Union League Club of Chicago Executive Chef
Executive Chef
Union League Club of Chicago
Chicago, IL

                                         EXECUTIVE CHEF PROFILE: UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO
                                                                                                 CHICAGO, IL

                                                                                      (Click the link at the bottom of this page to apply.)

THE EXECUTIVE CHEF OPPORTUNITY AT THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO

Located in The Loop, just three blocks west of Michigan Avenue and Grant Park, the Union League Club of Chicago (ULCC) offers members a variety of dining experiences, six floors of fitness and spa facilities, and 180 overnight rooms in a grand and historic, 23-story building. The club has been a Platinum Club of America for over 20 years and is also recognized as a Distinguished Emerald Club of the World. ULCC operates on three pillars: community, country and culture.

The executive chef position at the Union League Club of Chicago is an amazing opportunity to be a part of a high-performing leadership team; in an active, food-focused club, offering a variety of a la carte dining venues and over 500 member events each year. If you have exemplary culinary and leadership skills and Respect, Service Excellence, Integrity, Innovation and Teamwork (the club’s core values) are important to you, read on!

Click here to view a brief video about this opportunity.

THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO

The Union League Club of Chicago exists to enrich the lives of our members through the club’s commitment to community and country. Upon entering the Union League Club of Chicago, one can sense an aura of history, legacy, accomplishment, and dedication. For more than 140 years, the club has been the place in Chicago where people have gathered to lay the groundwork for various civic projects and to organize social and philanthropic undertakings.

ULCC was established in 1879 to uphold the sacred obligations of citizenship, promote honesty and efficiency in government, support cultural institutions and the beautification of the city, and be a contributing partner in the growth and development of Chicago.

Today the Union League Club of Chicago prides itself on offering the very best of everything – gourmet dining, luxurious overnight accommodations, extensive athletic facilities, spa services, and member events that focus on fun, family, philanthropy, art and culture.

Philanthropy is an important focus of ULCC and its members. The club supports three foundations: The Union League Boys and Girls Clubs (serving more than 14,500 area youth), the Luminarts Cultural Foundation (promoting arts education and appreciation), and the Chicago Engineer’s Foundation (supporting students entering the field of engineering).

WORKING AT THE UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO

The Union League Club of Chicago believes in the freedom to choose a lifestyle and in paving a path for a better city and a better nation. This freedom exists through the support of the three foundations listed above, maintaining a public affairs department that pushes for change in local, state and federal government, and collecting and showcasing some of the finest Midwest and American art in the country (with nearly 800 pieces of art which led the Chicago Tribune to refer to the club as “The Other Art Institute of Chicago”).

ULCC is a timeless “home away from home” that opens the door to opportunities for members and their families. It provides the venue and creates the experiences that make up a member’s lifestyle. From health and fitness, to social and professional networking, to community involvement, to fine dining, to family programming and special interests—ULCC is a diverse collection of people sharing similar values while accomplishing great things.

The employee mission of the Union League Club of Chicago is “to enhance our members’ experience by providing extraordinary service and commitment to quality.”

ULCC’s employee vision is “to be the country’s premier city club for providing service to its members.”

The ULCC team’s credo is: “Your club, your home, our commitment to excellence.”

ULCC’s team’s core values are:
  • Respect
  • Service Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO BY THE NUMBERS:
  • 4,000 members
  • $11.3M annual F&B volume
  • $29 M annually in total revenue
  • 38% a la carte/62% banquet
  • 263,000 covers per year, plus member events
  • 300 employees
  • 45 kitchen employees
  • 4 kitchens
  • 58 is the average member age
  • 200+ clubs with worldwide reciprocity
FOOD & BEVERAGE OPERATIONS

ULCC’s 300,000-square-foot clubhouse offers members 30,000-square-feet of dining and gathering space. A la carte dining venues include the Lincoln Ballroom (a/k/a Main Dining Room) with its 28-foot ceilings and original artwork. The Lincoln Ballroom seats 407 and offers a formal dining setting for lunch on Monday through Friday (11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.). The room is also used as a private dining venue and hosts many weddings throughout the year.

The Carvery/Rendezvous is one a la carte dining space that seats 140 reflecting two branded restaurants. The Carvery features delicious panini and flatbreads out of its hearth oven and is open for lunch, Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Rendezvous is open Monday through Friday from 3:30 – 9:00 p.m. and features 12 beers on tap, a wine preservation system, and rare Scotch whiskies and bourbons. On the weekend, Rendezvous is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The bar is open until 11:00 p.m. during the week and 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The Wigwam is a world-class restaurant that offers steak, seafood, and an extensive wine cellar. The Wigwam seats 100 people and is open for breakfast on Monday through Friday (6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.) and dinner on Monday through Saturday (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).

ONE is a new (June 2018) a la carte cafe located on the first floor that seats 40 people. It offers a grab and go area with limited service and provides a great space for members and guests to conduct business, work on their laptops, and sip ULC coffee. ONE turns into a lounge for happy hour.

A la carte service is also available through room service.  A light menu for poolside dining, during breakfast and lunch, is available Monday through Friday.

With over 500 member events annually, ULCC offers something for everyone – from the Family Halloween Party and Children’s Holiday Party, to the Bourbon and Boxing Night and Homecoming – a party that takes place throughout six floors of the club. ULCC’s largest member event takes place in September and has 1,000 participants.

Members can also host private parties in ULCC’s 22 private dining rooms throughout eight floors of the building. The club can deliver events from 2 to 500 people and on average hosts 35 weddings per year.

ULCC has four kitchens. The third-floor kitchen services The Wigwam and produces some items for The Rendezvous. The fourth-floor kitchen services Rendezvous/Carvery. The pastry kitchen is located on the fifth floor. The sixth-floor banquet kitchen services the Lincoln Ballroom for lunch and all banquet functions.

UNION LEAGUE CLUB OF CHICAGO WEBSITE: www.ulcc.org

EXECUTIVE CHEF JOB DESCRIPTION

The Executive Chef (EC) at Union League Club of Chicago is responsible for all food production including a la carte, banquets and other outlets. He or she develops menus, food purchase specifications and recipes; trains, mentors and supervises production staff; monitors and manages food and labor costs for the department; and maintains the highest professional food quality and sanitation standards.

The EC leads, manages, motivates and directs kitchen staff to achieve the objectives set by the General Manager, F&B Director and the EC. The EC creates the standards for kitchen policies and procedures, communicates these policies, and ensures that the policies are adhered to by all BOH staff.

The EC is responsible for ensuring that all food is consistently outstanding. The EC knows that quality and consistency are essential to successful culinary operations and understands that producing the best half-pound steak burger is just as important to the member experience as producing a five-course wine dinner. The EC is responsible to ensure that the culinary team takes pride in the meals that they produce and approaches each item on the plate with equal motivation and focus.

The EC creates and updates menus often, incorporates daily specials, and develops and documents recipes and controls to ensure consistency. Creativity, not just variety, is essential in planning menus and events for the members of The Union League Club of Chicago.

The EC leads the BOH initiative relative to accident prevention, training and retention of staff, and sanitation and safety standards. The EC pays sharp attention to detail, enforces the highest standards of sanitation and safety, and ensures that all BOH staff approach the standards with the same level of focus.

The EC stays current on all culinary trends and is well-versed in accommodating a wide variety of food allergies and intolerances. The EC incorporates gluten-free items on the menu and trains all staff in the proper handling of gluten-free dishes and requests.

The EC is the face of culinary operations and needs to be comfortable conversing and interacting in both the kitchen and dining rooms as he or she interfaces with multiple and diverse constituencies (members, staff, vendors, etc.) throughout the day. The EC is visible and approachable.

The EC is responsive to club member and team member requests and strives to find creative ways to accommodate reasonable requests. He or she believes in the service philosophy: “the answer is ‘yes,’ what is the question?” The EC welcomes feedback, constructive criticism and suggestions from members and staff. He or she also understands that the club is continuously evolving and has to be able to deliver on the changing desires of the membership.

The EC is a team builder who mentors kitchen staff and develops a pipeline of talented and creative individuals and interns by building upon its reputation as an excellent learning and training ground for up and coming culinarians. The EC shows a genuine interest in the future and personal growth of the staff.

The EC leads a trained and respectful staff. He or she teaches and mentors the staff but is also teachable. The EC realizes that he or she can learn from every team member (kitchen and FOH staff). The club also fully supports ongoing education and participation in ACF competitions for its EC and culinary team.

The EC has a proven track record of controlling food and labor costs. He or she is adept at creating and managing a budget and provides food purchase specifications to control food quality and costs.

The EC is responsible for leading the product knowledge training for FOH personnel through daily pre-meal meetings and special food knowledge training programs.

The EC works as a strategic and operational partner with the managers, staff of the Union League Club of Chicago to develop information sharing, good communication, superior internal and external customer relationships and high-performance teamwork in order to achieve club objectives.

The EC is someone who looks at mistakes as opportunities for improvement and instills this mindset and outcome into his/her team, while at the same time epitomizing the perspective of being readily open and embracing of input—The EC is approachable by both members and staff.

The EC is responsible for providing quality employee “family” meals for up to 300 team members

Ultimately, the Executive Chef of Union League Club of Chicago is an important and positive face of culinary operations. He or she is an integral part of the overall success of the operation and is a strong influencer on each constituency he or she interfaces with while performing his or her duties. The responsibility to lead this facet of the organization from a passionate, creative, supportive, progressive and team-focused perspective is of critical importance for long-term success.

INITIAL PRIORITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE CHEF
  • Provide new and exciting culinary experiences for Union League Club of Chicago members and guests in a la carte and member and private dining events.
  • Focus on delivering consistency and the highest quality in a la carte and banquet operations.
  • Learn members’ names and culinary and dining preferences. Understand the members in order to meet their requirements and understand what matters most to them.
  • Define culinary direction, update the menus, deliver new and creative dining options.
  • Earn member trust by instilling confidence through enhanced operations and visibility.
  • Gain the staff’s trust, as well as evaluate and continue to develop, train and mentor the culinary team while promoting fairness and consistency within.
  • Evaluate and set appropriate and necessary standards of operation, execution and delivery within the culinary operation; taking ownership for the entire experience from production to final delivery of end product, while working closely and positively with the FOH management team.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Union League Club of Chicago operates under the General Manager organizational structure. The Executive Chef reports directly to the F&B Director and indirectly to the General Manager. The kitchen staff totals 45 team members including the executive sous chef, two sous chefs, and a pastry chef.

CANDIDATE QUALIFICATIONS

The successful candidate:
  • Is an effective and passionate leader and culinary professional with a proven track record of providing high-level services with a personality that is commensurately appropriate to The Union League Club of Chicago. Previous private club and/or luxury hotel experience is desirable.
  • Has successfully led dynamic culinary operations. Additionally, those with a proclivity for healthy, seasonally driven menus are likely to be favored.
  • Has exceptionally strong culinary credentials, and most importantly, the ability to consistently define and achieve goals and objectives. This includes proven and verifiable leadership qualities with a demonstrated ability to direct, coordinate and control all facets of an active, high volume food and beverage operation.
  • Has strong management skills with verifiable strengths in inspirational leadership, financial performance, and people skills.
  • Is a confident, proactive team builder who has a history of attracting, developing and retaining high performing staff.
  • Has an interest and experience in building internship, externship and/or apprenticeship programs.
  • Is knowledgeable about wine and has extensive experience pairing wines, beer and spirits with menu items.
  • Has strong communications skills.
  • Has experience working with labor unions.
  • Has solid computer skills including but not limited to Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel. This position also requires technical skills to effectively manage multiple restaurants in multiple locations. Experience with Northstar POS software and ChefTec is a plus.
EDUCATIONAL AND CERTIFICATION QUALIFICATIONS
The successful candidate:
  • Has a Culinary Arts degree from an accredited school and is an apprentice program graduate.
  • Has a minimum of five years’ experience as an executive chef at a comparable-sized club or luxury hotel.
  • Must be certified in food safety through the City of Chicago Food Sanitation certificate.
  • Certification and participation in the American Culinary Federation is desirable.
SALARY & BENEFITS
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club offers a competitive benefits package including ACF membership and professional development.

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO APPLY

Please upload your resume and cover letter (in that order) using the link below. You should have your documents fully prepared to be attached when prompted for them during the online application process.

IMPORTANT:  Save your resume and letter in the following manner:
  • “Last Name, First Name Resume”
  • “Last Name, First Name Union League Club of Chicago Cover Letter” 
(These documents should be in Word or PDF format)

Note: Once you complete the application process for this search, you are not able to go back in and add additional documents.

If you have any questions, please email Nan Fisher: nan@kkandw.com

Lead Search Executive:
Lisa Carroll
lisa@kkandw.com
561-596-1123

Would you like to apply to this job?

Apply for the Union League Club of Chicago Executive Chef position