The Edible Schoolyard Chef Teacher Job Description

Position Description

The Edible Schoolyard Chef Teachers support the Head Chef Teacher in all aspects of the Edible Schoolyard (ESY) kitchen. The Chef Teacher teaches daily kitchen classes for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, participates in lesson planning and recipe development, and works with the kitchen team to maintain an interactive teaching kitchen. The Chef Teacher reports to the Head Chef Teacher and the Managing Director.

About the Edible Schoolyard Project

The Edible Schoolyard Project (ESYP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was founded by Alice Waters. ESYP’s mission is to build and share a national food curriculum for the education system. We envision this “edible education,” like physical education, as part of the core curriculum of every school in the country. By providing all students with a free, nutritious lunch and interactive experiences in kitchen and garden classrooms, edible education has the power to transform the health and values of every child in the United States.

The Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School in Berkeley is ESYP’s demonstration site and center for curriculum development. The Edible Schoolyard curriculum is fully integrated into the school day and teaches students how their choices about food affect their health, the environment, and their communities. At ESY, students participate in all aspects of growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious, seasonal produce during the academic day and in after-school classes.


The ESYP Chef Teacher has a working understanding of the public education system. They are congenial, with exemplary organizational, communication, and writing skills. The ability to manage short and long-term projects and perform tasks simultaneously — balancing program vision while tending to the mundane — is key to this position. The Chef Teacher is a self-starter, possesses strong social skills and a keen aesthetic, can make independent decisions, and is comfortable working within a highly diverse public school environment. The Chef Teacher should have insight into the impact of culture and identity on the schooling experience; examine the influence of race, power, and privilege on the educational process; and seek culturally responsive pedagogy and practices to ensure access for all students, especially those historically underserved by the educational system.

General qualifications for the Chef Teacher role:

  • Experience working with youth.
  • Experience or a demonstrated interest in cooking.
  • Ability to draw.
  • Experience with basic computer programs and writing (especially Google Apps).
  • An ability to work in a physically demanding environment: standing and walking for most of the day, and lifting up to 40 pounds.
  • Applicants for this position are not required to have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent credentials from institutions of higher education. The Edible Schoolyard is seeking candidates who will add to the richness and diversity of our conversations and work surrounding justice, anti-oppression, education, and most importantly, to our students’ experience of having a broad set of perspectives to learn from.
Duties include but are not limited to:


  • Design and conduct daily kitchen classes for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.
  • Guide students through all aspects of kitchen lessons to ensure skills and values development, understanding of seasonality, and connections to curricular studies.
  • Mentor individual students in and out of class, model respect and curiosity for learning and encourage students’ interests and talents.
  • Prepare dishes using fresh, seasonal produce grown by students in the ESY garden.
  • Organize, set up, and break down all kitchen lessons.
  • Design and conduct lessons for adults participating in the annual Edible Schoolyard Academy.

Lesson Development and Documentation

  • Collaborate with kitchen staff in the development of kitchen lessons that are integrated with classroom teaching, ESY standards, and academic standards.
  • Contribute to lessons and recipe development to maximize use of seasonal produce grown in the ESY garden.
  • Design and produce teaching and visual aids for ESY kitchen lessons.
  • Create video resources for our students, teachers, and the ESY Network.


  • Meet weekly with kitchen staff to identify and prioritize kitchen maintenance, class preparation and other relevant tasks.
  • Maintain designated cooking station table domain daily.
  • Maintain tools and equipment in the kitchen classroom.
  • Assist with the planning and preparation of food for special ESY events.

Communication and Outreach

  • Participate in ESY staff meetings and professional development.
  • Facilitate healthy relationships with ESY staff, King teachers and administrative staff, students, parents, neighbors, school garden and kitchen educators and ESY affiliates.
  • Maintain an awareness of and actively participate in ESY events, school events and relevant community events.
  • Represent ESY program to the wider community.


  • Design and conduct after-school classes in collaboration with Berkeley LEARNS.
  • Design and conduct a summer camp in collaboration with the Lawrence Hall of Science.
  • Work with the Family Class Coordinator to run weekly Family Night Out classes.
  • Work with the garden staff to design and conduct a rich, rewarding curriculum for Independent Work Exchange students (IWE’s).
  • Oversee bulk food purchasing and storage to ensure cost-effective purchasing for kitchen classes.
  • Annually apply for a grant from the Berkeley Public Schools Fund (BPSF) and other grants, as appropriate.
  • Ensure lesson documentation, recipe updates, visual resources, and kitchen inventory are current internally and online.
  • * Leadership responsibilities are divided and assigned each year to ESY Chef Teachers.
In order to perform the basic responsibilities of the job, all ESY staff:
  • Demonstrate excellence in innovative teaching
  • Have the ability to be challenged
  • Support others in the group when we work together
  • Demonstrate clear and strong communication skills
  • Respect each other
  • Are engaged in our professional development
  • Are honest even when embarrassed or scared
  • Are able to professionally address workplace issues
  • Seek to grow their awareness of how their actions impact students, staff, and peers
Duration and Compensation

The Chef Teacher position is a year-round, full-time position. Competitive compensation package includes salary commensurate with experience, health benefits, paid vacation, and a 403B retirement plan.

Application Information

To apply, please submit a cover letter and résumé to Kyle Cornforth at [email protected] with “Chef Teacher 2018” in the subject line.

Application deadline: ongoing until the position is filled.
No phone inquiries or drop-ins, please.

The Edible Schoolyard Project believes that good food is a right, not a privilege. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly encourage applicants from a diversity of backgrounds and from marginalized communities most impacted by an unjust food system.