Posted April 6th 2019   Job Ref : 3285
Job Title Head Cook for busy Organic Farm Cafe in Shropshire
Employer Fordhall Community Land Initiative
Job Description

Job Purpose

Arthur’s Farm Kitchen are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and hardworking Head Chef/Cook to take the lead in our next phase of development. You will have a key role in helping us to deliver our strategic promises to our shareholders and local community. We have a strong passion and commitment to connect people’s hearts and minds to the natural environment and the food which is derived from it.

Our menu is therefore produce driven focusing on using seasonal, locally produced ingredients. We bake from scratch each morning, we don’t use fryers or microwaves and we pride ourselves in using traditional cookery methods.

We have a modest 35 seated café and an upstairs function/meeting room which can cater for 40-60 further guests. During the summer months seating outside can double café capacity. There is also an external catering cabin (griddle based) which is under-utilized and the construction of a new straw bale building is due to complete March 2019. This will include its own large kitchen and can accommodate 30 guests and we plan to run cookery courses and workshops in here for the local community.

The successful applicant will have previous experience with;

·        Managing a busy kitchen and directing staff

·        Creating inspiring, creative and delicious fresh produce menus

·        Ordering and monitoring stock

·        Managing budgets and margins

The overall outcome of this role is to:

·        Produce creative and distinctive menu’s which leave people feeling happy and more connected to the land, at an affordable and accessible cost to them

·        To encourage a passion for seasonal and local produce

·        To open people’s eyes to the joys of free foraged foods

·        To create a desire for home cooked, fresh food made from simple ingredients and for customers to understand the benefits of this

·        To continue to evolve Arthur’s Farm Kitchen, showcasing great food and being a flagship for the area

Evidence that you are achieving your outcomes will be seen through:

·        Increase in regular customer numbers

·        Increase in great reviews on Trip Advisor and Facebook

·        Healthy surplus at the year end to reinvest within our education programme

·        Accolades and awards are won

·        Weddings and external functions grow in demand

·        Happy and motivated work team and happy customers


 About you

Most importantly you will have an affection for Fordhall’s values and a strong appreciation for our history and purpose.

You will have the proven ability to work within a fast paced organisation and environment. You will be an energetic and flexible individual who is highly motivated with exceptionally high hygiene, organisational and food presentation standards; a genuine passion for regional food and drink and the culinary ability to create mouth-watering recipes which showcase the best local/organic produce. You will be working within a small yet busy kitchen and so attention to detail, precise organisation and efficiency will be essential attributes.

You will be eager to learn and you get excited about new ideas, with the proven ability to drive them through to completion.


 Key Duties

The Kitchen

To Collaborate with other personnel, but ultimately to be responsible for planning and developing recipes and menus, taking into account such factors as seasonal availability of ingredients, resources and the likely number of customers.

  • Menu choices should always communicate simplicity, good health, and local/seasonal ingredients – communicating the best of the English countryside with every mouthful.
  • To create menu’s which best utilise time invested with likely financial return.
  • To prioritise organic and local ingredients over any other unless management agree otherwise.
  • To actively support the marketing and promotion of food dishes, producers and seasonal availability.
  • To engage with customers and staff to enthuse them about local food, organic food and seasonal delights.
  • To order stock and seek out new suppliers when necessary to ensure quality and value for money are always achieved.
  • Check the quality of raw and cooked food products to ensure that standards are met and that they are always stored correctly.
  • Check the quantity and quality of received food products.
  • To ensure the kitchen is maintained in a clean and organised state at all times.
  • Meet with customers to discuss menus for special occasions such as weddings, parties,


and banquets where appropriate.


·         To accurately cost each new dish before it goes onto the menu and to maintain good financial records.

·         To regularly review the menu to ensure it is delivering the best margins for the organisation as well as diversity and where possible, covering a range of dietary requirements.

·         To minimise wastage both in raw and in cooked ingredients under all circumstances and to monitor waste produced.





To complete risk assessments for your area of work and ensure they are kept up to date.

  • To ensure that the highest standards of Food Hygiene are met in Arthur’s Farm Kitchen, the kitchen and in any place where food from the kitchen is being served and complete required paperwork associated with this.
  • To ensure that everything is fully documented where necessary including legal requirements such as fridge temperatures, use by dates, ‘made dates’ and cleaning records.
  • To ensure all food is covered when stored and is stored in-line with environmental health guidelines.

·        To ensure all information regarding allergens in food are recorded and clearly documented for front of house staff and customers.


  • To be responsible for other employees in the kitchen area and to ensure that they too are following correct procedures for Food Hygiene and Health and Safety.
  • To be responsible for the smooth running of the kitchen and to work with staff front of house to ensure standards are being met.
  • To supervise and coordinate activities of workers in food preparation or cooking, ensuring that they are encouraged and supported in their work.
  • Monitor sanitation practices to ensure that employees follow standards and regulations.
  • Demonstrate new cooking techniques and equipment to staff, including health and safety implications.
  • To manage your time and that of other kitchen staff to ensure most efficient working occurs.
  • To work in partnership with the Front of House Manager and other members of the management team to move the business forward, developing new ideas and taking up new opportunities.
  • To muck-in with other duties in Arthur’s Farm Kitchen when time allows, such as washing up or covering front of house to allow staff to take breaks during quiet periods.
  • To ensure our organisation values are communicated clearly through all members of staff and through our own actions. Developing team spirit through positive reinforcement and motivating those around you.


  • To implement changes and guide the Arthur’s Farm Kitchen to encourage its financial profitability
  •  To be responsible for your own admin work.
  • As a key member of our senior team you will participate in regular team meetings.
  • To undertake training courses as needed.
  • Arrange for kitchen equipment purchases and repairs as soon as the need arises, including hiring appropriate equipment when required for outside catering.
  • To continually assess your role to develop and improve it at every opportunity, to enable you to grow with the organisation
  • Continually increase your knowledge of rural issues, farm life and the important links between food, health and sustainability, so that this can be reflected in your dishes.
  • To work in a way that is aligned with the organisations values (attached to your contract).
  • To fulfil any other role that the organisation sees fit or is required to enable it to achieve its aims and objectives for the benefit of the community.
  • With the development of our new straw bale bunkhouse in 2019 there are further opportunities to develop cookery courses, food tours and more at Fordhall and we would love you to be involved with these developments.


The Fordhall Community Land Initiative (FCLI) is a not-for-profit community benefit society, which owns and utilises Fordhall Organic Farm in North Shropshire as an educational and social resource, promoting sustainable farming and healthy living. It raised an amazing £800,000 in 2006 through a high profile national press campaign to enable Fordhall Organic Farm to be purchased by its non-profit making shareholders, of which there are now over 8000 across 25 countries. This is the first structure of its kind in the England to place farmland into community ownership. The society was created by Charlotte and Ben Hollins, both in their early twenties, and is now developing into an exemplar project with wide reaching appeal and benefits.

“The FCLI aims to improve the understanding of sustainable food and farming through the resource of Fordhall Farm, by being an integral part of the community.”

More information on the current activities at Fordhall can be found at

There are exciting times ahead at Fordhall Organic Farm, as we work to inspire more and more people to enjoy our beautiful natural landscape and the food produced from it. We want every one of our visitors to experience something new, exciting, and memorable – and good quality food and brilliant customer service plays a huge part in making people’s days.

You have a strong foundation from which to start as we were recently featured in the Times best places to eat feature due to being including in the ‘Truth, Love and Clean Cutlery’ guidebook. We have also won best Tearoom in Shropshire in the past and have recently been feature in Alistair Sawdays Book ‘The Extra Mile’.

This is a great opportunity for someone to take what we have and make their own mark on it for the future.


Working hours and arrangements

Hours: This is a full time position of 40 hours per week. We are closed on Mondays and so hours are mainly based around 5 days Tuesday-Sunday. You will be required to work three weekends a month and only rarely asked to work evenings (for special pre agreed functions or weddings).

Holidays: Equivalent of 5.6weeks per annum pro rata.

Pay: Depending on experience. Starting salary £18,500-19,650

Pension: The organisation has a pension scheme in place.

Start Date: April 2019

Please send a copy of your CV and covering letter explaining why Fordhall is right for you, and why you are right for us to

For more information, please see our website  


Qualifications Requested
Contact Charlotte Hollins
Address Fordhall Community Land Initiative, Shropshire  
Salary £18,500-19650
Starting Date April/May 2019
Telephone 00 44 1630 638696


Please mention Jobs for Cooks when applying for a position.


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