Chef Placed

Executive Chef, Desert Mountain Club, Scottsdale, AZ

Executive Chef, Desert Mountain Club, Scottsdale, AZ

Overview: A bold, new vision when it began in 1987, the Desert Mountain Club is one of the finest, private luxury golf and recreational communities in the country against which all others are measured. Six distinctive, award-winning clubhouses offer a variety of dining experiences–from casual to family to formal—it is dining at its best. The nine Desert Mountain restaurants and grills provide special places where members can bring their friends and family to simply relax or to celebrate life’s memorable moments. Whether you desire delicious casual Italian, tasty Southwestern comfort food, classic steakhouse specialties or scrumptious American fare, you can find it at Desert Mountain. On any given night, in any Desert Mountain dining room, you will find members and their guests happily savoring a special dining experience.

Desert Mountain has approximately 2,000 members whom, with their guests, are privileged to participate in a series of “Signature” events scheduled throughout the year including the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the PGA Champions Tour. Each fall is celebrated in style with a get-together where members can enjoy fabulous food and music, reunite with old acquaintances, meet new friends, and learn about new club events for the upcoming season. In addition to regular golf and tennis tournaments, special menu nights with live music and entertainment, private wine tasting dinners, art shows, and member-organized events are scheduled monthly.

The Position: Desert Mountain is an 8,000-acre residential community operation that supports six distinctive, award-winning clubhouses offering a variety of dining experiences – from casual to family and formal. Since the first restaurant opened on the property more than three decades ago, Desert Mountain’s menus have redefined the typical country club experience.

The candidate should also be capable of handling a multi-unit, geographically spread-out operation with high energy and intensity. The candidate should be able to easily mingle with a very diverse and vocal membership, should have a depth and breadth of experience in event and banquet operations and be able to detail out the specifics to ensure high quality events. The candidate should be technologically knowledgable and passionate about food and culinary trends.

The candidate should be experienced in handling large catering events, controlling food and labor costs and developing the Chef de Cuisines. Also, the candidate must possess a coach/trainer leadership style. In addition, the candidate must be very capable of working in a team atmosphere—teamwork is one of Desert Mountain’s six core values to guide employees to excellence in their given fields.

The position of Executive Chef is extremely important. The Club requires a visionary leader with the personal and professional skill sets required by a traditional, yet forward-thinking foodservice operation. Success in the position starts with a genuine passion for cooking and a love for food.

The Chef’s responsibilities include hiring, supervision, training and development of kitchen personnel, and the production of all food and pastry for a la carte restaurants, banquet functions, employee meals, and pool snack bar. This individual develops all menus and is responsible for food purchasing, product specifications, standardized recipes and the safe storage, sanitation and security of product.

Equally important is the candidate’s character that includes the innate ability to build a professional and friendly kitchen environment that is respectful of all Club personnel, membership and management. Proven recruiting skills will complement the Chef’s success. The cornerstone is a genuine passion for the profession, coupled with a high‐degree of integrity, maturity and tactfulness.

Key Expectations and Goals:

  • The ability to organize and develop systems to insure a smooth food service operation.
  • Staff recruitment and retention is critical due to the seasonal nature of the Club.
  • Maintain a team approach to all that is culinary. Work as part of a team with front of the house and catering staff.
  • Communicate a compelling and consistent vision for the culinary operation.
  • Willingly provide members with “Club favorites” menu items and interject creative and fresh ideas and products.
  • Enthusiastic interaction and visibility with membership.
  • Prudent budgeting and planning; Monitor actual financial results; and take corrective action as necessary to help ensure that financial goals are met.

Finally, the successful candidate must be compatible with the resort nature of the Club. He or she must demonstrate values, conduct, and integrity consistent with the caring philosophy in place. The candidate must approach the position with humility and the mindset of a servant leader who cares for “others above self.” This individual should value the formation of lasting professional relationships and become an active member of the Senior Management Team family and community.

The Club is open 12 months of the year with only three clubhouses open during out-of-season months ( generally June 1-September 30).

Job Requirements:

  • Certification and/or college degree in culinary arts is preferred.
  • A five-star hotel/resort plus large club experience. This is due to the diversity of the dining operations that would be comparable to a hotel/resort and the Club experience in order to understand how providing food and beverage to a membership is quite different from a transient hotel environment.
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities, delegate assignments to the appropriate individuals based on their skills, roles and interests.
  • Written and verbal skills for effective communication and the ability to facilitate small group presentations.
  • Competent in organizational, time management skills.
  • Demonstrate good judgment, problem solving and decision making skills.

Currently no major issues. The new Chef needs to raise the level of consistency, be proficient in menu development and be the leader and “face” of the culinary operation.

Additional Information:

  • Total annual food sales at $5,164,585. Note: The food and beverage operation was subsidized ($1,100,000) during the previous fiscal year end.
  • Food cost has been maintained at 39% with a sales mix of 74% ala carte and 26% banquet.
  • Total full-time kitchen employees is 58 in season plus 21 stewarding staff with a $1,600,000 labor budget.
  • The Club supports nine ala carte dining outlets.
  • Has a very robust calendar of events on a consistent and regular basis, with a stronger emphasis in season. The Club operates 12 months of the year but is on a seasonal schedule, with in-season generally from January 1-May 31 and October 1-December 31 and a reduced schedule during out-of-season months (generally June 1-September 30).
  • The Chef is supported with a purchasing manager and two assistants.

“Desert Mountain has been one of the highlights of my career as a golf course designer. I believe it will always be recognized as one of the greatest golf clubs in the world,” Jack Nicklaus

The Club offers a competitive compensation plan including a base salary, holiday bonus, continuing education, 401k and other standard perks and benefits for this executive position. Interested individuals should send resumes, a well-conceived cover letter and supporting information to in strict confidence by Clicking Here to upload your information.

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