Job Description

Kitchen Manager and Cook for the EarthSpirit Centre

The EarthSpirit Centre is a busy, award winning, holistic centre, primarily for groups specialising  in personal development and complimentary therapies. A full list of forthcoming groups can be seen on our website www.earthspirit-centre.co.uk  The centre comprises two venues but all the cooking is done in the Main Centre kitchen. The centre encompasses seven acres and is situated some five miles from Glastonbury. 

The Kitchen Manager and Cook (KM/Cook) is responsible for cooking and cleaning/tidying away all meals, for food ordering/shopping, menu planning, staff rotas and for health and hygiene in the kitchens, dining rooms and store. S/he is answerable to the General Manager. 

The Main Centre is booked for roughly 270 days in the year and Little Earth for about 200, some 80 of which will be by groups also using the Main Centre. There are approximately 10-12,000 guest days per year. Hours are irregular and can vary considerably. They average about 40 per week. The summer months are very busy. The winter is quieter. Nearly every weekend in the year is booked. Days begin with breakfast set-up and finish after dinner clear down, with split shift breaks during the day. Group sizes can vary from 6, the minimum, up to 180. 

The centre has a help-yourself/cafeteria system and is vegetarian but we don’t require the cook to be a vegetarian.  The KM/cook will need a Level 3 Food Hygiene Certificate. There will be quiet periods but the cook needs to be able to work under pressure, and be quick, efficient and consistent. We have come-in cooks and kitchen assistants to support the Kitchen Manager and to help during busy times and over holidays. We bring in additional help when necessary for the larger groups. 

Specific responsibilities include:- 

  • Preparing, setting out and clearing away breakfast, usually continental style, often with hardboiled eggs and porridge.
  • Preparing, setting out and clearing down a two course lunch, typically soup/bread following by three salads.
  • Preparing, setting out and clearing down dinner.  Dinners are usually two courses, a main and a pudding.
  • There will also be group coffee and tea breaks in the dining room, with cake and biscuits.
  • Preparing special diet meals as required and maintaining a record of them. Groups notify us in advance of any special requirements (ie. dairy-free, gluten-free, allergies etc.).
  • Using wild food and produce from our own gardens where practical.
  • Liasing with office who will provide full details of numbers, mealtimes, special diets etc.
  • Attending team meetings as required. Liasing with the General Manager over the Kitchen Tracker which is used to monitor wages.
  • Liasing with group organisers, welcoming them, being responsive to requests.
  • Routine checking of the dining hall and tearoom, dealing with set-up and clear-down, and general tidying on change-over days.
  • Ordering and rotating stock, checking orders, stock checks, maintaining health and hygiene standards in the kitchens, dining rooms and store.
  • Liasing with South Somerset Environmental Health as necessary to ensure the centre maintains its 5 star rating. Ensuring staff have appropriate certificates. Maintaining health and hygiene records. Displaying certificates for all kitchen staff.
  • Maintaining a rota of staff kitchen shifts/hours, organising assistance, and come-in cooks, as needed in the kitchen. This includes responsibility for maintaining high culinary standards.
  • Catering for centre volunteers as required. Ensuring volunteers eat left-overs when possible
  • Helping with pastoral care and wellbeing of volunteers, as necessary, together with the Volunteers’ Co-ordinator.
  • Maintaining cleaning schedule; daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly etc.
  • Cooking and running the kitchen to meet financial targets as determined by the General Manager.
  • Controlling food costs and selecting suppliers.

 Living Arrangements:- 

The position is offered as a live-in opportunity with a house, private garden, firewood, broadband and washing machine included. You pay for your own electricity and water use. You will be part of a team living at the centre, helping each other and working together to deliver high standards to our guests. We pride ourselves on providing restaurant quality meals. Although it is not required, a willingness to help with the grounds and garden would be an asset. This is a pretty general list and doesn’t cover everything you might need to do. You will be part of a team, albeit with specific responsibilities. The pressure of work varies and we are sometimes very busy. Applicants need to be fit and healthy. 

Remuneration and Conditions:- 

  • The pay is £10.50 per hour, with standard holiday pay etc.
  • A discretionary bonus applies to this position, subject to overall performance of the company
  • Hours vary. Expect anything between 30 and 50 (rare but possible..) hours per week, averaging 40 pw over the year. Weekend and anti-social hours usually required.
  • We have a company car for business and occasional (by arrangement) personal use.
  • The position begins September 2022, with a hand-over period, by arrangement.
  • If you are interested please send us your CV and a covering letter, telling us a little about yourself and why you feel you might be suited to the position, to office@earthspirit-centre.co.uk

Thanks! David Taylor, director   Dan Simmons, general manager