Production Chef & Program Manager


Food Shift is a project of Earth Island Institute and is dedicated to building sustainable solutions that reduce food waste and hunger. We are launching an exciting new initiative — Alameda Kitchen — that will reduce waste, feed people, and create jobs. The Production Chef & Program Manager will play a critical role in shaping this program.

The Alameda Kitchen will be housed at Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), a housing community for formerly homeless individuals and families in the City of Alameda. Alameda Kitchen will train/employ residents to cook healthy meals and food products out of high quality surplus produce that would otherwise go to waste. The food products such as soups, dried fruit, and smoothies that are produced in the kitchen will be sold to local businesses and donated to food assistance agencies.

The Production Chef & Program Manager will be collaborating with APC to design the culinary training program for their residents. APC has an existing On-The-Job (OJT) training program in which residents work 18 hours/week on site, such as in the APC career center or farm. Starting in mid 2016, OJT residents may enroll to work in the Alameda Kitchen with Food Shift. The Production Chef & Program Manager will be responsible for coming up with weekly food products based on surplus food availability, as well as training and supervising OJTs in safely and effectively producing these products.

The ideal candidate is a dynamic chef with a passion for working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, has experience teaching and training others in cooking, has good managerial and administrative skills, and is compassionate, patient, and light-hearted. While Food Shift is aiming to source fairly consistent quantities and types of surplus produce, we are looking for a candidate who is creative, resourceful, and can have fun improvising in their cooking as unexpected ingredients arise! This is a start-up atmosphere, so the chef must be flexible and able to stay on task but change with the routine and flow of a start-up as needed. This is a chance to get in on the ground-floor of an innovative and successful nonprofit that is growing quickly. . . which is why we need you!



Program Planning: Start date- mid 2016 (program launch)

  • Building upon Food Shift’s research, Chef will coordinate and apply for food production permits and licenses as needed.
  • With support from Food Shift team, and based on buyer interests, use surplus produce to propose, test, and finalize recipes and products for distribution.
  • Assist with food supplier and buyer communications as needed.
  • Determine appropriate food packaging, cooking equipment, storage needs, and ingredients for initial food products and help coordinate acquiring necessary resources with team.
  • Develop food safety and sanitation practices, schedule food safety certifications for program participants as needed, and ensure adherence to food safety in the kitchen.
  • Manage food planning and production for the Alameda Kitchen launch party.
  • Work closely with Food Shift team to finalize team roles for program.
  • Ensure all programmatic aspects of Alameda Kitchen are in place for program launch.

Program Management: Starting mid 2016 (after program launch)

  • Work with Food Shift team to coordinate and plan for incoming surplus food.
  • Plan recipes and products based on available surplus produce and customer needs.
  • Assist with food supplier and buyer communications as needed.
  • Determine appropriate food packaging, cooking equipment, storage needs, and additional ingredients for new food products and help coordinate acquiring necessary resources with team.
  • Ensure food products are packaged and ready for distribution.
  • Maintain Serve Safe certification and implement policies and procedures to ensure food sanitation standards are maintained at all times.
  • Develop and implement safety practices and training to minimize accidents.
  • Manager’s Certification in food safety (such as ServSafe )

Oversee kitchen training program including:

  • Plan and manage work sessions with trainees, who will be in the kitchen 18 hours/week.
  • Train and supervise trainees in proper food safety and handling practices.
  • Train and oversee trainees in proper kitchen and equipment cleaning.
  • Ensure trainees store all supplies and food properly.
  • Develop relationships with each trainee and work with Food Shift team to provide encouragement and recognition of trainees.
  • Track and communicate successes and challenges of trainees.
  • Maintain all kitchen equipment and ensure compliance with all health and safety procedures.
  • Manage kitchen staff and volunteers as needed.
  • Provide culinary support for occasional weekend and evening events that benefit Food Shift, the kitchen program, and trainees.
  • Provide support to Alameda Kitchen trainees as needed in their post-program goals and job placements.
  • Collaborate with APC and Food Shift to monitor and evaluate program.
  • Assist with interviewing and evaluating kitchen trainees.
  • Participate actively in program innovation and evolution.
  • Other program management and kitchen tasks as needed.


Specific skills and training needed:

  • A commitment to Food Shift’s mission and vision.
  • At least 3 years of professional cooking or product development experience.
  • At least 3 years of experience directly managing other staff and/or teams.
  • Experience with food product development, recipe development, and food processing safety.
  • Strong capacity for mentoring and teaching.
  • Prefer candidates who have experience working with individuals who have faced homelessness, addiction, poverty, and other past trauma.
  • Excellent organizational and management skills.
  • Ability to be creative and resourceful in processing varying quantities and types of produce.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Apps, and/or kitchen tracking software a plus.
  • Ability to communicate warmly and clearly both verbally and in writing, and give and receive honest feedback for both personal and team growth.
  • Ability and desire to be in a work environment that values teamwork, collaboration, innovation, accountability, and fun.
  • Strong work ethic, ability to work independently, and consistently over-delivers on expectations.
  • Flexibility and openness to experiment and explore as we launch and grow this critical program!

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to stand, bend, stoop, sit, walk, twist and turn.
  • Ability to use a computer, keyboard, and calculator.
  • Ability to lift 25 pounds.
  • Work environment is primarily indoors with the majority of time spent in a busy production kitchen or sitting at a desk.

40 hours per week (Exempt)

Salary: $40,000 – $45,000 annually DOE
Start Date: May 2016
Location: Alameda and Oakland, CA
Benefits: health insurance, 10 vacation days, 10 sick leave days, and 11 paid holidays.

To Apply:

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and three professional references to Food Shift’s Director at [email protected] Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible.

Earth Island Institute provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

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