Photo by Flickr user Darwin Bell. Published under Creative Commons license.
We've noticed a bunch of interesting job postings cropping up lately in the world of local food and restaurants.
(Does this bode well for the local food economy? Impossible to say. But you know what they say in journalism: Three makes a trend.)
The Phoenicia Diner, recently bought by longtime second-homer Mike Cioffi, is looking for a chef to plot a radical makeover for the place:
We are launching a new casual restaurant concept in the Catskills region of NYS. We seek an experienced Chef who is looking for a unique opportunity to participate in all aspects of bringing this concept to market. Yes, you will be planning the menu but you will also be consulted on the look, branding and esthetic of this new venture. The candidate must have a passion for traditional “comfort” foods and the creativity to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary using the local bounty of the Catskills as your palette. If you have ever wanted the chance to put your mark on a restaurant this is it! The possibility of becoming a chef/partner is open to discussion if the right candidate proves him/herself in the first year.
He plans to do a minimal refurbishing of the interior, keeping the retro feel, based on his study of DeRaffele diners of the 1960s, and hopes to be open for business this spring. The cuisine will be comfort food, using local and seasonal products as much as possible. The challenge will be “striking a balance between local customers and weekenders,” he remarked. The diner was formerly a hangout for locals, and pricing meals to fit their pocketbooks, while serving food that appeals to trendy tourists as well, may be tricky.
(Here's hoping Cioffi can pull it off. We can relate -- our toughest mission at the Watershed Post is to perform that same tricky balancing act with news.)
In Oak Hill, a little hamlet of the Greene County town of Durham, a farm that grows produce for a trendy Brooklyn restaurant called Egg is looking for a full-time vegetable farmer from April through October.
- you'll maintain just over an acre of intensive vegetable gardens
- you'll get to work closely with our chefs to get the best produce to the restaurants and onto plates
- you'll coordinate work trips of staff from the restaurant who come up to help out with planting, harvesting, weeding, or whatever else you need
- you'll work closely with neighboring organic farms to share ideas, coordinate deliveries to the city, and help build up the agricultural community in our corner of Greene County.
In Saugerties, the Catskill Animal Sanctuary is looking for a talented vegan chef to spread the gospel of plant-eating, starting May 1:
Our mission is simple: to create more vegans! We’re looking not just for a master chef, but for a master teacher -- someone who is both dedicated to the vegan lifestyle and passionate about teaching. To that end, we seek an individual who can cook and create meals from the simple to the sublime, and who can present them with flair and enthusiasm to audiences ranging from individual families (the “veg curious”), food festival attendees, to 800 or more at our annual events.
Like the Catskills economy itself, two of these jobs are seasonal -- though the Catskill Animal Sanctuary listing holds out the prospect of continued employment.