Cook/chef for two-week residency groups (stipend + lodging) / Employment

June 1, 2022

Organization Name: Mineral School

Organization Location: Mineral, WA

Type: Employment

Fee: Free


Mineral School (, a nonprofit arts organization that offers writing and visual artists’ residencies, is seeking culinary support to feed artists this summer. If you are an independent and self-directed individual interested in helping evolve a food program for a retreat setting, if you are social and flexible, if you like troubleshooting how to make meals for diners with special diets, and if you like the idea of cooking from the kitchen of an old school 20 minutes from Mt. Rainier, please apply.

Stipend: We can pay a $500 stipend ($300 for the one-week session referenced), provide you a room (with queen bed and ensuite half-bath) and linens, all food supplies, and we will shop for your menu as well as receive produce deliveries from our partner CSA farm. You will likely spend 15 to18 hours per week in the kitchen.

Application: Rolling to June 1
Please e-mail an expression of interest to, and include your resume, preferred dates, a description of your culinary experience and how you could expand on it by cooking at an artists’ residency setting, and whether you will bring a vehicle to Mineral. Preference will be given to applicants who bring their own vehicle (gas reimbursement up to $50 available). If you have questions, feel free to e-mail and we can set up a call or Zoom.

We are hosting our seventh year of residencies this summer. We will provide room and board to four artists at a time (and a cleaner artist who lives onsite) over three two-week periods (Sunday to Sunday), with a pair of special guests within that period. Each residency will launch with a “kickoff dinner” for up to 12. Otherwise, there will be 7 diners at meals (4 residents, you, the cleaner, and a rotating “dorm host.”) We choose residents based on artistic merit and ask about dietary concerns after the fact, so our culinary pros will need to respond to those TBD diets (which may include gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, or issues with single ingredients).

Dates of 2022 residency for which we are seeking cooking help:
July 30-August 14
August 27-September 11
September 30-October 9
October 22-November 7

Who should apply?
If you’re an advanced home cook, have food service experience but want to play in the kitchen, or are in a masters program for culinary or nutrition (we can add some planning work to this such that the work satisfies 100-120 hours toward degree requirements), AND you also enjoy the company of artists and perhaps are one yourself, this opportunity will be appealing.

Ideal applicants display many of the following traits:
Desire to balance culinary aesthetics with sourcing challenges
Interest in creating family-style meals that can be customized at table for food allergies/lifestyles
Interest in menu development/editing
Interest in food and meals as a context for connection and community building
Willingness to post-mortem your experience as a chef-in-residence (for your/our benefit)

What we can offer
Mineral School offers real-world experience in the entire food service process but in a small-batch, family-like environment. This includes menu planning and possibly costing as well as food prep and critique. We offer a unique, low-pressure environment where you can showcase your culinary approach while tending to constraints connected to food costing, sourcing, and diners’ allergic requirements.

Location: Mineral, WA (nearest town Morton or Ashford; 2 hours from Seattle or Portland, 1 hour from Tacoma); we are 18 miles from the Nisqually entrance to Rainier
Setting: Rural, pastoral, food desert despite good local farming and “clean” food options
Your room: You’ll have a private queen bedroom with half-bath, linens, wifi. Showers onsite.
Guests: Guests (friend, partner) permissible pre-residency and one or two nights during. No pets unless they are service animals.
Hours and timeframe: Roughly 20 hours/week in the kitchen, depending on how you prep-cook and how much you linger over meals with others.
Meal count: About 268 plates total. Breakfasts (84), lunches (92), dinners (92)
Food vibe: Seasonal, farm-to-table, family style, healthy, as local as is affordable with nutritional and food allergy requirements met. Sample menus/recipes from prior sessions are available
Kitchen equipment: Commercial 3-compartment sink, separate hand sink, 6-burner double oven commercial gas stove with flat-top grill, 2 regular residential fridges, crock pot, rice cooker, mini-chopper, cuisinart, outdoor Weber grill, dishwasher, baking and sauce pans etc.
Help available to cook: The cleaner will clean the kitchen multiple times per week; the “dorm host” will cook 3 meals per week to spell you
Local introductions: Want to wild-craft? Find a swimming hole? Scope out a farm? Borrow our kayaks? Give a nutrition talk to the local hospital foundation? We can help you find free-time activities that jibe with your interests.
Community: You will be a vital part of the residency experience and community, and we will all learn together how to offer nutritious and affordable meals and share the table.
Prior knowledge: We have six years of residency under our belts from 2015-2021 (minus 2020 due to COVID) and from that we have developed a repertoire of recipes suitable for most diets. We work with CSA farm Frey Family Farm which provides us with eggs and produce.

Opportunity Website