Kitchen Manager/Operations Assistant
Wrangell Mountains Center

Garden bounty

Cooking and managing kitchen support staff for a scrappy off-the-grid non-profit

Small, off-the-grid community in the middle of the nation's largest national park


Kitchen Manager/Operations Assistant

Wrangell Mountains Center
McCarthy, Alaska
$15.00 / hour
Some experience required
Start Date:
Job starts in 3 months (May 15, 2020)

The Kitchen Manager/Operations Assistant (KMOA) oversees the kitchen operations and assists with general operations of the Wrangell Mountains Center campus gardens and facilities.  Clients served include college students, visiting scientists, Artists-in-Residence, and other educational program participants who are seeking an off-the-grid learning experience amongst world-class scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. Food served is nutritious, largely vegetarian, and relies heavily on whole grains, beans, dairy, and our own garden veggies.

The WRANGELL MOUNTAINS CENTER (WMC) is a private, nonprofit institute whose mission is connecting people with wildlands through art, science, and education in Alaska.  Based in McCarthy, Alaska, in the heart of the nation's largest National Park and just minutes from the toe of the Kennicott Glacier, the WMC provides multi-day and walk-in experiential education programs that foster discovery through direct contact with diverse environments. Meeting the needs of students, writers, artists, scientists, travelers, and local citizens, we offer opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to explore, express, and be transformed in this extraordinary place surrounded by wilderness. The WMC operates on a model of sustainability and resource conservation. Facilities are remote and off-the-grid, operating mostly with solar power and water pumped from a local aquifer. Meals and chores (e.g., hauling water, splitting firewood, cleaning up) are shared between staff, volunteers, and sometimes program participants.

Overview: The Kitchen Manager/Operations Assistant (KMOA) oversees the kitchen operations and assists with general operations of the campus gardens and facilities. The KMOA works closely with the Operations Manager in the early part of the season when the workload is higher. General responsibilities include:

  • Participate in pre-season campus opening (e.g., cleaning, setting up water and power systems)
  • Ensure quality meals (mostly vegetarian) are provided for program participants and WMC staff
  • Maintain a clean and well-organized communal cooking, food storage, and dining environment
  • Providing guidance/direction to other staff and volunteers regarding kitchen duties
  • Act as a courteous and friendly liaison between the WMC and the local community
  • In the Operations Manager’s absence, work with Executive Director to maintain sustainable operations for the duration of the season, which may entail additional short-term day labor. 

Compensation: $15/hour (total $10,400 for 4 months equivalent) plus meals and primitive lodging (valued at approximately $4,800 for the summer). 

Estimated time commitment: Approximately mid-May – mid-September, 40 hours/week.    

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that meals are prepared and served for groups of varying sizes (up to 45 max), including cooking and baking, managing kitchen volunteers and staff as well as delegating tasks
  • Ensure an understanding of and adherence to applicable food health and safety standards through training and monitoring compliance
  • Attend staff meetings with Executive Director, Operations Manager, and Interns weekly or as needed throughout the summer to coordinate activities and schedules
  • Promote an understanding of and commitment to campus policies including general health and safety, pets, visitors, vehicles, and judicious use of water and power systems
  • Administer and track food budget and meals prepared with guidance from the Executive Director and Operations Manager
  • In cooperation with Operations Manager, inventory, order (within approved budget), and stock food and kitchen supplies
  • Assist with volunteer recruitment

Required Knowledge and Experience

  • Leading or mentoring multiple people in a dynamic working environment
  • Meal planning, cooking and baking for large groups
  • Must possess or acquire Alaska Food Workers card
  • Ability to safely lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to accommodate dietary restrictions

Desirable Skills and Abilities:

  • ServSafe certification
  • Interpersonal communication skills and team building
  • Reliable, flexible, organized, and attentive to detail
  • Interest in sustainability and communal living, and learning new skills
  • Strong work ethic and ability to lead by example
  • Ability to forgo most urban amenities in a remote setting for the duration of the season
  • Familiarity with the Wrangell Mountains Center & McCarthy and Kennecott communities
  • Current Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certification

Our Facilities: The Wrangell Mountains Center is headquartered in “The Old Hardware Store,” a historic building, originally serving boomtown McCarthy during the Kennecott copper mining period of the early 20th century. Abandoned in 1938, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, enabling ongoing stabilization and restoration efforts. What was once a store and rooming house is now an active, rustic, educational center with libraries, seminar rooms, a workshop, a cooperatively-run kitchen and garden, and studio space for visiting scholars and artists. Our campus includes Porphyry Place, an Alaskan homestead cabin acquired in 2012, used for public lectures, classroom space, yoga, and youth programs. 

How to Apply

Please send a current resume and a short cover letter detailing your motivations for applying; your training, education, and off-the-grid living experience; and your available date range to Questions may also be directed to that address.

Contact Info