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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

Manages and oversees all culinary operations for one or more catering facilities or programs. Leads the culinary team to provide culinary excellence, training, recipe and menu development; is the leader of development and execution of new and seasonal menus. Provides day-to-day direction and supervision of culinary staff and culinary operations; and coordinates efforts to successfully deliver services to a diverse clientele. Provides training and development for the staff, keeping them current with culinary skills and procedures to meet and exceed expectations. Participates in sales efforts with customer interaction. Provides tastings as appropriate.


Food Quality & Guest Experience (40%)

  • Establishes and accelerates changes to menus, recipes and cooking methods; and consistently leads to improve food quality, attractiveness and efficient preparation.  
  • Oversees menu, food preparation, presentation, portioning and plating design. 
  • Ensures overall consistency and quality; develops and oversees adherence to standards, policies and procedures in order to provide quality food products and services. 
  • Works in conjunction with the executive chef to improve and standardize recipes, as well as to develop new recipes.
  • Remains current and fluent in Michigan Dining catering and food management software systems.
  • Remains current with industry trends and participate in the development of new concepts; demonstrates a high level of knowledge in regional, international and ethnic cuisines.
  • Examines food, vegetables, meats and supplies received to assure quality, freshness and appearance.  
  • Meets with guests to ensure that their dining requirements and expectations are met or exceeded.
  • Responds to questions, comments, and suggestions from students, faculty, staff and clients regarding menu and food quality.
  • Assists the executive chef and managers in developing projects and strategies to enhance the dining experience for guests.
  • Plans and coordinates food preparation for catering and special events.  
  • Assists in cooking and preparing food as necessary.
  • Understands and enforces all alcohol policies.

Staff Supervision (30%)

  • Exercises administrative supervision over chef leads, chefs, chef assistants, cooks, bakers, and other food service staff including student employees engaged in culinary operations. 
  • Serves as a leader for employees while fostering teamwork, employee morale, motivation and open communication.   
  • Coaches and develops employees using a consistent approachable demeanor and clearly articulating expectations. 
  • Makes recommendations regarding personnel matters including hiring, training, performance reviews, promotions and disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • Communicates all recipes, guidelines and facts to employees during pre-shift/event meetings and training.
  • Manages, schedules and trains culinary staff to ensure that excellent service is provided to guests and food is prepared and presented in an appetizing manner.  
  • Ensures that the minimum level of labor is used to perform the required level of service without impacting service standards.  
  • In collaboration with the executive chef, trains the culinary staff in cooking and serving methods, presentation and portion control; exhibits a hands-on approach to training and development, working alongside employees while demonstrating a commitment to their individual growth.
  • Participates in hiring and promoting culinary staff, including evaluation and testing for culinary hiring and promotional opportunities.  
  • Enforces all appearance and uniform guidelines. 

 Financial Leadership (20%)

  • Assist in the budget projections for the Michigan Catering operations, food and labor cost.
  • Monitors the food budget and makes necessary adjustments consistent with attaining unit goals. 
  • Manages food, kitchen supply and equipment purchases and inventory using the approved management system.
  • Contributes directly to the departmental financial goals through effective use of forecast data, proper scheduling, and responding to volume and market price fluctuations.
  • Utilize financial data and statistics to aid informed decision making.  Provides information to the Director in the preparation lf special and period reports for University administrations. 

Sanitation & Safety (5%)

  • In partnership with food safety specialist continually maintains and trains the staff in sanitary practices and procedures.
  • Ensures compliance with all state and county health department and safety regulations and maintains high standards of sanitation as a unit priority. 
  • Demonstrates and enforces Hazardous Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to include the supervision and maintenance of the sanitary conditions of food storage, production, serving and other front/back of the house areas. 
  • Conducts routine inspection of preparation, storage, and service areas ensuring proper sanitation is maintained as well as the health and safety of dining guests and employees.
  • Ensures that all service equipment is operational and handled safely, reporting mechanical issues to appropriate member of management. 

General Duties (5%)

  • Serves as a member of the unit leadership team and collaborates on program enhancements.
  • Strives to improve and streamline departmental operations through the continuous assessment of policies and procedures, work processes and program effectiveness/value.  
  • Participates in administrative staff meetings in order to assist in long-range unit planning activities.
  • Prepares reports as required.  
  • Participates in meetings as necessary or requested. 
  • Participates in professional organizations, conferences and training activities, representing the department as required or assigned.

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • Degree in Culinary Arts from an accredited culinary school or apprenticeship program and/or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience as a chef in a high volume, high quality operation with a variety of concepts and/or catering and banquet experience.
  • ServSafe and HACCP certified within 60 days from date of hire as a condition of employment.  If the certification is not acquired during the 60-day period, employment will be terminated. Certification must be maintained as a condition of employment. 
  • American Culinary Federation certification at the Certified Executive Chef® (CEC®) level must be obtained within two years from date of hire. If the certification is not acquired within two years, employment will be terminated. Certification must be maintained as a condition of continued employment. 
  • Able to legally work in the United States.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Experience with CBORD Food Management systems and event management software.    

Additional Information

Position Criteria:

  • Experience and comprehensive knowledge of culinary techniques, menu planning, recipe and menu development, dining trends, food ordering, budget management, use of general and commercial kitchen equipment, preparation, presentation, and supervision of kitchen personnel. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of regional, international and ethnic cuisines. 
  • Outstanding ability to lead, train, develop, supervise and motivate a diverse team. 
  • Strong organizational and logistical skills coupled with the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a diverse team.
  • Strong communication and customer service skills.
  • Knowledge of basic computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheet, email and the Internet; and ability to use menu management and productions system.
  • Competencies include:
    • Drive for Excellence
    • Innovation
    • Hospitality Business and Industry Knowledge
    • Strategic Planning & Leadership
    • Operational Management
    • Fiscal Stewardship
    • Customer Satisfaction and Communication
    • Human Resource Management & Development
    • Working with Diverse Constituencies
    • Sustainability
    • Technology

Working conditions

  • The Chef de Cuisine is classified as a “critical employee” and will be expected to be on site during any emergency closure of the University.
  • Able to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends throughout the year. 
  • Must have a current Driver’s License issued within the United States, Canada or an International License that is translated into English and successfully complete the Motor Vehicle Record Check in accordance with the University of Michigan policy. 

Physical requirements

  • Able to maintain a static position for extended periods of time while preparing food, move throughout the kitchen and dining hall as needed, and move and transport objects weighing 25 - 30 pounds.

Direct reports

Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Operational Manager

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.