Sous Chef

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Diablo, WA
United States

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The Sous Chef provides leadership within the kitchen environment, supports the Head Chef and plays a creative role in shaping kitchen operations at the Environmental Learning Center. This role oversees other kitchen staff during work shifts and assists in training and directing seasonal staff during the peak season. This person collaborates frequently with the Head Chef to shape the kitchen environment and to offer suggestions for improving daily operations. The Sous Chef also implements the Foodshed Program, the Institute’s initiative to incorporate local, organic products in the operation of the Learning Center.

Kitchen Operations

  • Prepares meals on a daily basis, served buffet-style.
  • Creates age-appropriate menus for children in overnight programs (primarily weekdays) using recipes for consistency, cost control and appealing servings avoiding unnecessary waste.
  • Creates menus for adults in overnight programs (primarily weekends) that range in price, options, quality and service levels.
  • Integrates local, organic food in the kitchen menu.
  • Provides administrative support to the Head Chef through developing relationships with local farmers, placing food orders and arranging deliveries.
  • Trains and oversees seasonal staff in their food preparation tasks.
  • Supervises ware-washing program.
  • Works together with the Head Chef to ensure efficient and high quality food service.
  • Uses independent judgment and discretion in making important decisions.
  • Resolves customer complaints, disputes or grievances while providing excellent customer service for the utmost customer satisfaction.
  • Actively participates in recycling program, composting, use of green materials and local products as related to food service.
  • Maintains exemplary standards of cleanliness in the dining hall, kitchen and walk-in, including office and dry storage.


  • Collaborates with the Food Services Manager to relay any issues with Salesforce (software program) or the communication of food service information from NCI staff.
  • Acts as the kitchen lead for occasional adult seminar workshops (e.g., culinary classes).
  • Contributes to the development of NCI’s Foodshed Program.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Food Services Manager.
  • Actively works to create a positive workplace environment.  



  • At least two years of professional food service experience that includes the following:
  • Catering and or institutional style food preparation.
  • Maintaining cleanliness and function of food service facilities and equipment.
  • Placing food orders and maintaining inventory.
  • Ability to take initiative and prioritize tasks with exemplary time management and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds occasionally and walk over uneven terrain.
  • Valid driver’s license and driving record check must have no more than one moving violation in the past three years, no DUI, reckless driving, or serious moving violations.
  • Final offers of employment are contingent upon the successful completion of a background check that may include employment history, national criminal background check, national sex offender registry search and a driving history check.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse clientele including school children.


  • Previous food service experience at other residential learning centers, camps, schools or similar facilities.
  • Interest in organic, local, and slow food.
  • Recycling, composting and waste handling experience.
  • Previous experience preparing diverse, health-conscious meals for children and adult groups (up to 80 at a time), including foods that incorporate fresh, local and/or organic ingredients.
  • Washington State food handler’s permit.
  • Current certification in first aid, CPR, or as a Wilderness First Responder


Late August or September 2016


This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position subject to a possible winter furlough. (unpaid) of one or two months. The pay rate is $15.00 to $16.00 per hour, depending on qualifications and experience. We offer a competitive compensation package; benefits include paid time-off, medical/dental insurance, long and short-term disability insurance, tax-deferred annuity and contribution retirement plan, and a yearly stipend to participate in Institute programs. Given the remote location, personal transportation is required. Rental housing may be available. Pets and smoking are not allowed in housing, during programs, or on the Institute’s campus.


The Institute’s mission is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. Since 1986 we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of natural and cultural history. Our goal is to help people of all ages experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place. The Institute is committed to innovation and excellence in environmental learning and leadership in the nonprofit community. We believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity.

North Cascades Institute is a respected, national leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $3 million budget and strong reserves, and 11 Four-Star with Charity Navigator. The Institute was also voted “Best Place to Work” in the 2013 Bellingham Alive – Best in the Northwest annual readers’ poll. This is a wonderful opportunity to join North Cascades Institute at a time of exciting growth.

For more information, please visit our webpage:

How to Apply:


Open until filled


Please apply online on our website:



Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or marital status, age, sensory, physical or mental disability, genetic information or any other basis prohibited by law in any of its policies or programs.

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