Sous Chef

Organization: The Chicago Zoological Society (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

While you just may know that Brookfield Zoo is a major player in the global effort to preserve and support our animal kingdom, you may not know that we provide world-class culinary delights, impeccable presentation and amazing surroundings for various events from weddings, birthday parties, business meetings, black-tie events, fundraisers, ceremonies, picnics and countless others. It truly is an exotic venue and no place can compare to Brookfield Zoo!

The Sous Chef in Catering Events provides oversight and management of the Culinary function to fulfill the client's needs and expectations and ensures financial and operating goals and standards are met. You will oversee food preparation and presentation, stewarding and transporting staff and operations to assure standards and productivity. This includes responsibility for the acquisition of all food and food supplies, insuring that all kitchens are properly staffed and efficiently operated and that all food is prepared to standard recipe specification or to the Executive Sous Chef’s direction, and supervise outside caterers when utilized for events. As instructed by the event BOE, you will be responsible for initiating all actions necessary to carry out food preparation accordingly making sure that staff members adhere to and maintain sanitation standards in food handling, preparation, storage, and equipment handling. As Sous Chef, you will also (1) perform food preparation, (2) maintain a weekly, monthly, and annual cleaning schedule, (3) determine the weekly staffing schedule while adhering to the payroll budget, (4) oversee the monthly inventory process, (5) prepare all food requisitions necessary for approvals, (6) order all food with the approval of the Executive Sous Chef, (7) receive and check all orders for accuracy and ensures proper food storage, and (8) manages all china, glass, silver, and all large and small wares within Banquet Operations. You will also be responsible for maintaining a physical presence at events until all courses have been served and the cleanup/leftover food storage instructions have been completed or delegated to a responsible subordinate. The Sous Chef will also assist the Executive Sous Chef in interviewing, hiring and training staff.

The requirements for this position include:

• Associates degree from a culinary school or equivalent combination of training and/or experience required.

• Minimum five years catering, restaurant, or culinary chef experience required.

• Minimum one year comparable supervisory experience required.

• Proven ability in creative planning and menu development required.

• Must possess strong interpersonal and communications skills.

• Incumbent must dress in professional attire for events and represent the Society in a professional manner at all times.

• Must be able to obtain and maintain required food service sanitation certification(s).

• Must have ability to work independently and with little supervision.

• Must have knowledge of menu concept, quality food preparation, and production techniques.

• Must be able to communicate effectively, with customers, within the department, and throughout the park.

• Strong administrative skills, detail-oriented, organizational skills and a high level of accuracy required.

• Must be computer literate, including experience with Windows applications.

• Outstanding customer service orientation required.

• Proven ability to maintain customer satisfaction under pressure and to meet critical deadlines.

• Must able to establish, develop, and maintain a strong rapport and positive, engaging relationships with all levels of staff and external audiences.

• Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

• Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

• This full-time position requires regular evening and weekend hours.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D.

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center at to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile to Requisition Number 1090.