The Sylvia Center hiring Farm to Table Chef Instructor

Kinderhook, New York

Farm to Table Chef Instructor
The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm

The Sylvia Center (TSC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire children to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Through our programs, children learn what fresh food is, how delicious it tastes, and how to prepare it for themselves and their families.  In our Children’s Garden, outdoor kitchen on Katchkie Farm, and in local schools and community centers, we teach skills that inspire children to establish independent healthy eating habits – so that they may lead healthy and productive lives.

Job Title and Summary

The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm is seeking a part-time, seasonal Farm to Table Chef Instructor for the 2015 growing season (March – November).  The Chef Instructor will prepare for and conduct the culinary component of our farm to table educational programs which teach basic culinary skills, food seasonality, and the joy of cooking and eating fresh fruits and vegetables grown right on the farm. Primary duties will include teaching basic culinary skills and the art of cooking to youth both on the farm and in local schools and community centers.  The Chef Instructor will be supported by the Culinary Assistant and will report to the Education Director.

Job Schedule

This position runs from March 2, 2015 through approximately November 30, 2015.  This position requires an extremely flexible schedule, as the work week will vary over the course of the growing and programming seasons, ranging from 4-5 days and 30-40 hours per week, and occasional weekends for special events.  A work schedule will be provided at least one week in advance.

 Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Plan for and lead educational culinary programs that create vegetarian meals from scratch using seasonal farm produce.
  • Lead meal creation for groups of 30-55 participants in an outdoor or school setting. This includes cutting vegetables, cooking on a propane cook top, grill, or induction burner, operating a wood-fired oven, and other culinary tasks, while leading cooking lessons for participants of any age.
  • Review program plans and recipes with staff prior to programs and provide a shopping list to the Culinary Assistant.
  • Set up and breakdown program equipment and supplies, clean up following programs, and maintain pantry inventory in prep kitchen.
  • Direct the Culinary Assistant to complete tasks that will support the program including: purchasing groceries and other supplies, organizing and setting up all necessary equipment prior to programs, and the breaking down, packing up, and of cleaning dishes and equipment following each program, etc.
  • In conjunction and with the guidance of the Education Director, work to create meaningful culinary based learning experiences for the Culinary Assistant and Garden Program Intern.
  • Assist with farm and garden work as needed, including, but not limited to: weeding, planting, seeding, spring garden preparations, spreading compost, livestock chores, and greenhouse work.
  • Assist with other programs, special events, and other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Culinary Degree and a minimum of 1 year of experience teaching children culinary skills. Management experience a plus.
  • Passionate about food, cooking, working on a farm, and working with children.
  • Interest in cooking seasonal, simple and delicious food with freshly harvested organic vegetables. Experience a plus.
  • Interest in teaching children and adults about the importance of cooking and eating well and a willingness to support all aspects of our farm to table programs.
  • Enthusiastic, able to work quickly in a fast paced environment, detail-oriented, responsible, and focused.
  • Able to work independently on projects, anticipate what needs to be done, and take action without being asked.
  • Able to take initiative, follow instructions, and learn quickly with a positive attitude and sense of humor.
  • Must have an exceptional and cooperative work ethic, excellent communication skills, and the ability to rise to the occasion with a positive attitude when unexpected tasks need to be completed.
  • Able to lift up to 50 lbs, and perform physical, outdoor jobs in inclement weather.
  • Flexible schedule and ability to accommodate a sometimes irregular work week and occasional weekend hours.
  • Current CPR, First-Aid Certification, Valid Driver’s License, and a reliable vehicle.

Compensation: Hourly wage of $13.50 per hour, along with healthy portions of farm produce, and eggs when available.

To Apply: Please email your resume, cover letter, and three references, at least two professional, (include name, relationship, phone number, and email address) to Julie Cerny, Education Director and Garden Manager, For updates to this description please visit: