Deputy Cellarer (Capable Cook)

Please read in conjunction with the overview of joining community

This page just outlines the working role of the Deputy Cellarer.

Overview of the role

Each year the Sheldon team cooks up many thousands of meals for our guests. Providing good quality, healthy home-cooked food is a core part of the hospitality and care we offer to those who come and stay here. We provide 

  • Shared meals for guests on all our own programme events.
  • Stocked larders for about half the guests who make a private retreat.
  • Shared meals for some of the groups running their own day or residential programmes here.

As Deputy Cellarer your primary role will be the preparing and serving of meals, including menu planning, provisioning, cooking and hosting meals. Although much of your time will be spent in the kitchen, you will also host and share in the meals guests eat together, so it is also a front-line hospitality role.

Working relationships

Your line manager will be Hillary Hanson (Cellarer). You will collaborate with other members of the Community, especially department heads, for the smooth running of Sheldon to benefit guests. Rhian Lane and Tim Waller are currently Assistant Cellarers who will be moving on next year and this year respectively and both will assist Hillary with your training, giving plenty of time for learning the role before you take up routine responsibilities. When running the kitchen you will be supervising hospitality volunteers and the workforce is supplemented by members of the Housekeeping team as needed.

How the role looks day to day

You will tend to work on a two week cycle. One week is primarily office based, collating information from guests, designing a menu and placing orders. You may have a day in the main kitchen covering for a colleague. You may be dealing with stock taking, doing some batch cooking for the freezer or making preserves to sell. You may also assist other colleagues with tasks such as gardening and housekeeping, and may have non-cellarer responsibilities of your own. 

On the weeks when you're in the kitchen you will have fairly long days with the normal pattern being breakfast served at 8.30am, lunch at 12.30pm and supper at 7pm. You will generally try to get the bulk of the work done in the morning in order to give the volunteers time off in the afternoon while you catch up on office or other work before returning to serve supper. The experience of volunteers varies considerably with some needing careful supervision and support while others can be set up and left to run the kitchen on their own with you as backstop. 

Basic skills required

In the kitchen

  • Experience of cooking or catering in different contexts, including for larger numbers (over 20)
  • We anticipate appointing someone with formal catering training or qualifications, but this is not essential and practical experience will count strongly
  • Experience with special diets, especially allergies

In the office

  • Practical day to day use of Microsoft Office especially Word and Outlook (emails and calendars) plus basic use of Excel 

About you and your experience

You enjoy cooking and you enjoy caring for people through the medium of food and have a generous attitude alongside the ability to budget. You will almost certainly have solid experience of cooking for larger numbers. You will be willing to learn from the experience and expertise of the existing team what works well in the Sheldon context. You have sufficient physical strength and stamina to sustain the necessary standing, lifting and carrying entailed in the role.