Culinary Artist

Cafe Marie Cafe & Catering / 170 George St, Sydney

About the Position

The Culinary Artist is responsible for the culinary output of Cafe Marie Cafe and Catering, located within Eltuek Arts Centre, a creative cultural hub and centre for contemporary art and community in Sydney, Unama’ki, Cape Breton Island. Eltuek Arts Centre is owned and operated by New Dawn Enterprises, which also oversees the New Dawn Community Kitchen. The Culinary Artist works out of the New Dawn Community Kitchen, which is home to Meals on Wheels, Cafe Marie, Cafe Marie Catering, local food programming, and the Good Food Bus; all of which make up the food services divisions of New Dawn Enterprises.   

The Culinary Artist works in collaboration with the Cafe Marie Manager to schedule staff and oversee food quality, inventory, client and customer services, vendor relations, catering workflow, scheduling, and logistics, and other aspects of operations. The Culinary Artist adheres to all policies and regulations for safety, hygiene, and facility food preparation guidelines. The Culinary Artist also collaborates with the Meals on Wheels staff, Eltuek staff, and other divisions of New Dawn Enterprises, to create and develop special events, menus, food programming, best practices within the workplace, promote cafe, catering, and New Dawn events, as well as welcome newcomers through foodways, festivals, and other programming.    

The Culinary Artist provides leadership, support, motivation, and development of team members, creating a positive environment that encourages ownership and accountability, while providing a quality guest experience. This role will monitor and ensure exceptional service and food quality. The Culinary Artist will be responsible for accepting, tracking, and fulfilling catering requests, as well as logistics, including scheduling staff to execute catered events and programming.   

The Culinary Artist works a flexible schedule to ensure operational needs are met. As with all positions working in the New Dawn Community Kitchen, training in all areas will be provided and the Culinary Artist can be scheduled for shifts in any area to fulfill demand for service. There may be instances where kitchen staff may also be asked for support with Meals on Wheels in meal preparation and packing.  

Primary Areas of Responsibility

Culinary Arts; Meal Preparation; Catering and Events Management; Community Health Building  

Duties and Responsibilities

Culinary Preparation  

  • Development, creation, testing, costing and approval of menus and recipes for cafe and catering operations out of the New Dawn Community Kitchen  
  • Prepare and serve all menu items according to kitchen policies and procedures  
  • Ensure the highest quality of culinary service regarding taste, presentation, and dietary requirements where necessary  
  • Chopping and peeling of fruits and vegetables  
  • Early morning baking of bread, baked goods, and desserts  
  • Preparing soups, stocks, and sauces 
  • Preparation of fruits, vegetables, meats 
  • Preparation of boards, pizzas, and other speciality menu items 

Community Kitchen Management  

  • Maintain and notify manager of supplies and equipment for operations as necessary  
  • Ensure that all food and supplies are ordered and received in a timely manner so that adequate inventory levels are maintained to support volume or anticipated volume  
  • Ensure that kitchen activities operate in a safe, efficient, and timely manner  
  • Report any infraction in the food services divisions policies and procedures     
  • Maintain exceptional cleanliness and organization of the kitchen  
  • Maintain a high standard of cleanliness and organization of the kitchen 

Food Handling & Safety    

  • Ensure quality and safety of food preparation by performing standard and any additional sanitary measures including sweeping floors, cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, proper covering, and storage of food items according to standards and procedures  
  • Serve food in the proper portion size and at the proper temperature  
  • Report any infraction as per the food services divisions policies and procedures 
  • Log all temperatures and cleaning as per food services divisions policies and procedures   

 Catering Management 

  • Liaise with New Dawn staff and team that coordinate Eltuek Events and catering bookings  
  • Liaise with clients or potential leads for catering and event menu development and service  
  • Ensure high quality of service and professionalism for all catered events and clientele  
  • Daily review of catering calendar and venue management software  
  • Communications with catering team and New Dawn staff to ensure staffing/scheduling  
  • Responsible for preparing all mise en place items for service line  
  • Coordinate the preparation of food service and service for special events  
  • Thorough knowledge of POS technology/debit machines 
  • Set up and tear down of catering services and special events where food is created/served  

Other Duties & Responsibilities

  • Participate in internal team meetings and committees as required    
  • Look for potential improvements and help implement solutions     
  • Maintain quality, safety and the confidentiality of employees, clients, and volunteers     
  • Maintain professionalism, tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity to portray New Dawn in a positive manner, consistent with its values and vision    
  • Update job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities, engaging in professional networks, and participating in professional organizations    
  • Respond to the needs of others with effective communication, mutual respect, and consistent follow through to build trust and workplace relationships    
  • Promote the mission and values of New Dawn both internally and externally    
  • Other duties as assigned by the Manager of Cafe Marie and Catering  

Core Competencies

  • Servant leadership
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Client and community-focused
  • Initiative and problem solving
  • Accountability and dependability
  • Strong oral and written communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Detail orientation
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership


  • Minimum two (2) years experience in a kitchen/culinary setting
  • Minimum two (2) years experience catering and events management  
  • High level of integrity, confidentiality, and accountability 
  • Highly organized and ability to work well under pressure 
  • Ability to work independently, as part of a team, and with guidance  
  • Ability to work effectively with others towards a shared goal  
  • Exceptional attention to detail  
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills  
  • Proficiency with Microsoft suite of programs and applications  
  • Experience with venue management software an asset 
  • Valid and up to date First Aid & CPR Certificate  
  • Valid and up to date Food Handlers Certificate 
  • Valid and up to date Serve Right Certificate  
  • Compassion and empathy   
  • Experience working with and advocating for vulnerable populations  
  • Understands servant leadership and community-focus as central to the work

Work Conditions

  • The physical ability to lift to 50lbs 
  • Travel may be required
  • Overtime may be required; working evenings/weekends as needed
  • Interacts with employees, management, and the public at large
  • Environment can be busy and/or noisy at times 

About New Dawn

New Dawn Enterprises Limited is a private, volunteer-directed non-profit social enterprise dedicated to community building. It seeks to identify community needs and to establish and operate ventures that speak to those needs. 

 Incorporated in 1976, New Dawn is the oldest Community Development Corporation in Canada. Today it employs 150 people across 10 companies: New Dawn Homecare, Pine Tree Park Care Home & Home Living, New Dawn Meals on Wheels, the Eltuek Arts Centre, Cafe Marie, New Dawn Properties, Abbey Ridge, Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration, New Dawn Centre, and New Dawn Community Engagement.     

 All its work is in service of building a more vibrant and self-reliant Unama’ki, Cape Breton Island.