Retreat Cook

per retreat calendar 2023

intense work periods followed by blocks of time off

$ 250/day

The Retreat Chef is in charge of the all-important food program at the Refuge at Knoll Farm, a seasonal retreat center in operation from mid-May to mid-October. Healthy delicious, mostly vegetarian and locally sourced food is at the very heart of people’s experience of the farm, so this position is very creative, important and deeply appreciated by everyone.

Groups using the Refuge include professional groups, families, music camps, yoga studios and individuals on our leadership retreats. Most retreats are 2-8 days long and are typically around 18-25 people. On rare occasions we cook for more than 25 people. 

Job responsibilities include:

  • planning creative, mostly vegetarian menus that highlight seasonal produce in our local area
  • sourcing food from local farms, farmer’s markets and food stores with the goal of having the majority of our food be locally grown
  • preparing and presenting delicious meals and being willing to share how it is sourced and cooked with guests
  • responding to a diverse clientele and their needs surrounding food in a culturally competent manner
  • cooking in the outdoor pizza oven as a community experience
  • catering to special diets, including gluten-free, paleo, vegan, and others
  • managing volunteers in the kitchen
  • keeping meals on time according to the schedule, and planning portions to be sure there is enough food for each group
  • keeping detailed budgets and managing spending wisely

Days in a Retreat Kitchen can be long, typically beginning at 6 am with breakfast prep and ending with prepping for the next day after dinner is over. The chef is responsible for general cleanliness but other staff take care of the majority of dishwashing.

The work schedule is arranged around the retreat calendar, which means that intense work periods are followed by blocks of days off. Days off are not regular, but you can expect to have an average of 2 days off each week. The calendar is usually set by April, although it can always change. It’s necessary to be flexible in this role. 

Compensation is per retreat (please inquire about this year’s bookings when you apply) and includes a set number of pre- and post-season set-up and clean-up days. The position does not include health benefits, but housing can be included for no additional charge and consists of a private bedroom in the farmhouse, with shared bath.

If interested please fill out the application below. Please be sure to include a cover letter and resume. Thank you.

If you have any trouble with this form, please email us instead. 

    Position applying for:

    How did you hear about this opportunity?

    Describe full period during which you are available to work, with as much detail as possible on any conflicts that might arise:

    Please list three places where you have worked in recent years:

    Please describe your relevant experience given what you understand of our mission and focus:

    Please attach your cover letter and resume. Applications without a cover letter or a resumé will not be considered:

    If you have trouble with this form, please contact us at We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate based on age, gender, race, marital status, or sexual orientation. Thank you.

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