Head Cook (Vegetarian)
Ratna Ling Work Study Volunteer Program

Evening light outside the Main dining room Lodge at Ratna Ling.

Experienced Head Cook for Buddhist Retreat Center in Beautiful Coastal Sonoma County

In the beautiful coastal redwoods of northern Sonoma County, California

Ratna Ling Retreat Center, Cazadero, California
Previous experience required
Start Date:
Job starts immediately! (Aug 12, 2019)

We are a volunteer-run organization looking for an experienced head cook to run our kitchen and create delicious vegetarian meals for our staff and guests. Located in the beautiful coastal redwoods of Sonoma County in northern California, this year-round residential work-study opportunity will allow your skills and enthusiasm to flourish. We are  in a remote location in the redwoods.

Daily Responsibilities:

  • Co-Lead kitchen staff in preparing buffet-style vegetarian meals for 20-50 guests and staff for two meals per day Monday - Saturday
  • Food preparation and cooking
  • Menu and meal planning with the ability to lift 30 lbs
  • Food ordering and kitchen inventory management
  • General kitchen maintenance, cleaning, and sanitation 
  • Management of kitchen staff and scheduling
  • Buffet set-up
  • Position will report to our Executive Director

Desired Qualifications:

  • Past experience working in a retreat center, commercial kitchen and/or restaurant as a chef/cook
  • Appreciation for vegetarian cuisine
  • Reliable and hard-working
  • Organized with attention to detail
  • Experience with International Cuisine is a plus
  • Baking skills are always welcome
  • Creative and flexible in a rapidly changing environment
  • Open-mindedness and understanding of ever-changing dietary needs and trends
  • Willingness to work as part of a team and patience with fellow volunteers 
  • In addition to Head Cook, other positions available: office administration, hospitality, maintenance, grounds keeping.  See our website for more info and to apply.

As a volunteer in our work-study program, you will receive:

  • Monthly living allowance
  • Free housing (you may have a roommate).
  • Free laundry facilities and supplies, Wi-Fi and domestic local and long distance phone calls 
  • Free vegetarian meals, tea and coffee
  • Free classes in a variety of Buddhist studies: meditation, mantra, skillful means (work practice), Buddhist history and philosophy, Kum Nye (Tibetan yoga), and yoga
  • Opportunity to engage in Buddhist community's ceremonies, celebrations and practices 
  • Opportunity to engage in an environment where meaningful work and self-development are valued
  • Clean, fresh air, wide-open spaces, natural beauty, close proximity to hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean
  • The support of a caring, actively engaged conscious community that encourages building meaningful interpersonal relationships

Our weekly schedule is rigorous - 6 days a week and rewarding!  Our work is our practice. This is a unique opportunity to get away from the daily grind and text-emoji mania, and live surrounded by nature, with little to no cell service but plenty of books, quiet spaces, and more stars at night than you can count.

Minimum commitment preferred is 6 months but we do make exceptions on a case by case basis. No religious affiliation required, but we are seeking people who have a sincere interest in Buddhism, a volunteer spirit and exploring work as a path to inner freedom. Minimum age is 23 years old. Couples are welcome to apply.  

How to Apply

Please visit our website for more information about our program and to download an application. Please return completed application and/or send your resume to volunteer@ratnaling.org and rosalynw@ratnaling.org.

Contact Info