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Esters Wine Shop and Bar
1314 7th Street, Santa Monica, CA
Esters Wine Shop and Bar  hiring Chef in Santa Monica, CA

Esters Wine Shop and Bar  hiring Chef in Santa Monica, CA

Esters Wine Shop and Bar More Info

Full Time • Salary ($85k - $95k)
Expires: Jun 14, 2024

588 people viewed

Required Years of Experience

2 years

Job Details

Esters is an elegant & cozy Santa Monica wine shop and bar featuring wine from smaller producers (whose stories we know and love), artisanal beers, and classic cocktails.  We also have a delicious array of seasonally inspired small plates, meats and cheeses, grab-n-go options from our kitchen and the RC Family, and a handful of specialty products from friends and suppliers whose work inspires us.

Our commitment at Esters is that every guest feels at ease, both with the products we offer and the experience we provide.  We have a thoughtfully curated, 200 bottle plus wine list with a focus on small producers.  We feature both classic and funky wines that reflect a sense of place, and tell a story.  Any bottle in the store is available for retail or in-store consumption (with a small corkage).  Additionally, we offer wines by the glass, international, handcrafted micro-brews & specialty high-end liquors.  Our menu features small plates made from the highest quality ingredients, as well as a cheeses and meats from local and international artisans.

We welcome every guest as if they are coming into our home.  Service at Esters is warm, educated & unpretentious.  Our staff executes the steps of service with grace and ease.  We sustain a culture of constant learning and humility, and all staff can speak to the products we serve.  Behind the scenes we work together as a team, maintaining excellent communication and spatial awareness.  Each employee is treated and valued with the highest level of integrity, and in turn is expected to pass along this spirit to our guests.  We pride ourselves on a staff that is informed but informal; equally enthusiastic about the wine they serve as by the people they are serving.

The setting of Esters offers a relaxed dining experience with prompt table service, as well as helpful, timely retail service in the shop.  Our knowledgeable staff serves wine, beer, spirits, food and retail items with a smile leaves the newcomer and regular alike blissfully fulfilled and coming back for more.

Esters Wine Shop & Bar is seeking a talented Chef to join our team at our vibrant wine bar. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in creating delicious and visually stunning dishes that pair perfectly with our extensive wine selection. Creativity, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of flavor profiles are essential for success in this role. As our Chef, you will have the opportunity to curate an exciting seasonal menu that complements our wine offerings and enhances the overall dining experience for our guests. If you thrive in a fast-paced environment and are eager to contribute your expertise to a dynamic culinary team, we want to hear from you

RC Family Guiding Principles

  • Serve delicious, thoughtful food using the best local ingredients.
  • Create an environment for guests where they feel like they are being taken into our home and cared for.
  • Take care of ourselves and each other so we can feel proud about the work that we do.

Benefits Include:

  • Participation in quarterly bonus program
  • Fully Covered Healthcare
  • 401k Savings Program
  • Monthly Cellphone Reimbursment Stipend
  • Annual Wellness Stipend
  • Paid Time off
  • Paid Sick Time
  • Dining Discounts
  • Growth Opportunities

Job Description:

The Chef de Cuisine is responsible for overseeing kitchen staff and ensuring the quality of food items. Their duties include hiring and training staff to cook their dishes, expediting orders to maintain a steady flow of dishes and creating dishes to add to the menu.

Duties and responsibilities

As Chef de Cuisine, your job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Making delicious farmer’s market driven cuisine that is consistent with the Rustic Canyon Family concept of focusing on organic, sustainable and regenerative foods whenever possible.
  • Create delicious farmer’s market driven specials that reflect the seasons. Specials should change frequently and be focused around simple, rustic and seasonally appropriate produce.
  • Having an attention to detail in all aspects of the position. With the volume of sales, number of staff and numerous hours we operate, attention to detail and organization is essential for this position and your success.
  • Take on the financial responsibility of the budget while overseeing food COGS, ensuring it remains at or below the budgeted percentage. Employ effective cost-control measures and strategic planning to optimize food costs while maintaining quality. Additionally, manage the kitchen hourly labor diligently, aiming to keep it at or below budgeted percent by implementing efficient staffing practices and optimizing productivity.
  • Working with fellow managers to make Esters the best it can be in terms of food, environment, morale, cleanliness, efficiency and teamwork.
  • Overseeing cooks, prep, and dishwashers and leading them towards the common goal of serving market driven and inspired cuisine in a fast and thoughtful manner. We are an all hands-on deck kind of establishment and we work together to problem solve, manage and grow.
  • Inspiring co-workers to lead by example, have attention to detail, see and manage potential issues in a preventative way, communicate respectfully with each other and work as one unit to meet a common goal of creating an outstanding customer experience through food, atmosphere, hospitality and service.
  • Work with the FOH management team to inspire service staff to be the best they can be in any position.
  • Work with the FOH management team to help execute service from a kitchen standpoint and solve any service issues that could impact the kitchen. Communicate with FOH on any kitchen updates such as staffing challenges, produce shorts or menu items 86d that may affect service prior to going into service.
  • Have a positive attitude at all times. Remain constructively proactive under stressful circumstances and motivate staff when service gets challenging. Approach all problems related to R&M, staff, cuisine, vendors, deliveries, policies and procedures in a thoughtful and positive manner. This industry is challenging. You must be able to see all challenges as opportunities to learn, solve and lead by example.
  • Must be able to solve any and all R&M issues that come up. This means knowing who to reach out to for repairs, how to look up and order necessary parts, assess issues and rectify in-house if possible and communicate solutions to the entire team, especially if there is follow up or parts on order that leave the issues unresolved for the time being. A quick and efficient response to equipment repair is imperative to proper functioning of the restaurant.
  • Must be able to do scheduling and manage all call-outs/requests off.
  • Seeing the bigger picture and addressing daily operations in an efficient and prioritizing way is imperative to this position. Delegating tasks is crucial to being a successful Chef de Cuisine at Esters but also knowing what needs to be done in what order is essential. The ability to assess the day and what goes into it while using your team to achieve the day’s goals is essential. Being hands on is crucial to building relationships with your co-workers but using the team to help the team is how we will be successful.
  • Empowering current and future leads to use their voices and be examples on the line. Teaching them small tasks that can be used in the future so they can be prepared for advancing in this career.
  • Maintaining recipe books so that they are in good working order and up-to-date with any changes or new recipes that are being used. Ensuring all prep staff knows about any recipe changes and are trained on making new recipes properly.
  • Hiring and on-boarding new staff with the help of the General Manager and Sous Chef. This includes working with the Human Resources Manager to create job ads, vet resumes and conduct stages. On occasion terminating employees with proper actions have been taken to ensure the corrective action policy in our handbook has been followed and with the consent of either Esters General Manager..
  • Create training schedules for all new staff. Ensure they are properly introduced to the kitchen, oriented as to where everything is and given direction for their first week of work, what are the goals and what they should accomplish each day. Check in with new hires every day to ensure they are progressing properly and communicate with co-managers about opportunities for new hires and/or whether they feel like a good fit. Before scheduling a new hire to work a solo shift you must meet with them to ensure they are ready to work that station alone. Communicating start dates, ROP and paperwork emails needed to GM in a timely manner in order to get them set in the system is imperative.
  • Must be able to hold staff accountable for all actions not consistent with those of the Rustic Canyon Family and/or Esters. We use a 3 strike corrective action system that must be upheld consistently for all staff. Must be comfortable having constructive and often challenging conversations with staff in order to maintain the consistency of all staff members whether it be food quality, attention to detail or following company policies. With the help of the FOH management team, who can assist in any elevated conversations that need to happen, you should be able to successfully communicate with employees about opportunities for growth and requirements that help keep in line with company policies.
  • With the support of the General Manager, one-on-one check-ins should be done every 6 months with staff, one of which is a yearly review.
  • Basic admin, including but not limited to invoice coding, budget tracking, end-of-month invoices and internal invoicing is required and you will need to schedule weekly time to ensure this all gets done in a timely manner. The Sous Chef can and should also help with this. Attendance at weekly manager meetings and monthly P&L meetings is mandatory.
  • Expanding event and catering sales through menu development, packaging, and collaborating with the GM to (regularly) book larger events such as weddings, corporate functions, standing corporate accounts, etc.  Maintaining and further developing holiday events and smaller scale catering menus.
  • Ensuring the restaurant is fully compliant with health department standards, regulations, and procedures. 
  • Maintain the highest of food safety standards and an “A” grade from the Health Dept at all times.
  • Participate in any media/charity events that the group feels is worthwhile


  • Dedicated leader who is committed to serving the team.
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently without compromising quality.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Fundamental understanding of sanitation, cleanliness and personal hygiene.
  • California Food Handler’s card .
  • Regular, predictable and reliable attendance.
  • Excellent attention to detail .
  • Ability to effectively communicate with coworkers verbally.
  • Ability to operate all equipment necessary to perform the job.

Physical Demands

  • Requires moderate physical effort. Standing, carrying, bending, stretching, stooping, pulling and pushing, lifting weights up to 50 pounds.

Compensation Details

Compensation: Salary ($85,000.00 - $95,000.00)

Benefits & Perks: Health Insurance, Paid Time Off, 401k, Potential Bonuses, Dining Discounts, Wellness Program, Monthly Cellphone Stipend

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Tapas / Small Plates, Spanish, French, American, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Seafood

Wine Store, Bar / Lounge, Upscale Casual, Wine Bar, Restaurant Group

Part of Rustic Canyon Family

Esters is a chic wine bar with some really great food, a massive, planet-friendly wine collection, thoughtful cocktails, and a beautifully curated shop with gourmet provisions and gifts in downtown Santa Monica. We’re like a neighborhood clubhouse with fun programming, and a relaxing place to drink, eat and socialize. A 2023 James Beard Semifinalist for “Outstanding Bar,” we also have a variety of seasonal cocktails and mocktails. Inspired by our favorite bistros and wine bars in Spain and France, our “little kitchen that could” whips up an all-day menu of farmers' market-driven dishes, snacks and cheeses that pair with wine, including a daily happy hour.