The demand for top talent has never been greater and organizations today, regardless of industry or location, seek experienced, credible leaders with the vision and skills to design winning strategies and motivate others. If you are such an individual and are seeking new opportunities, JDRQUEST is at your service.

We believe that candidates are clients too, and we treat you as such. Our goal is always to bring parties together for the mutual benefit of all.

Please register your information with us. Our objective is to have just the basic information about you so that we can contact you privately and confidentially when we are engaged in a project that is a close match for your professional skills and experience. We will not share this information with anyone until we have been in touch with you and mutual interest has been established.

Current Positions


Executive Chef, Catering. Vanderbilt University – Nashville, TN.
The Executive Chef of Catering is a part of the Campus Dining team within the division of Administration at Vanderbilt University and assumes a strategic role in the overall planning and management of Campus Dining’s Catering Department. The Executive Chef of Catering provides Catering with culinary expertise in event and hospitality management, culinary trends, and overall program development. This position will be responsible for producing a wide variety of food from casual coffee services to plated fine dining events. This position will develop and maintain effective working relationships with various campus departments and lead the culinary team by example, with respect and an orientation of servant-leadership. Reporting directly to the Senior Director, the Executive Chef of Catering will manage the culinary event planning responsibilities of the department and work alongside the culinary and operations teams to build internal relationships and knowledge.

The Executive Chef of Catering is responsible for assisting with the culinary execution of daily catered events as needed, including but not limited to; Chancellor receptions, private high-level receptions, seated dinners, buffet lunches and dinners, continental breakfasts, breakfast buffets, and coffee breaks. Whether the function is a continental breakfast for ten, a buffet for one hundred, or a gala dinner for one thousand, Vanderbilt Catering will provide the caliber of food and distinction of service the University expects from its on-campus caterer.
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About the Catering Department:
Vanderbilt Catering delivers the excellence expected from Vanderbilt University. As a division of Vanderbilt Campus Dining, we are engaged with our campus community. Whether the function is a continental breakfast for ten, a buffet for one hundred or a gala dinner for one thousand, Vanderbilt Catering will provide the caliber of food and distinction of service the University expects from its on-campus caterer. As the preferred caterer of the Chancellor’s office and much of the university, attention to detail, creativity, and excellence are expected.

On average, the Catering department services 1600 events annually with revenue nearing 3 million dollars. Event breakdown is roughly 30% buffet, 25% reception, 25% Meeting Break, and 20% Boxed Meal and Continental Breakfast. 25-30% of events require custom menus.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:
· Be a hands-on, working chef, this position is 50% administrative and 50% hands-on.
· Oversee kitchen activities, including food preparation, food presentation, food portioning, kitchen organization, and sanitation.
· Develop creative and inspired menu writing and development to provide a high caliber of food.
· Supervise and train staff in the preparation and presentation of plated, buffet, and reception foods.
· Supervise and train staff in proper food handling, kitchen sanitation and safety, and federal, local, and state health code compliance.
· Supervise staff with responsibilities for planning, coordinating, and controlling work schedules, and following departmental procedures and policies.
· Coordinate activities of one or more functions to effect unity and efficiency of the operation.
· Select recipes and cost out food to achieve the necessary profit margins.
· Monitor inventory levels to determine when to reorder/requisition.
· Monitor distribution systems of supplies, materials, equipment, services, etc. to determine if delivered/available when required.
· Forecast annual kitchen budget, and analyze P&L spreadsheets to track progress and proactively implement solutions to any problem areas.
· Coordinate and perform inventories.
· Manage and utilize the menu/recipe/ingredient/event planning system.
· Manage equipment and facilities maintenance, and requisition services as needed.
· Participate in professional associations and professional development activities and to remain informed of new developments in the culinary field.
· Supervise hourly union staff and know, understand, and ensure compliance with Collective Bargaining Contract. This includes direct supervision and documentation of all disciplinary processes.
· Executes exemplary customer service to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty by assisting the customer and monitoring their satisfaction before and during their event.
· Researches catering/food trends and recommends strategies to promote continued change, growth or expansion of Vanderbilt Catering.
· Manages group or interpersonal conflict situations and escalates issues when appropriate.
· Direct the education, training, and professional development of management and hourly staff.

Education and Certifications:
· Bachelor’s Degree is strongly preferred.
· Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management or a related field is preferred.
· A Culinary Arts degree from an accrediting culinary institution or qualifying apprenticeship program is preferred.

Experience and Skills:
· Strong communication (verbal, written, interpersonal) skills and an ability to communicate effectively with a diverse population is necessary.
· Ability to teach, coach, mentor, and assess performance; take corrective or disciplinary action when needed is necessary.
· Experience and comprehensive knowledge of culinary techniques in food production for high-end catering operations is necessary. This includes knowledge of vegetarian/vegan and current food trends.
· Strong time management, organizational and multi-tasking skills and an eye for detail is necessary.
· Demonstrated ability to deliver exceptional customer service is necessary.
· Four years offsite catering, restaurants, or specialty events planning experience is strongly preferred.
· Minimum of 5 years management experience in a high volume production kitchen is preferred.
· Minimum of 5 years of progressive supervisory experience is preferred.
· Off-premise catering experience is necessary.
· The ability to work and communicate with a diverse group of clients and colleagues is necessary
· Assertive, professional and positive approach with a proven ability to develop and lead in a team environment is necessary.
· Ability to work independently and maintain a positive attitude within a busy, stressful environment.
· Strong supervision and leadership skills is necessary.
· Demonstrated skills in planning and execution of conferences services and special events for groups up to 500 is preferred.
· Proficiency in Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint is necessary.

EKey Characteristics of Successful Leaders at Vanderbilt University:
· Analytical & Detail-Oriented – Accurately assesses information and applies applicable law, policy, and procedure. Considers the long-term implications of actions today and advises employees appropriately. Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes.
· Hard-Working – Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn’t the same as productive). Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.
· Naturally Communicates – Readily shares information and is comfortable working within a highly collaborative team. Communicates proactively. Understands that open communication and the sharing of knowledge is fundamental to the success of the team. Asks for advice, and considers it thoughtfully.
· Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well. Doesn’t expect from others’ effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Finds ways to acknowledge other’s strong suits.
· Works through Issues – Recognizes that the work is about successful outcomes. If things aren’t going well, outcomes suffer. Is willing to have crucial conversations if things aren’t going well. Doesn’t just complain to management . . . does everything possible to remedy the situation directly first.

Resumes should be directed to Erika Sarcinelli:
For further information regarding this position please contact Josh Reich:

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