Chef Placed

Executive Chef, The Country Club of Fairfield, Fairfield, CT

Executive Chef, The Country Club of Fairfield, Fairfield, CT

A Top Club Chef Opportunity conducted by DZA, a strategic alliance of DMA

The Country Club of Fairfield was founded in 1914 by Oliver Gould Jennings and located on a parcel of land ominously nicknamed Mosquito Hill. It consisted of a collection of onion fields that sloped down to a malodorous tidal marsh. Jennings hired Seth Raynor to design and build the golf course. A protégé of Charles Blair Macdonald, who was known as the father of golf in America, Raynor crafted a links-style layout that featured versions of many of the best golf holes in the British Isles. It was an enormous landfill project that took several years to complete, and the course did not officially open until 1921. Hall of Fame golfer Walter Hagen was among those in attendance that first day.

The Country Club of Fairfield was one of Raynor’s first solo efforts, and he went on to design a number of top tracks in the U.S., including Shoreacres outside Chicago, Mountain Lake in Florida and Fishers Island off the Connecticut coast. But Raynor was not the only architect of note to work on the Country Club of Fairfield course, as A.W. Tillinghast and Robert Trent Jones Sr. also added their touches over the years.  The result is a layout that not only serves as a superb members course but also as a challenging venue for tournaments such as the Met Open, the Connecticut Open and the Met PGA Championship. It is rightfully regarded as one of the best in the country.

Position Specific: The Country Club of Fairfield is seeking an Executive Chef who has the knowledge, expertise, and passion to develop a culinary program that will enable the Club to achieve its overall goal to be within the members “Top Five” restaurant choices locally.

This individual should be an effective communicator who is mature and poised in dealing with conflict and feedback, has a reputation for team-building and exceptional culinary skills. Chef will understand member dining preferences and continue to develop the culinary program and offerings to meet and/or exceed member needs. He/she will always embrace constant improvement providing exceptional member-based food services.

Initial Priorities:

  1. Food Quality and Consistency – The Club is looking to continue its food elevation and is looking for a visionary leader with the personal and professional skill set to lead this traditional, yet forward-thinking culinary operation. A high-level of consistency will be a key area of focus upon joining the team.
  2. Training and Development – Inspire the team and build a strong culinary culture driven to excellence. Serve as coach and mentor and lead by example. Team growth and collaboration with other key management is important for success.
  3. Member Special Requests – Learn and embrace member dining preferences. The new Executive Chef will keep-up with the latest food trends, ethnic cuisines and products and will have a strong understanding of, and be responsive to, organic, gluten free and other member requests.
  4. The Beach Operation – The new Executive Chef will put effort into the Beach operation and stress the importance of the Beach Culinary Program to young member families.

Job Requirements & Requested Traits:

  • This is a hands-on working position managing daily production and consistency, presentation, and quality.
  • He/she will be professional, personal with a positive attitude, and be a team-orientated leader.
  • An organized and detail-oriented individual with a passion for the profession; has solid culinary skills with a good foundation.
  • Help to prepare the annual operating budget, with recommendations for needed capital expenditures.
  • Competent in organizational and time management skills. The ability to demonstrate good judgment, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • The Executive Chef evaluates job performance of culinary staff; coaches, mentors staff and counsels to ensure they are on track. Rewards and disciplines staff in a fair and appropriate manner when appropriate.
  • The Executive Chef creates and implements menus, standards of service and all food production, as well as develops and monitors food and labor budgets for the department.
  • The Chef is expected to be visible and personable with members and their guests. Building member relationships is the goal and he/she will spend as much time as possible getting to know the membership.
  • Ensure that the highest standards of sanitation, cleanliness, and safety are maintained throughout all food service areas at all times.

Additional Information:

  • Annual food sales $ 850,000; Total F&B Sales $ 1,370,000.

Note: Current sales totals are very low.  Part of the motivation for the complete reconstruction of the club was to facilitate increased usage, with the existing membership. The Country Club of Fairfield was previously open only one night per week for dinner service, now with the new construction, it is four nights per week. Management doesn’t believe sales will grow exponentially but, they do want it be known that they are looking for the New Executive Chef to create an environment where there is measured growth and improved member engagement resulting in increased dining frequency.  The General Manager believes the new construction has been a catalyst for a cultural change in member use and engagement patterns that is still evolving. Sales are expected to grow commensurate with level of that increased dining frequency.

  • The Club currently maintains a 44% food cost. Food Cost Goal 44%. Sales are a mix of approximately 70% a la carte and 30% banquet.
  • There are (20) culinary employees and (4) stewards supported by a $652,000 labor budget.
  • There is (1) Sous Chef and the Chef does the purchasing.
  • There are (2) Kitchens, one on the Beach and one in the Clubhouse. Management rates condition as a 5 out of 5. The Clubhouse and new kitchen was built in 2021.
  • There is one (1) 18,000 sq. ft Clubhouse for 400 members whose average age is 55.
  • The Club operates eleven months annually and is closed the month of January. Busy months are June, July and August. Fifty percent of the membership relocate for the winter.
  • The Executive Chef reports to the General Manager/COO and works with the Assistant General Manager, Controller and Clubhouse Manager.
  • The previous Executive Chef was employed by the Club for Eighteen Months.

Grill Room – Casual situated in the clubhouse with 148 seats, serving Lunch and Dinner 5/6 days per week.

Beach Restaurant – Casual with 175 seats, serving 7 days per week.

A compensation package that will include base salary and performance bonus. Benefits include medical insurance, life & voluntary dental insurance, 401K, vacation and ACF Dues. A (CEC) is preferred. A relocation allowance is available. Interested individuals should send resumes, a well-conceived cover letter, and supporting information (a digital Portfolio is encouraged) in strict confidence.   Click Here to upload your information:

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