Chef Volunteer Opportunity: Buddhist Retreat Center Cook, Sonoma County, CA

Here is this week’s pick for our “Good Food in Action” volunteer opportunity:

Organization/Program: Nyingma Center

Volunteer Opportunity: Cook

Location: Sonoma County, CA

Start Date: Recruiting Now!

End Date: Open

Time Commitment:  Length of commitment is one year.  Shorter commitments of 6 months or more may be considered in cases of school, other obligations or visa restrictions.

Organization Overview:

Nyingma Centers was founded in 1976 by Head Lama Tarthang Tulku following the creation of several other non-profit organizations under the umbrella of the Tibetan Nyingma Meditation Centers (TNMC). The TNMC mission is twofold; to preserve Tibetan Buddhist culture in Asia and to transmit the teachings of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to the West.

Work and live in the redwood coastal hills of Sonoma County, CA at beautiful Ratna Ling , a retreat center in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in  northern CA. Be in a Magliette Calcio A Poco Prezzo spiritual community of like-minded people dedicated to service to humanity through a wide variety of projects both local and global.  This year-round residential work-study opportunity combines meaningful work with opportunities for self-growth. Need not be Buddhist to apply. Seeking those with a sincere interest and a strong work ethic.

Position Overview:

This is more than just an opportunity to gain work experience operating a large new kitchen. It is also a chance to develop yourself inwardly and strengthen your skills of personal inquiry.

If you are a cook who is burned out on the regular restaurant job scene, or if you would like to cook in a truly unique environment where personal inner inquiry, cooperation and spiritual values are supported, this may be a great match for you.

Responsibilities include, oversee daily operations of the kitchen and the other kitchen staff:

  • Preparation of healthy, nutritious, vegetarian meals at lunch six days a week for 30-65 people, depending on the season
  • Light buffet Breakfast for up to 40 during retreat season only
  • Light evening buffet meal for 30-65 people depending on the season
  • Occasionally overseeing preparing meals for approximately 100 people for special events
  • Maintaining compliance with CA Health Department standards
  • May be requested to perform tasks outside of job description when needed

Provide leadership and direction to other kitchen staff. Includes supervising kitchen volunteer staff in:

  • Food preparation
  • Cleaning
  • Overseeing and rotating inventory


  • Prior experience of cooking in a professional capacity (3 years minimum)
  • Knowledge of vegetarian cooking and balanced nutrition
  • Good organizational skills
  • Able to work independently
  • Able to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Receptive to positive and constructive feedback
  • Basic computer skills
  • Ability to work well with people
  • Emotionally balanced
  • Interest in experiencing life within a spiritual community

Other perks:

  • Included: vegetarian, mostly organic meals. We are known for our great food!
  • Housing: Shared by twos in various Cheap NFL Jerseys accommodations around the property.  Bathroom and showers are shared with separated stalls.
  • Living allowance stipend ($150 per month for 6 month commitment or more)
  • Job training in marketable skills, or contribute your own
  • Evening classes on the philosophy and practice of Buddhism
  • Skillful Means training – self-development to activate your best knowledge & potential
  • Work for the benefit to others

To Apply: Contact the Work-Study program office at 510-981-1987 or email us at

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