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Food Operations Manager/Head Chef

Cook for Good
N1 9QZ

Posted: 7 Jun 2021

Deadline: 25 Jun 2021

Compensation: £35,000 - £38,000 per annum

Paid Full-time Permanent

Job description

A unique opportunity has arisen for an experienced chef to take on the food operations of an innovative new social enterprise based in the heart of Kings Cross


Cook for Good is a social enterprise rooted in cooking and sharing food. We run virtual and in-person corporate team building experiences and invest our profits into food-focused community projects. We believe food has the power to bring people together and change lives. We have a clear mission: to build confidence, connections and communities through cooking.

So we’re building a community hub, including a kitchen and surplus food pantry, on a housing estate in the heart of Kings Cross, with the aim of supporting local people to come together and experience the joy of learning new skills, the pleasure of cooking from scratch, the fun of sharing with others and the warmth of their community. All supported by businesses who share our purpose and want to use their team-building budgets as a force for good.

Our enterprise is new, but our founders are highly experienced. Karen Mattison has been building and growing social enterprises for the past 20 years – largely in the arena of women and employment. Robinne Collie has been running team building food-based events for 20 years. We have been developing Cook for Good for the past 2 years…now we are ready to take it to the next level.

We have support from organisations and individuals as diverse as Peabody Housing, Facebook, Nigella and Ed Balls.

We have done the prep, and now we are ready to cook!


Cook for Good will be operating two facilities both based on the Priory Green housing estate in Kings Cross:

  • The Pantry - In the summer we will open our surplus food pantry (community shop), that will run one day a week. This is a membership scheme where members pay £3.50 for a basket of fresh, frozen and ambient ingredients worth £15-£25 in value. In addition to providing low-cost food, the pantry will provide a way for us to help change members food shopping and eating habits. We will help members build confidence with new (and sometime unfamiliar) ingredients and understand how to cook with them. We will provide several supports on pantry day, including recipe ideas for specific ingredients on offer that week, offering tasters and recipe cards.The Pantry will be an entry point to the community Kitchen classes (see below). It is located in a separate building to the kitchen, three minutes walk away.  
  • The Kitchen - In October we will open our Community Kitchen where we will offer free or very low-cost cooking classes for the local community, and community meals. There will be a variety of classes for kids and adults, ranging from cooking on a budget, cooking for good health, after school drop-in classes and what to do with your pantry basket. Classes end with a shared meal of the food participants have cooked. The weekly community meal will be a drop-in service (eat-in or take-away) with some special occasion meals served in the community centre hall.

In addition to the community classes, we will be running a programme of revenue generating events in the kitchen, including corporate team building events, private catered events, kitchen hire and fundraisers.


We are looking for someone really special to take on this pivotal role running all the food services at our new location in Kings Cross.You will be a chef with extensive experience not only of running food services but also of teaching and mentoring others.You may be looking for a change in work/life balance moving from a traditional kitchen environment of extended unsociable hours. You will be highly organised, a brilliant communicator and excited by our mission of building a community kitchen and pantry that is open and welcoming to everyone in the area - businesses and residents alike. You will be motivated to want to make a difference, to help people improve their lives through food and cooking.


The Food Operations Manager/Chef will have full responsibility for the entire food operation across kitchen and pantry. Specifically:

  • Managing staff (employed and freelance) and volunteers on community and corporate events (including kitchen assistants, kitchen porters, freelance chefs) – assessment, onboarding, induction training, on event
  • Managing stock – procurement (supply chain), management (from receipt to plate in line with HACCP), and reporting (financial)
  • Managing Health & Safety – ensuring food service runs according to established HACCP policy and ensuring all check and reporting carried out, ensuring all risk assessments annually reviewed, conducting H & S training as required to onboard new kitchen/pantry staff and volunteers
  • Facilities management – Equipment maintenance & cleaning and waste control (with 3rd party providers and landlord), kitchen technician
  • Cooking and management of food provision for community meals and pantry samplers, dine-in and offsite distribution
  • Teaching & demonstrating (in-kitchen and online) – lead chef on some of our community cooking classes and events
  • Schedule ownership and management – working with sales and events team on kitchen availability and bookings.
  • Event management & client hosting – for corporate events, fundraisers, venue hire and private events, including liaising with freelance chef delivery team and clients (in conjunction with sales/marketing team), being onsite point of contact for in kitchen users (technician)
  • Operational set up and running of the weekly pantry – liaising with the surplus food provider, managing deliveries, ensuring all food is in situ for the open day, and managing residual stock, providing culinary know-how for members.

The role will start with focus on the operational setup and running of the pantry (while the kitchen is being built) and then will expand to include the kitchen as we roll out the programme of services.



  • An experienced chef with at least 2 years’ experience in a head chef position or managing a catering operation/culinary teaching facility
  • Previous experience of teaching and mentoring and training – ideally having taught cooking classes and/or delivered food demonstrations
  • Prepared to work flexibly over the course of the week – Full time, including some Saturday mornings and occasional evening events
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – presentation and people engagement
  • Ability to work with a diverse range of people in an inclusive way
  • Self-motivated and able to work with minimal supervision
  • Strong admin and organisational skills
  • Stock Management Experience – from procurement through to payment, including supply chain, ordering and receipt of goods,
  • Experience operating within a HACCP policy/framework
  • Food Safety Level 3 or equivalent in-house training qualification


  • Experience of teaching cookery online
  • Experience of teaching children to cook
  • Experience of managing volunteers and freelance staff
  • Enhanced DBS (can be arranged if not already holding)
  • Valid HSE-approved first aid at work certification


  • Hours: Full time
  • Contract:12 months (with option to extend dependent on funding)
  • Location: Kings Cross
  • Salary: £35 - £38k per annum
  • Holiday: 25 days per year plus bank holidays

Application information


To apply for this role please send us your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are the right person for this role, what experience you will bring to it, and why you want it.

Application Deadline 25th June 2021

Email applications to

Please mention Roots to Work when applying for these jobs

About Cook for Good

Cook for Good is a not-for-profit organisation with a clear mission: to build confidence, connections and communities through food. We believe that cooking has the power to bring people together and change lives, and that connecting businesses and communities through food can be transformational for both. So we have created a model which uses cooking to build links within and beyond communities, allowing everyone involved to feel good about what they have made, and what they have made happen.