Jobs: Owamni Executive Chef

Position:  Executive Chef
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Reports To: Director of Operations
Direct Reports: Culinary staff
FLSA Status: Full-time; Exempt
Salary Range: $65k – $85k

Owamni restaurant, founded by James Beard Award Winner, The Sioux Chef, is Minnesota’s first full-service restaurant focused on Indigenous foods.  This isn’t just your next job – it’s all about the mission of Indigenous foods and your opportunity to be part of an amazing team that delivers on Owamni’s commitment to revitalize Native American Cuisine and reclaim an important culinary culture that is often inaccessible.

The Role

The Executive Chef is the leader for all things culinary at Owamni – from the fundamentals of the financials to training staff and being one of the faces of Owamni on social media. Indigenous foods are the central part of the guest experience, and the Executive Chef is the visionary behind that food. The ideal candidate will have strong culinary and business skills and lead daily operations with efficiency, integrity, patience, awareness, compassion while supporting our Indigenous roots and culture. You’ll own team leadership, communication, training, development, and problem resolution all the while providing outstanding service to our guests along the way. You’ll act as an advocate for the restaurant, be a creator of ridiculously amazing experiences, and develop relationships with guests that will compel them to return. You are also a great coach with commercial acumen, who can get the best out of people and continually drive operational performance and execution.

At Owamni, we believe in our employees having meaningful experiences that help them build and develop skills for a career and life.  The Executive Chef role can provide you with the:

  • Knowledge of Indigenous foods & culture.
  • Knowledge of an Indigenized dining experience. 
  • Knowledge of team building and mentorship.
  • Knowledge of an Indigenized workplace culture.

As an Executive Chef – no two days are ever the same, but a typical day will most likely include the following responsibilities:

  • Oversee menu design to reflect mission, innovation, industry trends, internal data while continually evolving the food experience to exceed guest’s expectations. 
  • Direct kitchen staff in food preparation and execution while having the ability to fill in where needed on the line to ensure guest service standards and efficient operations.
  • Oversee the management of kitchen expenses to maximize the profitability of culinary operations while delivering the highest quality product to our guests.
  • Review staffing levels to meet service, operational, and financial objectives.
  • Oversee all aspects of a safe and sanitary culinary department in a manner that meets or exceeds standards and applicable laws while addressing equipment problems and maintenance issues, known safety hazards, or unsafe practices and procedures.
  • Ensure proper receiving, labeling, storage, and rotation techniques of products to comply with the standards.
  • Interview, hire, and foster opportunities for the team to learn, grow, and develop their abilities.
  • Collaborate with staff to create a culture and work environment founded on respect while providing coaching and progressive discipline as needed in accordance with company policies, rules, and regulations.
  • Maintain open and productive lines of interdepartmental communication by leading and participating in ongoing service education through pre-shift meetings, quarterly menu meetings, and new back and front of house-training programs. 
  • Oversee all routine kitchen management procedures including (but not limited to) opening and closing checklists, cleaning schedules, temperature checks, waste sheets and monthly inventory protocols.
  • Assist the GM in completing and maintaining an accurate assessment report for the restaurant on an ongoing basis, including but not limited to labor reports, COG’s, Food Quality, Guest Satisfaction, and Revenue Analysis.
  • Support efforts to drive revenue by participating in social media activities.  
  • Other tasks as assigned.

What You Bring:

  • Minimum 2 years of management experience as an Executive Chef, preferably leading large, fast-paced, multi-outlet kitchens.
  • Advanced culinary skills including food preparation, flavor profiles pairings, cooking methods and the ability to develop unique recipes that fit our brand, disciplines & desired outcomes.
  • Excellent record of kitchen and staff management including motivation, goal setting and business acumen.
  • Food Handler Certification, Alcohol Awareness Certification (if applicable).

Skills For Success: 

  • Work in an anti-racism, anti-sexism environment.
  • Understands and can tell the story of the restaurant – how it was started, what it means and how it relates to Indigenous communities and approaches every interaction from this foundation.
  • Strong passion for culinary excellence, trends, techniques, and knowledge of product, presentation, quality, and preparation, menu concept, design, food costing, and people management.
  • Proven track record recruiting, developing, and retaining the team. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage operating costs in accordance with budgets and reconcile accounting figures and financial records.
  • Interpersonal communication skills that foster positive working relationships with all employees and the ability to communicate clearly with staff at all levels.
  • Handle problems in the workplace effectively, including anticipating, preventing, identifying, and solving conflicts as necessary.
  • Excellent knowledge of sourcing local and Indigenous foods, inventory management and/or procurement software experience, payroll and timekeeping software, business & accounting software.
  • The ability to prioritize and organize your plan, while incorporating team members to help accomplish your priorities.

We are an awesome place to work and care about our employees, so we want to make sure we are clear on a few more basics that we expect:

  • Climb up and down ladders.
  • Scan, handle and move product efficiently and safely, including lifting or moving up to 40 pounds.
  • Flexible work schedule (e.g., nights, weekends, and holidays) and regular attendance necessary.
  • Ability to operate basic kitchen equipment safely and proficiently, including sharp knives.
  • Be able to work in a standing position for long periods of time.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Owanmi will provide reasonable accommodations (such as a qualified sign language interpreter or other personal assistance) with the application process upon request as required to comply with applicable laws.  If you have a disability and require assistance in this application process, please reach out to <> for additional information.  

To apply

Email cover letter and resume to [email protected]