Cook's Helper (2 positions available)

Bennington, Vermont, United States | Full-time


Dining on campus is a quintessential part of the overall college experience. The Bennington College Dining Services team takes great pride in providing an experience our students, faculty/staff and guests will find memorable. Through our variety of dining locations, menu offerings, and friendly and welcoming staff, the team strives to make every dining experience extraordinary.

The Cook's Helper is responsible for assisting with the preparation of all menu items for assigned meals and general food production. This position must comply with applicable sanitation, health and safety guidelines and assist with meeting the overall objectives of the dining services department.  The position is full-time (40 hours/week). The work schedule is:

  • Friday through Tuesday 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday through Sunday, 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Key Responsibilities

  • Assist with preparing all meals (hot and cold foods) and miscellaneous food production as assigned. Ensure that all food is properly prepared and served at the correct temperature. Monitor food usage throughout the meal and maintain supply of food for line or service.  
  • As required, assist with ensuring availability of supplies and food or approved substitutions in adequate time for preparation.  Apportion food for serving. Complete food temperature checks before service.
  • Adhere to standardized cycle menu and advise chef of any discrepancies. 
  • Follow all standardized recipes and advise chef of any discrepancies in recipes.
  • Assume the responsibilities of the cook in that person's absence; direct student employees and coordinate with staff in assigned roles to ensure effective/efficient functioning of all dining services
  • Responsible for awareness of scheduled catering functions and for executing functions as assigned.
  • Assist with the timely service of all assigned meals. Assist with food production to coordinate with meal serving hours so that excellence, quality, temperature and appearance of food is preserved.
  • Assist with/participate in the cleaning of the general work area including cooking and serving areas as well as the equipment used in production.
  • As needed, assist with the operation of the Snack Bar or Grab and Go lunch service; prepare light fare/meals, manage light cooking, ensure adequate stock of ready-made meals and handle related cash receipts and meal-card sales. 
  • Provide general guidance and assistance to students/summer and temporary workers regarding work assignments.
  • Assist with retrieval/stocking of food products from/to kitchen storage areas.
  • Operate assigned vehicles as required to assist with transport of goods/personnel to designated areas and/or to facilitate execution of job functions.  Report any mechanical defects in vehicle to supervisor. 
  • Deliver, set up and pick-up of special parties as required.  Assist in the proper set up and service of small functions.
  • Responsible for proper handling and storage of all foods prepared/served.
  • Promote a positive and congenial atmosphere and working relationship with students, employees, supervisors and other individuals that this position may come in contact with.  Work effectively with other personnel to complete/coordinate designated duties.
  • Maintain proper care of equipment.  Report necessary equipment repair and maintenance to supervisor in a timely manner. 
  • Adhere to proper dress code requirements, as determined by season and function.
  • Comply with established sanitation standards and health standards for kitchen and kitchen storage areas.  Observe proper food preparation, handling and storage techniques.
  • Follow established safety rules and regulations including using appropriate guards and safety devices on all equipment.  Maintain a safe and clean work environment.  Keep informed of all material safety data sheets. Attend and successfully complete/pass College-sponsored safety classes and seminars.
  • Use proper judgment in work assignments on a daily basis and recommend improvements in work efficiency.  Effectively manage own time.
  • Additional duties as assigned.  


Bennington serves a diverse student population - inclusive of ethnic/racial minorities, international and global constituents, sexual minorities, and various social classes, among other identities. Our staff and faculty also reflect diverse backgrounds and identities. All employees are expected to be respectful and responsive to these differences in the service of building community that promotes student and employee success. Each individual (faculty, staff and students) will be accountable for upholding these values.  The College’s approach to pluralism and inclusivity—both as fields of inquiry and practice—is to prioritize flexible thought, and to invite the examination of access, value, and power through its institutional policies and areas of study. We encourage applicants from diverse realms of interest, backgrounds, experience, and accomplishment to apply. 

  • High School graduate and/or GED equivalent required; must be 18 years of age; one year of relevant culinary experience required, preferably in a large scale institutional setting; knowledge of current principles, practices, equipment, materials and methods used in large-scale food production.
  • Successful completion of annual Hazardous Communication Training Program, and Food Sanitation (ServSafe) course as required.  Ability to understand proper use of chemicals used in the performance of position duties and maintain familiarity with the chemical’s material safety data sheets.  Required attendance and successful completion/passing of College-sponsored classes and seminars determined by employer. 
  • Valid/current driver’s license preferred, good personal cleanliness and hygiene. 
  • Exceptional customer service skills; demonstrated experience interacting and developing relationships with internal customers.  Demonstrated ability to multi-task, respond to requests with a sense of urgency, and complete work orders in a timely manner. 
  • Language Skills: Ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions, procedures, correspondence, and memos.  Ability to write correspondence.  Ability to give full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate.
  • Math Skills: Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide in all units of measure and inventory, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals to solve problems. 
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems; considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions and discussing ideas with supervisor.  Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Good organizational skills.
  • The position requires successful completion and acceptable results of a background check.

The College

Bennington College is a small residential liberal arts college in southern Vermont, long distinguished for its progressive approach to higher education. The College was founded in 1932 on the principle of active engagement in learning, which is manifest in individualized plans of study developed by students together with faculty. We serve a diverse student population, and our faculty and staff also reflect diverse backgrounds and identities.  Our aim is to educate students towards self-fulfillment and constructive social purposes, and we believe that equity, diversity, and inclusivity--in community and in curriculum--are vital to achieving those aims.

Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the campus consists of approximately 370 acres. The College was named one of ten with the best architecture by Architectural Digest.  From campus, it is a short drive to the cultural offerings of the northern Berkshires in Massachusetts, Albany, New York, and many of Vermont’s top recreational centers. New York City, Boston, and Burlington, Vermont are all within three and a half hours by car.

Physical, Mental and Visual Effort

This position works primarily within a fast-paced, general dining services area including kitchen, dining halls, snack bar area, and dish room.  Some of these work locations may include exposure to slippery surfaces, hot surfaces and materials, temperature extremes, sharp tools, broken china and glass, and spilled liquids, hot water and steam, cleaning solutions, and chemicals.  Noise level is moderate. This position may also work within and outside of regular office buildings and academic/campus facilities for special functions.

This position requires routine medium physical exertion; typically involves lifting, reaching with hands and arms, standing, bending, stooping, walking, pushing, pulling and climbing stairs to coordinate work.  Heavy physical exertion required when moving equipment/supplies. Fine motor skills requiring use of hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. Tasting and smelling. Specific vision abilities include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

Exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.