Assistant Director of Culinary Excellence

Jun 08, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Stanford University

Assistant Director of Culinary Excellence

Job Number:


Founded in 1891, Stanford University is among the top academic institutions in the country, excelling in a wide range of fields from the humanities to information technology to the health sciences and medicine. The university is located near Palo Alto, 35 miles south of San Francisco, on an 8,800-acre campus.

Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE), the largest auxiliary organization at Stanford University, supports the academic mission of the University by providing the highest quality services to students and other members of the university community. The Department has an annual operating budget of over $270 million, oversees a 5 million sq. ft. physical plant across the campus, and provides housing for over 13,000 students and dependents, serves over 18,000 daily meals at 30 dining and retail locations and over 300,000 meals at Athletic Concessions events, and hosts 20,000 conference guests annually. Additionally, R&DE comprises 735 FTE staff in the following divisions: the Office of the Senior Associate Vice Provost, Student Housing, Stanford Dining, Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries, Stanford Conferences, and a team of R&DE strategic business partners: Finance & Administration, Human Resources, Information Technology and Communications.

“Students (Customers) First” is the mantra of R&DE and our strategic goals reflect our commitment to delivering quality and excellence to our constituents every day. In R&DE, “Excellence is defined by aligning our strategic goals and performance with our vision.”


R&DE Stanford Dining, a division of Residential & Dining Enterprises, serves over 12,000 meals per day. Its operations include11 undergraduate dining halls, two late-night dining operations, Schwab Executive Dining, an athletic training table program, the Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford, Community BeWell Gardens, and summer conference dining. As the dining department of the world's premier research and teaching institution, R&DE Stanford Dining promotes food as a multidisciplinary educational experience and engages students in food issues such as those related to health, the environment, social equity and the global economy. R&DE Stanford Dining has been recognized for its culinary excellence by awards such as the prestigious industry Ivy Award by Restaurants and Institutions for its environmental leadership role, by numerous awards such as the Acterra Award for Sustainability, and most recently was named Most Vegan-Friendly College by peta2 for its vegan and vegetarian offerings, and certified as a Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) restaurant by the United States Healthful Food Council for its use of nutrition and sustainability best practices. For more information, please visit


Oversee all culinary-related activities of food service operations and have responsibility for a campus region's systematic performance. Work in conjunction with the designated food service managers and chefs to meet revenue and expense goals.

  • As part of the culinary leadership team, strategically develop menu, process, procedures and policies for high volume commissary kitchen. Research and development of new or revised menus, recipes and ingredient specifications to increase customer satisfaction and operating performance. Collaborate with Executive Director on developing innovative food programs.
  • Support the activities of the Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford program and deliver high quality program results through partnerships with the Jaime Oliver Food Foundation, campus faculty and other departments.
  • Collaborate with Assistant Directors of Residential Dining, Sr. Manager of Nutrition, Wellness and Performance, Sr. Manager of Food and Workplace Safety, Sustainable Food Program Manager, and Administrative Standards and Training Manager to implement innovative food programs.
  • Improve cost structure by improving back of the house operating efficiency and maximizing the productivity of the central production kitchen. Set benchmarks and leads the culinary team to achieve, maintain and improve productivity standards.
  • Work with General Managers and Executive Chefs to improve menu and ingredient knowledge of the menu for the front of the house and kitchen staff. Work with each Executive Chefs to ensure all locations confirm to menu, recipe and ingredient specifications. Develop positive working relationships with staff both at leadership and unit level.
  • Maintain regular visits to all locations and conduct routine inspections and evaluation of all kitchen operations, including food presentation, quality, kitchen cleanliness and safety.
  • In this HACCP designated commissary facility, ensure health and safety standards are delivered through effective safety and hygiene programs and by performing real-time assessments.
  • Lead comprehensive business optimization by reviewing and analyzing operations' inventory practices, designating changes and monitoring implementation, systematically integrating with organizational quality, safety, storage, certifications, and waste management goals, ensuring facilities' equipment is maintained and forecasting necessary replacements, overseeing and ensuring operations are controlling labor and operating expenses through effective scheduling, budgeting, purchasing decisions, and inventory control, and overseeing and reviewing forecasting and strategic budgeting.
  • Lead and model effective employee and staff relations by evaluating, leading, motivating, coaching, and providing corrective action for direct reports. * - Other duties may also be assigned


    Education & Experience:

    Accredited college program or degree, preferably specializing in a culinary program, or combination of education and relevant experience. Seven years of culinary management experience directing a large staff/multi-meal plan location/large volume cooking.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to execute creative menu development.
  • Ability to apply business optimization principles and techniques across the organization.
  • Ability to champion innovative ideas and concepts by utilizing cutting edge trends and maintaining current industry standards.
  • Strong organizational and multitasking skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to harmoniously and professionally manage and work with co-workers and supervisors.
  • Ability to operate computer equipment and food and beverage computer systems.
  • Ability to operate and utilize culinary production equipment and tools.
  • Understanding and ability to apply local, state, and federal health and sanitation laws.
  • Reading, writing, and oral proficiency in the English language.
  • Understanding and application of basic training techniques. Certifications and Licenses:
  • ServSafe CA Certification.
  • Prefer Certified Executive Chef - American Culinary Federation PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS*:
  • Constantly stand, walk, chop and mix.
  • Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, reach/work above shoulders, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Occasionally lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 50.
  • Ability to see food presentation and taste all types of food (glutens, dairy, all protein, vegetables, and starches). * - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


  • Scheduled days and work hours may vary based on operational need. WORK STANDARDS:
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned. Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

    Job: Food Services

    Location: Residential & Dining Enterprises
    Schedule: Full-time
    Classification Level:

    To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

    Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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