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Director: Culinary Education/Partnerships/Programs

Location: Grand Rapids Downtown Market


The Director of Culinary Education, Partnerships and Programs is responsible for overseeing all culinary education activities, culinary education programs, culinary education partnerships, and culinary education operations of the Downtown Market Culinary Education Department.

Submission Guidelines

Visit our online application to see our full job description, and if you decide to apply please include a resume, cover letter, three references. Submissions will only be accepted online through completion of this application. We will not consider any candidates or review any materials that are submitted via walk-in, phone, fax or email.

This position is responsibile for the oversight of the following departmental areas ensuring a team-oriented, financially sustainable and efficient workplace:

  • Culinary staff (currently 5 team members)
  • Teaching Kitchen facilities
  • Teaching Kitchen equipment
  • Teaching Kitchen operations
  • Culinary programs and activities
  • Culinary program development


  • Oversee all miscellaneous culinary education programming and community partnerships
  • Work with leadership team to develop new culinary programming
  • Participate in annual strategic planning and ensure departmental compliance
  • Responsible for development and oversight of the department's annual budget
  • Ensures proper staffing for maximum productivity and high standards of quality; controls food and payroll costs to achieve program sustainability.


  • Ensure kitchen operations and kitchen equipment are maintained to the highest standards.
  • Ensure adherence to applicable National, State, and Local Health and Safety codes. 
  • Oversight of inventory and purchasing.
  • Establishes and ensures controls to minimize food and supply waste and adherence to budgets.
  • Develops and ensures standards and techniques for efficient food preparation and classroom instruction 


  • Develop, train, mentor, and maintain a professional work force.
  • Ensure a safe working environment and attitude on the part of all employees in areas of responsibility. 
  • Schedule and coordinate the work of chefs, culinary assistants, kitchen assistants, and other kitchen employees to assure that food preparation is economical, technically correct and within budgeted labor cost goals. 
  • Lead culinary team to ensure successful program operations as well as provides an outstanding, educational experience for participants.


  • Instruct classes as outlined providing an exceptional in-class experiences for class participants.
  • Fill in as instructor on a last-minute, as needed basis.
  • Concept and propose class themes including recipe development, class outlines, ingredient lists, equipment lists, hand-outs, and other preparation materials required for culinary programming.
  • Provide required program/individual class materials for record keeping by Foundation Assistant, including but not limited to ingredient expenses, recipes, equipment needs and other appropriate programmatic materials.


  • Other duties as assigned



  • Seven to ten years experience in culinary, restaurant, or culinary education required
  • Two+ years in culinary instruction
  • Planning/directing food preparation and culinary activities
  • Creating/modifying menus and recipes
  • Estimating food requirements and food/labor costs
  • Supervisory experience and kitchen management
  • Handling problems, issues and complaints
  • Development of culinary team including hiring, training, mentoring
  • Culinary program development
  • Budgeting


  • Kitchen equipment maintenance and repairs
  • Nutrition and sanitation regulations and safety standards
  • Cooking trends and best practices
  • Computer software: Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point
  • Strong customer service skills and experience
  • Passion for cooking, food, local, and the Downtown Market


  • Lead and mentor a positive and professional team
  • Ability to adjust teaching styles to meet participant needs
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing to multiple audiences
  • Work evenings and weekends
  • Ability to manage one's own time
  • Ability to schedule/manage multiple activities
  • Ability to think creatively
  • High energy, positive, friendly attitude


  • Head/Executive Chef
  • Private Chef
  • Caterer
  • Chef Instructor


  • BS degree in culinary or related culinary certificate
  • Serve Safe Certified 
  • TIPS/Serve Safe Alcohol Certified


This full-time exempt position includes health insurance, short term disability insurance, life insurance, paid time off, 401(k)…and that’s not even the fun stuff!

What else do you get? Well, this is how much we value this position…

  • Paid time off to volunteer at the charity of your choice.
  • Team-building activities year-round. 
  • Free culinary and beverage classes.
  • Individual leadership and growth plan.
  • Half days off before all major holidays.
  • Participation in annual staff basketball tournament (HORSE).
  • Participation in employer supported healthy living challenges
  • Mad Cap Coffee on demand!
  • Super fun place to work everyday....lots and lots of delicious food options!

Work Environment

The Downtown Market is a professional office. While the atmosphere is to reflect the spirit of fun and excitement, professional conduct, communication and responsibility to job functions is maintained at all times. All employees are subject to background check and drug screening.