Head Chef

Durham, United Kingdom
£24,174 - £26,341 per annum. In addition a market forces supplement of £500 per annum
22 Sep 2021
End of advertisement period
04 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Operations Directorate

Grade 5: - £24,174 - £26,341 per annum. In addition a market forces supplement of £500 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contract Duration: 52 weeks Perm
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 04-Oct-2021, 6:59:00 AM

Durham University Summer Recruitment Campaign. With a new Academic term upon us, we are looking for driven and passionate individuals to join our University facilities teams. We have varied opportunities across our teams and colleges, please review our adverts to find out more!

The Department and role purpose   

“Passionately delivering an outstanding experience”

We are a team of over 500, providing fresh and diverse catering throughout Durham University. This includes college dining halls, college bars, college cafés, visitor attractions and branded retail catering outlets.

Our students are extremely important to us but we also provide catering to University colleagues, commercial guests, and VIPs including royalty.

The Head Chef will be responsible for supervising a large kitchen team which produces three meals per day for up to 400 students and staff. The post holder will be responsible for catering for high profile clientele, private dining external functions and banqueting. The Head Chef must be able to develop existing teams to ensure that consistently exceptional standard of food and service is delivered. The post holder will also assist with day to day cleaning of kitchen and catering equipment, receipt and storage of goods, checking and signing for deliveries.

Catering team members will be expected to adopt and promote a flexible approach to working, and to undertake any or all of the tasks outlined below regardless of their designated shift.

Successful candidates are expected to promote a positive image of University Catering and Durham University at all times.

This post is full time (35 hours per week) and permanent.

Core responsibilities:

  • Act as more knowledgeable team member with some oversight and responsibility for team members.
  • Resolve queries and requests for information and advice and escalate more specialist and complex queries or issues to more experienced team members.
  • Provide advice, guidance and training where necessary to less experienced team members to disseminate and share practice.
  • Contribute to the ADR process, assisting with the identification of development needs where appropriate.
  • Supervise the implementation of changes to service procedures and practice.
  • Contribute to collaborative decision making within the team with joint planning and team objectives to meet excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Provide feedback to team members about the monitoring and achievement of team objectives and performance expectations.
  • Work collaboratively across the organisation and/or externally with colleagues and stakeholders to deliver a service.
  • Provide guidance and advice to resolve problems and queries for a broad range of service users.
  • Plan and organise own workload and activities for others with or without involvement with other project work streams.
  • Organise and schedule resources, activities and events.
  • Analyse work activities to ensure the effective and efficient use of capital and consumable equipment and resources.
  • Liaise with contacts internally and possibly externally to build links to pass on information for effective working.
  • Advise others and make recommendations into work processes and procedures for consideration by senior management to improve services.

Role responsibilities:

  • Deliver support services to ensure the effective and efficient running of outreach, internal and external activities that enhance the Durham reputation.
  • Monitor feedback and identify service changes to meet service level agreements.
  • Collaborate within the service team and across other services to ensure the seamless provision of products and services.
  • Contribute to service user engagement, promotion and communication activities, events and presentation with or without team members.
  • Welcome and induct external service providers, contractors and specialists to deliver a range of opportunities, activities and events to enhance the reputation of Durham.
  • Identify and expand the service user knowledge base for service desk working and update team members on changes.
  • Maintain wash up and food production areas and equipment to an exceptional standard of cleanliness.
  • Liaise across the organisation to update and exchange key service information to ensure advice given to users is the most up to date and accurate.
  • Assist with the implementation and updating of processes and procedures, including related documentation where appropriate.
  • Work with internal and external partners and suppliers to deliver cross-functional products and services.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Specific role requirements

The post holder will be required to work any 5 days out of 7, which may include some evenings and weekends. Typical working hours are between 7am and 9:30pm.

Working in the catering team requires an element of physical manual handling, which can include lifting and transporting catering equipment.

The post holder will be required to work flexibly across all catering areas.

Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

How to apply 

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV; 
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above; 
  3. A document providing evidence and examples of how you meet the person specification criteria 

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details 

For further information please contact; Dave Walker david.walker@durham.ac.uk


Richard Metcalfe richard.metcalfe@durham.ac.uk

Additional Information;

  • Normal hours of work 9am - 8.30pm
  • 35 hours per week, in line with the working time directive.
  • Indicative rotas for five working days will be available four weeks in advance, being conmfirmed the week prior to commencement.
  • Premium rates or Toil when worked on rest days or and if there is a requirement to work over 37 hours within a given week.

Interviews date will be held late September/early October - successful shortlisted candidates will be contacted with the confirmed interview times.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Relevant experience in a similar role / environment. 
  • Demonstrable ability to proactively work with team members to ensure the delivery of high quality services.
  • Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  • Demonstrable supervisory experience.
  • Ability to contribute to planning at operational level.

Desirable Criteria

  • Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience). 
  • Relevant industry and professional recognition and certification of achievement of skills and knowledge.
  • Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.  
  • Ability to effectively network and exchange advice and information for development purposes. 
  • Level 2 food safety qualification
  • First aid qualification

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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