Head Chef – The Magic Hat Cafe CIC

at The Magic Hat Cafe (view profile)
Location Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England
Date Posted July 18, 2019
Category Head Chef
Job Type Part-time
Area England
County Tyne and Wear


Part-time Chef (Maternity Cover)

The Magic Hat Cafe is a social enterprise in Newcastle which aims to reduce food waste and feed the community by serving eco-friendly meals for everyone to enjoy. We are looking to appoint an energetic, creative, well-organised chef who enjoys problem solving and works well under pressure to work with an established anti-food waste project, using surplus ingredients to feed the community.

Job role
Chef responsibilities will include designing recipes and menus using donated ingredients, and preparing high-quality dishes to a tight time frame. You should be able to coordinate kitchen volunteers and delegate tasks to ensure meals are prepared in a timely and safe manner. Dishes will be created from 100% surplus ingredients that will only become known with 24 hours’ or less notice so this role requires a high level of creativity. In order to raise awareness on the extent and absurdity of food waste, we are looking for someone that can produce good quality, nutritious food and present it to a high standard.

The Magic Hat Cafe will be operating on Friday evenings from Byker Community Centre, service will be between 5-8pm with kitchen prep and clean-down happening between 2-9pm.

Responsible to: Co-ordinator
Responsible for: Volunteers working in the kitchen

Pay and Benefits

  • 7 hours a week (2-9pm every Friday evening, additional hours may be available through external events)
  • £12-£15/hr depending on experience
  • Employment term: 20 weeks with a possibility of extending
  • Loads of free food!

Main Duties

  • Develop recipes using only surplus ingredients.
  • Plan menus and ensure uniform serving sizes and high-quality presentation of meals.
  • Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas for cleanliness and functionality.
  • Coordinate and supervise often unskilled volunteers in the kitchen.
  • Delegate tasks to a diverse group of volunteers.
  • Maintain inventory of essential supplies.
  • Lead on food hygiene for the cafe, including ensuring all legislation and best practice is followed, accurate up-to-date records kept and maintaining the kitchen to an exceptional standard of cleanliness.
  • Check freshness of ingredients, and ensure no perishable food is stored in the kitchen or storeroom during the days the cafe is not open.

Personal Specification:

  • A flair and enthusiasm for cooking with fresh, quality and unusual ingredients.
  • Creative approach to cooking and problem solving quickly.
  • Interest in and awareness of food waste in a commercial setting.
  • Ability to work under pressure, in a calm and efficient manner to set deadlines.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with a range of demographics.
  • A positive approach to menu planning.
  • Experience of, and enthusiasm for preparing foods to suit a diverse range of tastes and cultures.
  • IT skills to a basic level. Familiar with spreadsheets and social media.
  • Experience of working with volunteers.
  • Experience of managing a team
  • Fluent in English.


  • Experience of demonstrating good management and effective coordination of a kitchen team.
  • Experience of running a kitchen pass/service.
  • Experience of stock taking.
  • Experience of managing a kitchen budget and stock control.
  • Level 2 food hygiene or above.

To apply for this role please take no more than one side of A4 to tell us about yourself. 
You can use the following questions as a guide if you like, but it's not compulsory to answer all of them.

  • What kitchen experience do you have that is relevant to this role?
  • What experience do you have of leading a team?
  • Why do you want to be part of the Magic Hat Cafe team?
  • Why do you think food waste is an important issue?
  • What's your favourite thing to do with a potato?

Applications should be sent to us via email by 12 noon on 30th July 2019. Please also include your name and phone number.

Successful applicants will be invited to an informal interview on the 1st or 2nd August at Byker Community Centre. Interviews will take place during the morning and afternoon and will take approximately 1 hour, please let us know if there are any times when you will be unavailable for interview. The interview will consist of an informal chat with the Magic Hat Cafe team and a fun ‘Ready Steady Cook’ style activity where you will be assisted by a Magic Hat Cafe volunteer and asked to make a dish with the ingredients provided.

Please note that a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure Certificate will be required for the post, but that a clean DBS certificate is not essential for the role. Due to the small nature of the Magic Hat Cafe the post-holder will be considered self-employed for this role and may need to register with HMRC if they earn more than £1,000 from self-employment in a single tax year. This can be discussed further at the interview.
If you need any further information please get in touch via email.

We look forward to receiving your application,
The Magic Hat Cafe team