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Lead Cook

The Lead Cook reports to the Kitchen Coordinator and is responsible for the daily preparation of meals at the Centre’s kitchen.   This will be a season long position potentially from March until November.  The kitchen serves healthy vegetarian meals to our resident staff and retreat guests.  Meals are prepared from recipes and guidelines provided by the Kitchen Coordinator.  This role entails meal and food preparation, organization, cleaning and some inventory. 

The position requires a commitment of 28 hours per week of work in the kitchen. All residents of the Centre are also asked to contribute up to 4 hours per week of volunteer communal chores and cleanup shifts. During the first 10 weeks of your time here, we also ask for 7 hours per week of participation in community activities and meetings, as well as classes on yoga theory and practice. This helps new staff understand and connect to the aims of the Centre and the community in a deeper way. Support, orientation and training will be available.

Please see below for further details about the job.

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Responsibilities & Qualifications


  • Help plan and prepare between 3 and 7 hot meals per week for the Centre’s residents and guests.
  • Make efficient and inspired use of ingredients on hand and the produce available from our farm to minimize food waste and keep costs low.
  • Create an atmosphere of collaboration, respect and work in a peaceful environment with a team of between 4 and 7 other kitchen workers.
  • Ensure the safety and cleanliness of the kitchen’s operation and work spaces.
  • Liaise with the Centre’s Farm Coordinator and volunteers to optimize use of available produce and to help them plan and strategize ongoing planting and harvesting.
  • Work with the Kitchen Coordinator to ensure that inventory of supplies and food are up to date and orders placed in accordance with requirements.


  • Experience preparing meals for 15 to 60 people on a deadline. Strong familiarity with vegetarian and/or vegan cooking is a must.
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to track inventory. Previous experience in a commercial/ community kitchen is a definite asset.
  • Experience and skill working as part of a team, with an ability to collaborate with other members of the Kitchen team and larger community.
  • Patience and good communication skills are key.
  • Interest in community life, spiritual practice, and self-development.
  • Legally able to work in Canada.

Working Conditions

We’re definitely not your average workplace. Most of the people who’ve lived and worked here count it among the most unique and transformative experiences of their lives. If you’re just interested in punching the clock and getting a paycheck, then this place probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re open to exploring community life and spiritual practice, all while working hard to be of service to others, then there’s a good chance you’ll have a great time with us.


  • Private accommodation with shared bathroom.
  • Monthly stipend
  • Instruction in yoga practice and philosophy, including free access to our ongoing public yoga classes.
  • WiFi and laundry facilities.
  • Two hot vegetarian meals per day, a self-serve continental breakfast, and access to a shared staff kitchen.

Yoga and Community

As an added bonus, when you arrive, you’ll take part in the offerings provided in our Residential Karma Yoga Program for the first 10 weeks of your time here. You’ll learn and practice alongside other folks who come to work in our kitchen, maintenance, farm, office, and housekeeping teams. This allows new residents to gain a thorough introduction to the teachings and practices of yoga that inspire SSCY. Participants in the program normally pay $1,155 for the 10-week period, but we include it as part of the coordinator’s compensation. The ten-week program includes:
  • Two 75-minute classes per week on yoga philosophy, practice, and community life.
  • Two 60-minute classes per week on traditional yogic breathing and meditation.
  • One 90-minute community circle per week for group discussions on matters relevant to community life.
  • Access to ongoing yoga classes and other special events at SSCY.
To apply: Please email us a cover letter demonstrating your interest in this position and resume to: hr@saltspringcentre.com

COVID-19 update and program cancellations. Learn more...