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Dining University Center Chef

Presented by UC Santa Cruz
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Must possess a valid license to drive in the State of California and be able to participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) pull notice program.

Benefits to working at UC Santa Cruz include:

Medical, Dental & Vision Care Insurance Plans
UC Retirement Plans
Group Term Life Insurance
Legal Insurance
Pet Insurance
Paid Holidays plus accrued vacation and sick leave
Meal Allowance
Gym discount at UCSC recreation facilities


UC Vaccination Policy: With limited exceptions, COVID-19 vaccinations are required for Covered Individuals under the Policy. Covered Individuals include all employees, students, or trainees who physically access a University facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training.

Covered Individuals do NOT include employees who work 100% remotely with NO expectation that they will physically access any University location or program at ANY time. If 100% remote work ends, the employee is subject to policy.


UC Santa Cruz is a public university like no other in California, combining the experience of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university. It’s known as an unconventional place where innovation and experimentation is part of the campus’s DNA. That playful, bold spirit still thrives today, all on a campus renowned as among the most beautiful in the world.


Colleges, Housing and Educational Services (CHES) is a multi-funded organization within the Business and Administrative Services (BAS) division at the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz. CHES provides leadership in the areas of college student life and residential services, housing services, facilities, employee housing and capital planning, dining services, conference services, early education services, the Bay Tree Bookstore, ID card services, and business and financial analysis for these areas. Through these units, educational and developmental programs and services are offered to all members of the campus community including students, faculty, staff, children and external constituents.

CHES provides on-campus housing and dining services to nearly 9,500 undergraduate and graduate students in ten residential colleges and six multi-college affiliated residential communities which support single students and students with families.

UC Santa Cruz Dining is instrumental in the success of our students as well as providing services to staff, faculty and guests of the campus. Our mission is to be committed to: creating a diverse, safe, fun and trusting environment for our guests and team; building an innovative dining program providing high quality service and food while embracing social, nutritional and financial responsibilities.

More information can be found here:


Under the general supervision of the Assistant Unit Manager of Hospitality Services, the University Center (UCEN) Chef manages the culinary operation of any UCEN event included but not limited to Terra Fresca Restaurant, UCEN Catering, etc. and as assigned, 9/10 Dining Hall and/or Dining departmental needs, assisting with establishing operational needs, production standards, cooking processes and procedures for day to day operations.

The UCEN Chef is responsible for training production personnel in food preparation, display design, equipment usage, proper food handling, recipe testing, creative menu planning and innovations, expediting service standards and presentations. Implements event budget plans and cost control techniques during the academic year and Summer conference season. Supervises service and staff for restaurant and special events of high campus profile requiring knowledge of the academic and political climate on campus. Ensures high quality food and presentation for all UCEN events on campus and off campus, ranging from groups of 10 to 2000+. Helps create and maintain an effective team that takes pride in their product and services and inspires them through modeling UCEN as an art form and platform for using creativity and new skills. Ensures that food quality and safety guidelines are established and consistently maintained to achieve the highest public health standards and reduce the risk of food borne illness. Responsibilities include direct supervision of assigned career staff and student employees throughout the year.

Receives predetermined work assignments that are subject to a moderate level of control and review. Instructs direct reports to complete assignments using established guidelines, procedures and policies. Requires full knowledge of own area of functional responsibility.


Salary Information: $60,000/ annually.

No. of Positions: 1

Benefits Level Eligibility: Full benefits

Schedule Information:

  • Full-time, Fixed
  • Percentage of Time: 100%, 40 Hours per Week
  • Days of the Week: to be determined
  • Shift Includes: Days, Evenings, Swing Shifts, Weekends - to be determined

Employee Classification: This is a Career appointment

Job End Date: None

Work Location: UC Santa Cruz Main Campus

Union Representation: Non-Represented

Job Code Classification: 005234 - FOOD SVC SUPV 1

Travel: Never or Rarely


60% - Operations

  • Spearheads new recipe development requiring advanced culinary skills, artistic creativity and inventive methodology.
  • Trains production staff continuously in preparing new recipes and refining techniques.
  • Plans innovative menus for UCEN, striving to continuously improve knowledge of fine dining cuisine, ethnic cuisine, and menus to match daily customers and event themes.
  • Develop, tests and refines recipes for all UCEN menus focusing on highest quality and speed of service. Utilizes UCEN kitchen for ongoing staff training and testing.
  • Samples new food products with Assistant Unit Manager, Unit Manager, and Executive Chef and continually evaluates present vendors for quality efficiency, and sanitation.
  • Makes recommendations to improve quality, production efficiency, and costs.
  • Coordinates the ongoing development and correction of FoodPro UCEN recipes and utilization of software and all systems.
  • Meets HACCP requirements in printed recipes regarding safety and sanitation procedures.
  • Works with the Assistant Unit Manager and Unit Manager on problematic menu issues and proposes solutions.
  • Prepares timeline of pre-event production as well as onsite serving. Determines with Service Manager, when food should be completed to ensure the utmost freshness and quality.
  • Oversees preparation of all menu items for UCEN events. If event is small, may prepare the entire menu on or off site. For large events, may be the overall event manager and minimally becomes the kitchen production supervisor, assigning all responsibilities.
  • Directly supervises all kitchen production staff in the preparation of UCEN foods. Ensures the proper utilization of all supplies, holding temperatures, and cooking techniques. Coordinates portion control to minimize food waste. Incumbent is certified in food service safety and sanitation.
  • Coordinates off site event kitchens and works with the Assistant Unit Manager and Service Manager to determine equipment rental needs and floor plan. Oversees transportation of food and staff to and from event. Organizes set up and clean up of kitchen area.
  • Coordinates usage of leftover items to minimize waste. Utilizes leftover food items, recognizing safety, economic, and quality factors. Keeps assigned work areas orderly and clean, including all equipment.
  • Training includes food safety and sanitation to ensure safe and sanitary food handling procedures are observed.
  • Provides daily communication, dialogue and guidance for all service staff.
  • Coordinates staff feedback on service with the Service Manager.
  • Ensures customers receive effective and responsive service and that food is served in clean, attractive and well maintained surroundings by a friendly and well informed staff.
  • Provides leadership and support to service staff during meal periods by ensuring all stations are ready and stocked, lines are running smoothly, and that greeter and service staff are promoting a positive tone and are receptive to customers.
  • Develops and maintains ongoing customer service programs which include; Personal interaction with customers, written replies to customer comment cards, and training staff to obtain personal feedback from customers.
  • Establishes labor necessary for each event and coordinates labor needs with Manager.
  • Controls kitchen prep labor and plans for additional production with full time employees in kitchen.
  • Monitors workers’ time and keeps labor costs in line with type of function being provided.
  • Must perform under time and budgetary constraints. Determines personal schedule based on calendar of events. May be required to work overtime, as well as work more than five consecutive days.
  • Provides manager ample notice concerning problematic menu issues and assists in working out solutions.
  • Provides gracious service to clients by anticipating their needs and taking the initiative to create service solutions accommodating their requests within the parameters of the department’s targeted budget and program.
  • Displays a sense of teamwork and participates in production and other unit/departmental meetings.
  • Researches kitchen equipment specifics in conjunction with the Assistant Unit Manager, keeping current on food service industry equipment and products to ensure state of the art production and customer service.
  • Responsible for monitoring use and condition of all UCEN equipment. Ensures equipment is maintained, cleaned and properly used following preventative maintenance, safety and sanitation guidelines. Reports damaged equipment to the Assistant Unit Manager and assists in generating a work request of the central maintenance department.
  • As assigned, will provide leadership and expertise to other Dining Operations.

20% - Human Resources Management

  • Responsible for assisting and supporting the Assistant Unit Manager in all facets of Human Resource Management.
  • Daily oversight in the kitchen with full time staff and part time student staff to provide quality service and food for groups of up to 2000+.
  • Ensures kitchen employees complete a thorough orientation and training, and assists with their smooth integration into the workforce. Reports to the Assistant Unit Manager if further training is needed.
  • Personally participates in staff training and development in departmental, campus, and community service programs including disaster preparedness, CPR and first aid, and cultural and social diversity in compliance with CHES and UCSC goals.
  • Hires, trains and mentors all staff in all aspects of quality UCEN food preparation. Prepares production leads to fill in for incumbent in his/her absence.
  • Assists the Assistant Unit Manager in the evaluation of all UCEN kitchen staff as needed. Meets regularly with the Assistant Unit Manager to discuss operation and give feedback. Participates in the selection process for production and student kitchen staff.
  • Oversees and supervises the student kitchen staff in the scheduling of all student assistants and assists in filling shifts when necessary.
  • Ensures all kitchen staff is following the proper sanitation procedures for all items, checking temperatures, sanitizing areas and abiding by the proper dress code and hygiene regulations.
  • Works closely with the Service Manager to ensure that all service staff are following the service standards and preparations, proper sanitation procedures for all items, checking temperatures, sanitizing areas and abiding by the proper dress code and hygiene regulations.
  • Maintains and instills in staff strict guidelines for professionalism with regard to all UCEN events.
  • Maintains appropriate confidentiality of all records and information.
  • Ensures work environment adheres to the UCSC Principals of Community.
  • Ensures the contract arrangements for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the University of California are followed.

10% - Budget and Fiscal Analysis, Cash Management

  • Establishes menus and labor necessary for Terra Fresca Restaurant while coordinating with the Unit Manager to meet budgetary goals.
  • Establishes labor necessary for each event and coordinates labor needs with the Assistant Unit Manager. Controls kitchen prep labor and plans for additional production with full time employees in the kitchen. Monitors workers’ time and keeps labor costs in line with the type of function being provided and the budgetary goals.
  • Audits UCEN culinary operation to ensure quality products in compliance with the purchasing policies of the University and Dining Services.
  • Tracks food costs and assists the Assistant Unit Manager to determine appropriate times to make menu price changes. Utilizes University bid system and complies with all purchasing guidelines. Examines invoices to ensure that prices and all other information are accurate. Maintains accurate inventories of all food items and kitchen supplies.
  • Responsible for the opening and closing of the facility in the absence of the Assistant Unit Manager. Ensures the security of the building.
  • Coordinates the ordering of all perishable and non-perishable foods, supplies and equipment and specialty products for special events, conference events, and departmental events as needed.
  • Modifies purchasing at any period of closure to prevent over-stocking. Coordinates the use, return to vendors, and distribution of all excess supplies to minimize waste.

5% - Interdepartmental Relations

  • Works with College personnel to ensure that the dining operation supports the College’s philosophy by providing a full service restaurant experience and/or a residential dining experience and environment that provides the desired outcomes and services.
  • Participates in department wide committees and unit management and operations team projects; collaborates with Assistant Unit Manager and Unit Managers, supporting academic programs events.
  • Interfaces with CHES and UC Santa Cruz Dining professional staff, as well as students, to provide dining and management support for college and residential programs.
  • Participates in weekly management staff meetings to review and discuss future activities and events.
  • Works as a team member with other departmental and campus managers to effectively achieve the goals and objectives of UC Santa Cruz Dining and CHES.

5% - Other Duties as Assigned

  • Participates in campus-wide programs for staff development and in organizations such as the National Association of College and University Food Services, the Culinary Institute of America and the California Restaurant Association.
  • Works with an ethnically diverse student body and staff and ensures understanding, respect and value of diversity in the workforce with customers and other constituents of Housing and Dining.
  • Develops, promotes and adheres to safety rules, standards or techniques as an integral part of business.
  • Will drive campus owned vehicles and/or a personal vehicle to perform various duties including, but not limited to, catered events, quality control within locations, cashier deposits, and other driving related duties as assigned.


  • High school diploma or equivalent certification / experience.
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Strong demonstrated ability to manage multiple events.
  • Demonstrated supervisory, leadership, and personnel management skills to effectively administer and manage through others, including: Skill and temperament to provide an open climate and create opportunities for employee communication and positive departmental interaction.
  • Ability to recruit, interview, hire, manage, lead, motivate and supervise effectively a diverse workforce including setting and meeting performance goals, conducting performance appraisals and providing training for residential dining service staff.
  • Strong demonstrated culinary production skills.
  • Strong demonstrated customer service skills.
  • Ability to taste and discern product quality, to read and understand recipes and menus, accurately estimate ingredient requirements, check production and keep records in order to accurately plan production requirements and accurately requisition supplies and equipment.
  • Strong demonstrated ability to organize, schedule, delegate, monitor and evaluate staff; knowledge in staff organization development. Skill and knowledge to create performance standards and incentive programs that increase morale, productivity and attendance.
  • Strong demonstrated ability to exercise good judgement and maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and information.
  • Skill in management of time for successful completion of goals.
  • Skill to work independently and ability to be inventive and creative, including but not limited to initiating new programs, conceptualizing, organizing, and directing projects, Unit growth, development and change.
  • Skill and knowledge to collaborate with colleagues to design and implement innovative customer service programs that respond to wants and needs of our diverse clientele.
  • Ability to work with and communicate effectively with colleagues discussing improvements, solving problems, and following through with implementing solutions.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to maintain good working relations with a diverse group of people. Ability to resolve issues related to student, staff, faculty, and dining services, and exercise diplomacy in stressful situations.
  • Ability to read, write, and communicate effectively in English; to write accurate and grammatically correct reports, Unit goals, evaluations; communicate effectively with staff, customers, vendors and other departments.
  • Ability to apply mathematical and accounting skills to interpret financial data and inventory, and make recommendations and proposals for unit and departmental budgets.
  • Demonstrated computer skills with general knowledge of campus computer on-line processes to administer and manage food service computer systems including but not limited to production, purchasing, forecasting, menus, labor scheduling and management, financial reports and meal plan control.


  • Bilingual Spanish/English or willingness to learn.
  • BA/BS in dining services, culinary or in a hospitality related field, or a culinary certificate from an accredited educational institution.
  • Previous or present involvement in the National Association of Colleges & University Food Services (NACUFS) or other food service/hospitality related professional affiliation.


  • Selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment criminal history background check.
  • Ability to move equipment up to 50 pounds with or without accommodation.
  • Ability to work a variable schedule including evenings, morning and weekends.
  • All employees must be able to pass the ServSafe certification within 90 days of employment, or already be in possession of a ServSafe certification upon hire. This certification must be maintained throughout employment in this position.
  • The University of California has implemented a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy covering all employees. To be compliant with the policy, covered employees must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exception or deferral, eight (8) weeks from date of hire.
  • Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), this position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter. The selected candidate will be required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect as defined by CANRA and will be required to sign a Statement Acknowledging Requirement to Report Child Abuse prior to commencing employment. CANRA Penal Codes, and related definitions, requirements, and responsibilities may be obtained here.


All UCSC employees must understand and follow job safety procedures, attend required health and safety training, proactively promote safety at work, and promptly report actual and potential accidents and injuries.


Attach your resume and cover letter when applying for this job opening. Do not attach any documents to ‘My Activities’. Visit our How to Apply tutorial for detailed instructions on our applicant process. View full job description and apply online here.


The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.