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Lead Cook North Cascades Institute +1 more

  • Date Posted October 21, 2021
  • Location Diablo Lake, WA
  • Category Culinary / Nonprofit
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

North Cascades Institute's mission is to inspire environmental stewardship through transformative learning experiences in nature. 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 and backgrounds experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place.

North Cascades Institute is a respected leader among U.S. environmental education organizations, and we believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $4 million budget and strong reserves, and 15 four star ratings with Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

Job description


North Cascades Institute seeks a qualified, enthusiastic professional cook to join our Kitchen Team. The Lead Cook supports the Head Chef and plays a creative role in shaping kitchen operations at North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. The Learning Center is located on Diablo Lake in the North Cascades National Park, 60 miles east of Sedro Woolley Washington on State Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway). 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 Sous Chef and Head Chef to shape the kitchen environment and to offer suggestions for improving daily operations. The Lead Cook also helps to implement the Foodshed Program, the Institute’s initiative to incorporate local, organic products in the operation of the Learning Center kitchen.



  • At least 3 years of professional food service experience that includes the following:
    • Catering and or institutional style food preparation
    • Maintaining cleanliness and functionality of food service facilities and equipment
    • Place food orders and maintaining inventory
  • Ability to take initiative and prioritize tasks with exemplary time management and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to interact with a diverse clientele including school children
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • 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


  • 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
  • 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


Kitchen Operations

  • Prepares meals on a daily basis, served take out style for up to 50 persons. Service may shift to buffet style contingent upon CDC recommendations
  • Creates age-appropriate menus for children in overnight programs using recipes for consistency, cost control and appealing servings avoiding unnecessary waste
  • Creates menus for adults in overnight programs that range in price, options, and service levels
  • Integrates local, organic food in the kitchen menu
  • Provides administrative support to the Head Chef through helping to track inventory, placing food orders, arranging deliveries, and submitting invoices to Accounting for payment
  • Assists in training and supervision of seasonal staff in their food preparation tasks Supervises ware-washing program during shifts
  • 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
  • Support equity initiatives at North Cascades Institute and actively contribute to NCI as a community of belonging that is welcoming and accessible to everyone. Develop a personal equity, diversity, and inclusion related goal(s) and track progress towards your goal(s) with your supervisor.


  • Contributes to the development and communication of NCI’s Foodshed Program
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Head Chef
  • Participates in Staff Meetings, all staff trainings, and other duties as assigned by the Learning Center Director


January 16, 2022


This is a regular, full-time non-exempt position subject to furlough. Wage is $17.00 to $18.00 per hour, DOE. Scheduled hours will be 32-40 hours per week. Benefits include paid time off, holiday pay, health insurance, long and short-term disability and life insurance, tax-deferred annuity and contribution retirement plan, and a yearly stipend to participate in Institute programs. Shared staff rental housing may be available at $300.00 per month. Pets and smoking are not allowed in housing or on campus.


Compensation this position is : hourly, varies DOE, $17.00 - $18.00 Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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