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First Cook - PM

Amherst College
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Start date
Sep 22, 2023

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First Cook - PM

Amherst Campus
Full Time

Amherst has taken a leadership role among highly selective liberal arts colleges and universities in successfully diversifying the racial, socio-economic, and geographic profile of its student body. The College is similarly committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff.

Job Description:

Amherst College invites applications for the First Cook. The First Cook is a full-time, year-round position, starting at $21.93 per hour. Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the ways in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community. Takes appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participates in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

The First Cook supports the efforts of Amherst College Dining Services by providing the campus community with excellent service by leading the culinary team in production of our dinner and late night menus. This position ensures that the quantity and quality of our production are consistent with our standards and works with all members of the team to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers. This individual produces menu components from fresh and exceptional ingredients and is proficient in the technical skill and knowledge required to achieve this, being well versed in food, its history, and trends.

The work schedule varies and corresponds to the College's operational needs, but generally is Tuesday thru Saturday, beginning a shift often at 11:30 am - 8:00 pm. This position will assist with production in board plan dining and periodically assist with catering and campus-wide events. As our work is central to student life, their needs occur at a variety of times throughout the day, week, and year and in such, a flexible schedule with extended shift times is required. In addition, the position is designated as providing essential services and should report to work, or remain on duty even though the College is closed.

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Provide operational supervision, both directly and in conjunction with the Executive Sous Chef, over the daily culinary operations while supporting the culinary team with the planning, production and implementation of menus and systems
  • Participate in employee training and development and the assessment of team member performance
  • Provide and maintain the tools, information, resources, and support necessary to enable individual and the team's success
  • Coach and Supervise service staff on storage, portioning, and handling of menu items
  • Perform regular inspections of Stations and Service areas in support of established standards
  • Maintain the accuracy of production schedules and usage reports, communicate deficiencies
  • Manage inventory levels and quality; maintain the organization of Production Storage Areas
  • Ensure that the Culinary operation is secure, organized, safe and clean during production, service and at the close of business
  • Maintain a commitment to the quality of our resources and work to prevent loss and eliminate waste
  • Promote our standards of quality and service and the safety of our work environment
  • Effectively collaborates with a diverse group of colleagues and students

  • Support the operational standards and Health Department regulations
  • Ensure all areas are maintained in an orderly, clean, and sanitary manner, as well as oversee the complete breakdown and cleaning of all equipment
  • Ensure production of menu items are to standard
  • Ensure recipes are followed, uniform production standards are met, and all items are of the highest possible quality

  • Help create, manage, and serve seasonal, fresh menus from exceptional ingredients
  • Assist with product and process refinement
  • Assist with new product research and development
  • Corrects discrepancies in production sheets and recipes

Communication and Workday
  • Regularly checking your email is required to stay up to date on college-wide and departmental communications
    • This includes communication by email, message boards and The Daily Mammouth
    • Important information is shared through these communications that affect your job and help you stay up to date on departmental specific updates, upcoming meetings and events
  • Learning and using Workday to manage clocking in and out for shifts, time off requests and all other functions required to manage your personal information


  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Current ServSafe Manager Certification or be able to achieve within (6) months of employment
  • Allergen Awareness as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Associate's degree or equivalent in Culinary Arts
  • Successful completion of a pre-employment physical and lift test
  • Five to ten years of food preparation experience including hot and cold food production, high volume catering/banquet production, buffet presentation, a'la carte cooking, baking, and pastry
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Strong verbal and written communication, customer service, organizational, and time management skills
  • Ability to taste and work with any and all ingredients used
  • Ability to mathematically reduce and expand measurements required by recipe
  • Attention to detail
  • Work flexible hours based upon departmental needs including extended shifts
  • A history of successful supervisory experience
  • Experience testing recipes and developing menus
  • Commitment to effectively working with a diverse community

  • Three or more years of supervisory experience

Amherst College offers many opportunities for professional growth and development, continued learning, and career advancement.

Amherst College is pleased to provide a comprehensive, highly competitive benefits package that meets the needs of staff and faculty and their families. Benefits are an important part of our overall compensation, so it is critical that you review all of the options to ensure it meets your total compensation requirements. Click here for Benefits Information.

Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and cover letter online at Please be sure to upload all requested documents prior to clicking Submit. Applications cannot be revised once submitted. (Current employees and students should apply by clicking on the Career icon from their Workday home screen) Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

To find information about job group and level (JGL) follow this link.

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