The Mexico Trip is searching for our next Cook Team Leader/Head Chef to take over from our outgoing Head Chef of 6 years. This person is responsible for feeding 3 meals a day to 200+ people, with everything sourced, prepared and served from the campsite. This means everything is done without electricity or refrigeration, using only propane stoves and ice/storage coolers. This is a demanding job that requires a lot of time and energy during the trip, and some time ahead of the trip, but yields incredible rewards from the service of others and the joy we create with fresh, home-cooked meals for hungry students and adult leaders. 

The Head Chef leads a team of 12+ volunteer cooks with varying degrees of experience on the trip.  The Head Chef should have some sort of commercial or high-volume food service experience (ideally in back-of-house restaurants or catering) in addition to a love for food and community and service.  An existing and tested ‘game plan’ for the trip exists, including the menu, recipes, activities and food volume calculations.

Duties for the Head Chef include:

Pre-planning all provisions based on the number of trip attendees. Shopping stateside for specialty items that are unavailable in Mexico.

Provisioning in Mexico for most food; sources include Costco and a number of local purveyors; must be able to direct the shoppers and evaluate food quality and make adjustments on the fly.

Directing the Cook Team on the preparation of hot meals. Most ingredients are fresh and prepared on site. The team can do most of the hands-on work, but the Chef needs to oversee prep duties (washing, chopping) and cooking duties (on propane stoves, flat top griddles and bbq) and make sure everything is ready for service time. Example breakfast menu may include pancakes, bacon, fruit, oatmeal.  Example dinner may include bbq chicken, baked beans, homemade mac’n’cheese, spinach salad. 

Overseeing food safety, including temperature control of hot and cold storage, ensuring sanitation of the kitchen and all food, and minimizing cross-contamination.  Food safety certification is suggested and can be completed online prior to trip.

Being creative, making adjustments and having fun responding to the unpredictable events of the trip. Creating new dishes, experimenting with leftovers, exploring the culinary options of Mexico.

Managing the team and keeping everyone productive while also creating time for rest and recuperation, visits to build-sites and connecting with kids.  

The new Head Chef will attend this year’s trip as a shadow, to learn the existing procedures and environment. The new Head Chef should be able to commit to attending the trip for the next few years, so someone with incoming high schoolers would be ideal.

Contact Scott Kail at