Work, live and play inside North Cascades National Park, one of the most beautiful mountain settings in the country! North Cascades Institute – voted “Best Place to Work” in the 2013 Bellingham Alive – seeks a qualified, enthusiastic individual to become a Cook at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, an award-winning educational field campus in northwestern Washington. Supervised by the Chef/Food Service Manager, this position works closely with Institute staff, partners and contractors to support a wide array of educational programs for people of all ages. You’ll be an important part of the Foodshed Initiative, the Institute’s exciting program that incorporates local, organic products in the food service operations of the Learning Center. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop and deliver educational programs about food choices, sustainable agriculture, wild edibles and culturally-important foods in the Pacific Northwest. The Learning Center is located in North Cascades National Park near Diablo and is approximately 20 miles from the nearest gas station and post office, 60 miles from towns with full amenities.

Our Foodshed Initiative

- Creates healthful, delicious meals using as much local and organic food from the regional foodshed as possible, with a lot of freedom for creativity and innovation.
- Supports the Institute’s mission of “Conserving and Restoring Northwest Environments Through Education” by teaching Learning Center visitors the importance of sustainable agriculture, healthy food choices and supporting local economies.
- Networking with local farmers, ranchers, bakers, fishermen, coffee roasters and others to purchase wholesome local foods for use in kitchen operations.
- Contributing to the popular national “locavore” movement away from unhealthy, globalized, processed food consumption towards eating locally and healthfully, because we are what we eat!

Learn more at


- Professional food service experience
- Ability to take initiative and prioritize tasks with exemplary time management and problem-solving skills
- Ability to comply with a smoke- and drug-free work environment
- Ability to lift 50 pounds occasionally and walk over uneven terrain
- A pre-employment or post-hire background screening and criminal history check
- Washington State food handler’s permit


- Interest for organic, local and slow food
- Experience assisting with inventory and ordering 
- Previous professional food service experience at residential learning centers, camps, schools or other institutional settings preparing diverse, health-conscious meals for children and adult groups, including foods that incorporate fresh, local and/or organic ingredients
- Current certification in first aid, CPR, or as a Wilderness First Responder

Food Service and Preparation

- Prepares food on a daily basis for meals typically served buffet-style. 
- Assists the Chef in creating age-appropriate menus for children in overnight programs (primarily weekdays) using recipes for consistency, cost control, appealing servings and avoiding unnecessary waste. These menus will incorporate federal government school lunch program guidelines for children.
- Assists the Chef with creating menus for adults in overnight programs (primarily weekends). 

Maintenance and Cleanliness

- Maintains exemplary standards of cleanliness in the dining hall, kitchen, walk-in and food pick-up area.
- Assists in ware-washing program and any interface with staff and guest participants.
- Actively participates in recycling program, composting, use of green materials and local products as related to food service.

- Participate in general staff responsibilities such as staff meetings, hands to work, risk management, and hospitality.  
- Other duties as assigned by the Operations Director and/or Executive Director.

Compensation, Benefits and Housing
This is a seasonal/temporary, full-time non-exempt position. The wage is $12.00 - $15.00 per hour depending on experience and skill level. Benefits include paid holidays and sick leave. 

Rental housing on or near campus may be available. Pets may be allowed in some housing, yet they are not allowed on the learning center campus. Smoking is not allowed in housing or on campus.

Application Deadline

Position will remain open until filled.

Duration of Position
Now through December 1, 2014.

To Apply
Please send letter of interest, resume, salary history and names of three references with current contact information to:


North Cascades Institute
Cook Search
810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 

Equal Opportunity Employer

Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is a high priority at North Cascades Institute. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, marital status, age (over 40), veteran status, physical or mental disability, ex-offender status or any other basis prohibited by law in any of its policies or programs.

About North Cascades Institute

The Institute’s mission is to conserve and restore Northwest environments through education. Since 1986 we have helped connect people, nature and community through science, art, literature and the hands-on study of natural and cultural history. Our goal is to help people of all ages experience and enjoy the mountains, rivers, forests, people and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest – so all will care for and protect this special place. The Institute is committed to innovation and excellence in environmental learning and leadership in the nonprofit community. We believe that sustainable communities are built on healthy environments, vibrant economies and social equity.

North Cascades Institute is a respected, national leader among U.S. environmental education organizations. The Institute is in sound financial health with a $3 million budget and strong reserves. In 2013, Charity Navigator awarded the Institute its 10th consecutive Four-Star rating, placing the Institute in the top 1% of nonprofit organizations demonstrating exemplary fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. The Institute was also voted “Best Place to Work” in the 2013 Bellingham Alive – Best in the Northwest annual readers’ poll. This is a wonderful opportunity to join North Cascades Institute at a time of exciting growth.