Head Chef

Riverford Organic Farms
Buckfastleigh, Devon
£32500 - £35000/annum DOE Plus Benefits
14 Jul 2017
13 Aug 2017
Contract Type
Full Time
Head Chef
Buckfastleigh, Devon
c£32,500 - £35,000 DOE Plus Benefits 

About Riverford

We’re mad about organic veg. It’s at the core of everything we do. We love to grow it, pack it into boxes and deliver it to customers’ doorsteps around the UK. This takes a lot of brilliant people, with a range of skills and knowledge.

Riverford began in 1986, with a few acres of veg, a wheelbarrow and a beaten up 2CV for deliveries. We’ve grown into a successful e-commerce business, with four farms, three packhouses, a fleet of vans and drivers, a wholesalers, butchery, organic restaurant and pub. We employ people across many areas including IT, Logistics, Sales, HR, Finance and Marketing (and more besides). 

Our culture and values set us apart from other businesses. Riverford is a friendly, informal place to work, with a passionate, entrepreneurial spirit. We’re committed to providing a fair deal for growers, customers and staff. 

What you’ll be doing

The Riverford Field Kitchen is the award-winning restaurant based on our farm in Devon, where many of our biggest veg nerds work. The food offering is wholly organic and veg-centric with an emphasis on fresh seasonal stars straight from our fields. We also like to raise awareness of ethical food and farming initiatives and campaigns with regular events involving farm walks, foraging and local suppliers, such as our ‘Save the Bees Night’ and ‘Foraged Food & Foraged Beer Matching Night’.

We are looking for an adaptable Head Chef who gets excited by seasonal produce, cooks everything from scratch and has a genuine passion for vegetables - they are the stars of our show and the Riverford Field Kitchen is the showpiece to inspire Riverford customers old and new to cook with their veg boxes.

The Riverford Field Kitchen also caters for a local primary school and takes great pleasure in training local young chefs through these catering avenues, so experience in mentoring and guiding willing apprentices would be a great asset. 

Outside our day job, The Field Kitchen are also involved in engaging the rest of the company in cookery classes, catering for staff events, cooking for Riverford Pop Up Feasts around the country and developing recipes for Riverford. Whilst we wouldn’t expect a new Head Chef to be immediately involved in all of these things it demonstrates the breath of this job is limited only by the time available in the day!

Your Responsibilities

- Overall responsibility for daily operations in the kitchen
- Design menus and serve food in keeping with our ethics, values and brand  
- Cost each menu, maintaining an agreed profit margin
- Look for ways of improving efficiencies and reducing waste
- Liaise with suppliers and negotiate the best deal possible, and ensure efficient and timely delivery
- Be involved in the recruitment and training of new staff, and ensure that existing staff receive appropriate training
- Assist in any marketing opportunities and when possible attend food fairs, host special events and evenings in the Field Kitchen and on the farm (e.g. pumpkin day)
- Contribute recipes for marketing purposes or for the production of recipe boxes
- Take overall responsibility for food hygiene and health and safety within the kitchen
- Work closely with the General Manager and rest of team to continually evolve and develop the business
- Make sure that the Soil Association standards are adhered to and use nominated organic suppliers
- Provide the General Manager with the required weekly paperwork for stocks, purchases and wages

Skills & experience 

- Experience of working in a professional kitchen at head chef level 
- Experience of people management
- Health and safety and food hygiene certificates; Level 3 or 4 Food Safety qualification is desirable but not essential
- A genuine passion and interest for food and cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients
- Works well under pressure
- Excellent cookery skills
- The ability to write menus that are both creative and profitable
- Great communicator at all levels
- Scrupulous in upholding food hygiene and health and safety practices


Riverford is a beautiful place to work, with lots of great people – and other benefits too. We offer 31 days’ holiday (including bank holidays), a generous company pension scheme and an annual profit share. We love food and hope you do too, so we give staff 25% off everything we sell on our website; heavily discounted organic breakfasts and lunches in the staff canteen; and free organic fruit and veg. There are also many social events for staff, with two big parties a year.

To apply for the role of Head Chef, please apply via the button shown. 

This vacancy is being advertised by Webrecruit. The services advertised by Webrecruit are those of an Employment Agency. 

Additional Keywords: Head Chef, Chef, Senior Chef, Head Caterer, Head Cook, Kitchen Manager, Kitchen Supervisor, Kitchen Section Leader, Catering Manager, Catering. 

Working hours: 40 hours per week, including evening and weekend work