Seasons For Hire
Whaler’s Cove Lodge is entering into its 40th Season of hosting Sport Fishing and Wilderness Adventures. We are looking for a Sous Chef who:
Knows what it takes and is motivated.
Is an optimist who seeks practical solutions.
Truly enjoys cooking! Like - For Real!
Has an understanding of every aspect of their trade through practice and education.
Is willing to tackle the task of a seasonal lodge: opening, working, wrapping up.
Knows themselves well enough to enjoy living and working on a small island, in the middle of 17 million acres of wilderness, with 32 crew, and up to 32 guests.
Is tenacious enough to work through all of the challenges working in a remote location brings, including limited labor force.
Understands that although the food is important, people are more important.
Is encouraging to every person who works on their team: set the pace, establish the standard.
Is First In and Last Out.
Is willing to clean and who does clean!
Is a planner. It takes two + weeks, multiple modes of transportation, and many hands to get supplies to our kitchen. Planning starts in the fall for the next summer.
Is willing to work with management and respect the culinary culture. The lodge has been successful for 34 years, in its unique location, in part due to standards developed by the founders, and systems developed by current ownership and management. It takes a tremendous amount of communication and cooperation to make this endeavor successful.
Although this is seasonal employment; we prefer a multi-season commitment.
Qualifications to Include:
High School Graduate or GED Required
Culinary Arts Degree Preferred or Equivalent Experience
At least 3 years of professional experience as a Sous Chef
Large Batch Cooking
Demonstration cooking experience preferred
Excellent and genuine customer service skills
Hospitality financial management experience is a plus.
Computer literate preferred
Ability to delegate, coach, and train.
Proven effective team leader
“All-Hands on Deck” attitude
Authentic enjoyment for chosen profession
ServSafe Manager Certification preferred
Primary responsibility is to create an inviting, welcoming, pleasurable, and satisfying dining experience for our guests and crew. Service will include three meals per day, for up to 60-70 persons throughout 100-135 days operating season. Pre & post guest-weeks involve dining for owners, hosts, employees, and select contractors; up to 32 people. Although service is buffet, guests and crew are well-accustomed to well-flavored food and tantalizing displays. The lodge has an established, rotating, 10 day menu for guests. Inventory, stock, and rotation must occur without fail. Ordering is performed in conjunction with management due to remote location logistics.
Additional Responsibilities Include:
Support Head Chef in all duties.
Assist in direction of kitchen and dining room staff (3-8 per shift) in cooperation with Head Chef and Front of House to establish the best flow and to provide exceptional customer service
Demonstrate new cooking techniques and equipment to staff
Establish presentation technique and quality standards
Ensure timely serving: 7am breakfast, 12pm lunch, 5:30pm Soup, 6:00pm Appetizers & Salad, 6:30pm dinner.
Train and develop the team to prepare and deliver food to exceptional specifications
Praise and recognize good performance
Deal with poor performance through education, coaching, informal reprimands, and where necessary the company disciplinary procedure
Maintain impeccable personal hygiene
Maintain safety standards within the workplace
Communicate via team meetings, one to one meetings, training sessions, notice boards and written formats.
Daily meetings with Head Chef and FOH Manager (5-15 minutes)
Food orders/quality/inventory control
Work with Head Chef to order supplies.
Check the quantity and quality of received products
All substandard food is reported to Head Chef with the appropriate paperwork for credit. Due to our remote location it is unreasonable to return substandard items.
General Manager will assist with supplier issues.
Secure stock, monitor, and control levels. As a seasonal enterprise, our chill and freeze needs to end with minimal stock to store over the winter for following season start-up and our pantry items need to be reduced to as bare a cupboard as possible.
Stock rotation is followed and all store rooms, fridges, and freezers are in order
Crew Food policy is followed with no unauthorized food leaving the kitchen
Cooperate with entire crew during weekly provisioning.
Comply & implement all health and safety requirements.
Ensure that all Food Worker cards or Serv Safe certifications are collected from kitchen and dining crew.
Ensure temperature records and food labeling are maintained and up to date
Ensure the kitchen is clean and hygienic, making sure cleaning rotas are adhered to
Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations
Ensure proper equipment operation/maintenance;
Report any deficiencies in equipment to Head Chef or General Manager.
Menu Selection and Presentation
Incorporating Whaler’s Cove traditions and Owner’s vision, following the lead of the Head Chef, while maintaining standards that long time clients have come to expect.
Although there is a two week menu rotation, the challenge of ending the season with minimal inventory that will keep throughout the winter creates a situation that the last few weeks’ menu has variability to use up the inventory. There have also been delays with receiving orders due to the unforeseen logistical challenges such as ferries being cancelled due to acts of Mother Nature or mechanical failures. Any changes in the menu is strategized with the Head Chef & Owner.
Team Oriented ~ Chef needs to be independent, yet totally understand the interdependence that this operation requires to succeed. Healthy communication skills, willingness to solve issues, positive attitude, big-picture mentality, sense of humor, self-motivation, modesty, and an ability to adapt and learn are all required.
Professionalism ~ We require our Chef to present themselves in a professional manner at all times. We always have guests at the lodge (from June into September, 24 hours a day/7 days a week) with turnover days on Saturdays (every week) and Tuesdays or Wednesdays (alternating every other week). Because of our remote location, it is very difficult to replace any of our crew during the operating season. We expect a commitment to stay the entire season or agreed upon length of contract. It is important that our applicants understand the operation and what responsibilities will be required of them.
Attitude & Social Ability ~ Our Chef is highly influential of our guest experience. It is important that our Chefs enjoy people and enjoy showing the guests a good time. We are looking for individuals who truly enjoy hospitality! We expect for our Chefs to make their presence known in the dining room at one point during each meal time to greet guests and ask how they are faring. We require our team to have a positive attitude, show extraordinary manners, and be courteous at all times. This position involves daily communication: kitchen crew, Department Manager, up to 6 other Department Managers (who will be integral as support staff for delivery and stocking of all goods, storage, and maintenance), up to 32 crew members who live on site, and up to 32 guests daily!
Guest Requests ~ As a well-established lodge that prides itself in taking care of each and every guest and employee, our Chefs will need to incorporate specific specialty menu items that will ensure that every person at the lodge has a safe and enjoyable experience. These specialty menu items include gluten free, allergy considerations, and special event items (i.e. anniversary & birthday cakes). The Chefs, Guest Services Manager, and Department Manager all have access to a Special Events calendar that is updated frequently so that the entire team can ensure that all special requests are attended to.
Safety & Medical ~ Knowledge of maritime radio etiquette is helpful. Guest Services crew and General Managers rotate monitoring the lodge radio 24 hours a day, while guests are on site. Operating in the Alaskan environment is inherently dangerous and all of our employees are required to be aware and responsive to any potentially dangerous situation that may arise. Firearms are kept on site and carried by all fresh water guides. The lodge has working cannon for entertainment purposes only. First Aid and CPR certified is preferred.
If a situation arises that requires medical attention, crew is to contact Guest Services immediately and render any assistance possible. The community of Angoon has a medical clinic with emergency staff available; although due to irregular cell service, contact may not occur immediately. Regional scheduled sea plane service or charters may be available to transport patients to adequate medical care facilities in Juneau or Sitka (this is a minimum 40 minute transport). In addition, the U.S.C.G. Air Station in Sitka has the capability to medevac serious injuries with a minimum response time of 45 minutes. The lodge management is to be contacted immediately to ensure a coordinated and timely response.
Kitchen crew must be healthy, physically fit, maintain a clean appearance, be drug-free (pre-employment drug testing and random seasonal drug testing is company policy at company discretion), and be a non-smoker. Anyone who cannot maintain themselves in a professional manner regarding alcohol consumption need not apply. Alcohol is not to be consumed prior to or during a shift.
Company Policy ~ Employees of Whaler’s Cove Lodge are to abide by the most current version of the Employee Handbook (provided at time of hiring). The duties and policies described in this job description are in addition to, and an integral part of, the employee policies set forth in the Employee Handbook.
Adaptable & Hard Working ~ this seasonal industry is intense and unique. This company performs its services in a very remote location in Alaska: crew lives and works on 10 acres, on a small island, for up to 120 days, with little “down time”. Without a doubt, the operating season is hard work, and can be very satisfying. Most of the administrative duties are performed at the company satellite offices in Kalispell, Montana from October through May. There are opportunities for recreation; however our primary purpose is to perform.
Daily Schedule & Routine in Alaska
Kitchen is responsible for filling bellies with good food every day, for up to 120 days, without fail. There are no other options for food service in our remote area. Work week consists of six (6) days on shift (5 regular and 1 double), with one (1) day off. A typical week during the operating season for the Chef includes 60-80 hours of work.
7:00 am each morning.
A lunch bar is provided during breakfast (for guests and staff to pack brown bag lunches for consumption while out on the water or in the wilderness).
Twice a week, during guest turnover, double-breakfast service is required.
All guest turnovers happen first thing in the morning with outbound guests leaving on the same aircraft or ferry that the inbound guests arrive on.
Boats are typically away from our dock by 8:00 am each morning and by 10:00 am on turnover days.
Hot lunches are provided to crew at 12:00pm, daily (up to 30+/- people).
Hot Soup served at 5:30pm daily; Appetizers and Salad Bar at 6:00pm daily.
Dinner served promptly at 6:30pm daily.
Dinner service is usually wrapped up by 8:15-9:30pm. If circumstances prevent any staff from being able to attend dinner, our Chefs and kitchen staff will plate and hold dinner (warm) with notice. It is NOT a requirement for our crew to enjoy dinner with guests, however crew are welcome. The dinner and evening presentation is a great way to wrap up the days exhilaration moments. Awards are given each night to guests who chronicle their experiences with the group and for notable catches. We encourage guides and captains to take turns presenting our daily fish count and sharing their fish “stories”.
Our Chefs our encouraged to treat our crew with the same customer service as our guests. Without our crew, our self-sufficient operation would not be successful! Management believes that our crew deserves just as fine of food as our guests. The crew does appreciate comfort food periodically because, believe it or not, crew gets tired of prime rib and fresh Dungeness crab!
Fishing & boat assignments are plotted out for the season by the Guest Services Manager. These are never “etched in stone” and can be changed depending on guest’s needs, equipment availability, mechanical breakdowns, severe weather and a whole range of circumstances. The following days activities and assignments are firmed up each night with the guests around dinner (by the Guides and Guest Services Manager). Daily activities and boat assignments are posted each night, generally by 8 pm in the main lodge and in the fish processing plant on the dock.
This is the routine, every day, up to 120 days each summer.
Salary ~ DOE~ Starting Range is $4,000 for summer work, on-site. Plus TIPS. Travel benefit to/from lodge is reimbursed upon completion of the first operational season. Travel benefit is paid upfront for all return seasons. Other benefits disclosed at interview.
Accommodations & Meals during time in Alaska ~ Crew will be housed in modest, private rooms. Only very few crew rooms have private baths, all others will share bath facilities. Self-service laundry facilities (including detergent) are provided along with bedding and towels. Our staff enjoys hearty meals served buffet-style in the crew dining room. There is no obligation for crew to share their meals with guests; crew is welcome to enjoy their meals in the privacy of their rooms, etc.
Personal Items ~ your only living expenses while at the lodge will be personal items: i.e. toiletries, medicines, snacks, adult beverages, etc. which you must purchase in Juneau and bring with you to the lodge. There is no place to purchase these items ALL summer.
This position will be living and working on-site in Alaska on a remote island for 3+ months; in order to ensure a safe living environment for all, a background and reference check is required prior to final hire.
Whaler’s Cove Lodge operates continuously and uninterrupted (24/7) from opening day until the last guests depart. The 2022 season opens to the first guests June 23rd and last guests depart September 11th. The total 2022 season for Chefs is approximately 108-128 days; season start and end dates are to be finalized based upon final determination of construction projects. Tentatively is May 15th through September 20th.
WCL is a cooperative, self-sufficient operation that requires an immense amount of foresight, planning, communication, and teamwork. Each employee, their attitude and work ethic, is critical to the success and enjoyment of our workplace.
This business is the largest employer in its remote area of Alaska, it provides a livelihood for 40+ employees, and it’s a destination of choice for over 700 guests each year: this position is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle and a commitment to success, the business of being hospitable, and positively affecting the local community. Your skills and attitude affect the team and window of performance each year. This position offers a unique lifestyle opportunity living in Alaska each summer.
Whaler’s Cove Lodge is a permit holder in the Tongass National Forest and Admiralty Island National Monument. All rules and regulations are expected to be followed.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.
Together, this Job Description and the Employee Handbook constitute the expectations of our Head Chef and are considered a mutual agreement between employee and the lodge.
Your application will only be considered with a complete submission of your Cover Letter and Resume.