Marshall-Alan Associates: Director of Culinary Operations

Chefs who cook at some of the country’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and wineries are often in the position of director of culinary operations. But what does a culinary operations director do?

A director of culinary operations is responsible for overseeing all of an establishments culinary operation, including:

  • Restaurant
  • Grill
  • Bakery
  • Cafe
  • Catering
  • Banquets
  • Meals delivered via room service

A culinary operations director will often have served as an executive chef for a number of years in a four or five star establishment. He or she will have graduated from one of the finer culinary institutes, and may specialize in a specific type of cuisine. Often a director of culinary operations will have gotten a start as a pastry or sous chef in a restaurant, then moved into the hotel industry.

When hiring a Director of Culinary Operations for a hotel, the following should be taken into consideration. Does the candidate:

  • Possess exceptional culinary skills that will be an asset to the hotel?
  • Have a verifiable track record of success in the culinary field?
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage others, lacking a reputation for being temperamental?
  • Have the ability to multi-task and handle multiple facets of the job (catering, overseeing the main restaurant kitchen, organizing and pulling off banquets without a hitch, etc)?
  • Present themselves well and be willing to interact with the guests?

If the above qualifications are met, it really comes down to finding a culinary operations director who is the right fit for the tone of the hotel. An executive search firm like Marshall-Alan Associates in New York puts potential directors of culinary operations and hotel owners together, helping the right matches to occur so everything runs smoothly!


3 comments on “Marshall-Alan Associates: Director of Culinary Operations

  1. Reblogged this on Ransae's Blog.

  2. So…this is a cook? Director of Culinary Operations is just a title that the employer hopes will increase status without necessarily costing them anything? This is quite common, but it can border on the silly.

  3. Not at all. A culinary director of operations does far more than just cook – did you actually read the post?

    Even an executive chef does more than just “cook”.

    There are specific job titles in the hospitality industry, and each means a distinct level of responsibility with experience needed in different fields. A sous or pastry chef may indeed “just cook”. An executive chef has to order food, plan menus, and coordinate with other departments in a hotel. A Director of Culinary Operations has to be able to plan and carry out complex catering assignments, banquets, etc.

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