We apply the same egalitarian standards for all those who serve MacDowell in a staff, volunteer, or representative capacity.

Lead Cook


MacDowell seeks Lead Cook to provide excellent care in the form of nourishing meals for up to 32 artists-in-residence at our campus in Peterborough, NH. Reporting to and supporting the Chef, this position will be a leader and a team player on our kitchen staff, and will be responsible for preparing tasty, well-balanced, innovative meals, maintaining a safe and sanitary work environment, and supervising Kitchen Assistants.

By providing care-filled, wholesome sustenance, the Lead Cook ensures artists have the vigor to focus on their work, in essence feeding the artists’ creative potential as well as their appetite.

MacDowell is committed to diversity and inclusion, and a more equitable arts and cultural sector. Our work requires a team that together represents a diversity of perspectives and lived experiences. Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and individuals from populations underrepresented in the arts and nonprofits are strongly encouraged to apply.


Plan and execute healthy, seasonal, and high-quality meals for up to 32 artists at a time:

  • Is resourceful, creative, mindful of food waste, and flexible in menu planning
  • Assists with staff lunch meal as needed
  • Adheres to artist dietary restrictions and provides satisfying alternatives
  • Has excellent sanitation standards; stays up-to-date on Food Safety certifications
  • Helps keep the kitchen organized to improves efficiency and safety for everyone
  • Seasonal: works with the Gardener to effectively utilize crops

Support the Chef:

  • Provides managerial coverage when the Chef is away: organizes grocery orders, maintains the produce area, communicates with food purveyors and maintenance contractors, and assists co-workers with meal preparation
  • Assists the Chef in strategizing the menu and execution plan for 4-6 major, high volume fundraising events each year
  • Is alert, high energy, proactive, and ready to multi-task during major events
  • Is an extra set of eyes and ears: pays attention to the entire kitchen environment and takes initiative on small corrections; alerts the Chef about areas of concern or opportunities for efficiency


  • Desire and ability to work harmoniously with a team of professionals dedicated to sustaining ideal working conditions for creative artists
  • Interpersonal skills: is able to communicate clearly and respectfully with other kitchen staff, administrative staff, artists, and guests
  • Hospitality skills: is able to support artists in residence by being responsive, friendly, and helpful
  • Reliability and ability to run the kitchen in the absence of the Chef
  • Flexibility to cover co-worker kitchen shifts as needed
  • Interest in and ability to manage a small kitchen team with a variety of backgrounds and experience levels; ability to mentor and manage first-time and student employees working as kitchen assistants
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Thorough knowledge of best practices in Food Safety
  • Ability to routinely transport materials weighing 20 lbs and occasionally 50 lbs
  • 5+ years of professional cooking experience in a commercial kitchen
  • Basic knowledge of baking
  • Pluses:
    • Basic computer skills (ability to fill our spreadsheets and draft simple web-based communications like surveys and polls)
    • Appreciation for the arts and the value of culture in improving human lives


The Lead Cook is a full-time, non-exempt position with a base schedule of 4 days/week (32 hours) plus special events and occasional fill-in for other staff. Shifts include weekends, evenings and some holidays; compensation commensurate with experience within wage range ($19-23/hour). Employee benefits include: health and dental insurance; life and short-term disability insurance; medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts; 403(b) retirement; and paid time off.


Onsite in Peterborough, NH


Email cover letter and resume or work history to employment@macdowell.org by April 9, 2021.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The MacDowell residency program with offices in Chelsea and Peterborough is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate against any individual, employee, or application for employment on the basis of race, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, ability, age, or veteran status. We are committed to workplace inclusion and to being a place where a diverse mix of talented people want to do their best work and bring out the best in each other.