Understand local, state, and federal laws pertaining to food service.
Participate in classes, workshops, and food shows to stay abreast of current trends.
Collaborate with other departments to support and promote excellent guest experience throughout the organization.
Participate in Gardens-wide initiatives including Gardens Aglow assignments.
Education and Experience
Demonstrated history of successful food and beverage management, with at least 3 years of prior management experience.
Extensive culinary knowledge and experience in institutional food service and/or high-volume settings that prioritize high-quality dining.
Experience with catering and event planning for food and alcohol.
Bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, hospitality management, food service management, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
Proven success building and leading high-functioning, happy, and collaborative teams.
Ability to set goals, delegate tasks, and oversee team’s work, holding employees accountable for work performance on the job, and ability to coach and develop employees.
Strong financial understanding of culinary operations, including budgeting and inventory controls.
Proficient in problem-solving, planning, organizing, and prioritizing.
Knowledge of food safety regulations and sanitation practices.
Proficient in oral and written communication, and able to work collaboratively across teams to achieve shared goals.
Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite including Excel, OneDrive, Outlook, and SharePoint.
A respect for plants, nature, and the outdoors; an interest in serving the constituencies of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens as well as learning more about the Gardens’ environment.
Commitment to working across the organization to support the integration of IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) principles into Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ internal operations and its relationships with visitors and guests.