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The Executive Chef is instrumental in the creation and development of compelling new menu items as well as the improvement of current menu items in support of a competitively superior dining experience, with minimal supervision. The Executive Chef partners with Culinary Operations to ensure menu items can be executed with excellence in the restaurants.



- Remains current on industry and consumer trends and knowledge; supports others in defining areas for brand-building opportunities to serve competitively superior food and deliver food news.

- Converts brand strategies into compelling core and promotional menu offerings that drive guest satisfaction, guest traffic and brand equity.

- Interacts with the media, employees, vendor-partners, thought leaders and the community in representing the brand.


- Coaches others on sharing and teaching professional culinary techniques and terminology.

- Develops and nurtures relationships with other Restaurant Support Center teams to remain informed of initiatives and disseminate applicable guest feedback.

- Develops team members by seeking out and supporting training, development, and other professional growth opportunities; manages individual and team performance through coaching, feedback and PMP discussions.


- Manages resources, tasks, scope, and budgets for projects; supports and manages budgeting, and invoice payment for vendor-related work.

- Manages the budget and oversees the product order process for food development, tests, recipes, merchandising materials and food shots.

- Develops food within specified cost parameters to enable achievement of business targets (guest count, margin, menu mix and sales) while delivering on flavor requirements.

- Develops and leverages Darden purchasing and supplier networks to achieve cost efficiencies while procuring quality ingredients and introducing new food; maximizes supplier insights and chef resources.

Process Excellence

- Plans, organizes, monitors, and controls all aspects of a project and ensures engagement, commitment, and risk management; provides ongoing communications support on project status to ensure senior management alignment.

- Manages the concept and product ideation processes and develops a pipeline of new concepts.

- Create a range of dishes from a creative brief; manages all or a portion of the alignment process.

- Explores new and exciting culinary techniques and presentations; seeks and leverages inspiration from industry trends, ethnic and international cuisine, and searches for opportunities to infuse creativity into the development process; evolves cooking styles.

- Ensures the consistent application of culinary development standards, processes and established methodologies.

- Oversees testing, refining, evaluation, and implementation of preparation techniques, processes, or tools for existing or new product development.

- Oversees the documentation of recipes and collaborates with Culinary Operations in the translation of the development recipes to simplify steps for executional replication.

- Executes the preparation and plating of food for marketing communications.

- Manages all food related functions for the culinary center and off-premise events.

-Partners with our Operations Excellence team to understand the importance of continuity within our restaurants in regard to operating standards and procedures.


- Culinary Skill and Technique: Demonstrates competence in the fundamentals of cooking and professional terminology.

- Culinary Creation and Development: Leverages culinary knowledge and insights to generate compelling food concepts.

- Culinary Operations: Demonstrates the ability to operationalize culinary concepts.

- Training Design and Deployment: Demonstrates the capability to design and deploy food or beverage training to restaurant operations.

- Project Management: Demonstrates the capability to achieve desired outcomes on time and within budget through the application of project management principles and techniques.

- Restaurant Operations and Systems: Displays knowledge of and empathy for operations priorities, systems, methods and processes.

- Consumer Knowledge: Demonstrates knowledge of current consumer and industry behaviors, trends, attitudes, preferences, and needs.

-Nutritional Knowledge: Understanding of basic nutritional values and allergen guidance used in product development.

- Vendor relations: Understands the importance and the role they play in our day-to-day business.

- Brand Activation: Demonstrates an understanding and capability in executing the brand strategy.


- High school diploma or equivalent required.

-Culinary Arts degree required.


- Passion for food and hospitality.

- Some travel required.


- Bachelor’s degree.

- 8+ years progressively responsible in culinary development preferred.

- 3+ years progressively responsible experience leading a culinary team preferred.

- Experience developing vendor relationships preferred.

- Demonstrated ability to drive innovation into the product development process preferred.

- Demonstrated ability to lead, coach and hold team members accountable for performance preferred.

- Or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.