Chef – Winter

Job reference:
BAS 21/24
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Winter - 18 Months
£24,685 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Antarctica - Rothera
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


As an experienced chef the ideal candidate will provide a high-standard, professional catering service for the station across both summer and winter seasons. The incoming winter chef deploys during their first summer season with other summer chefs, continuing through the winter solo before completing their tour during their final summer season as the outgoing winter chef.

Food deliveries occur annually by ship so catering must meet the expectations and dietary requirements of the science, operations and support staff living on station using the finite ingredients available for up to 18 months. The winter chef must be able to produce a wide and interesting variety of dishes to sustain a constantly fluctuating population in summer, and a reduced and fixed population during winter months.

Unlike a standard restaurant or hotel job, life on a remote research station is broader than primary employment. Not only are chefs a vital component of the team, they take part in all aspects of station life, such as first aid, cargo handling and field skills training. The winter chef also participates in field trips away from Rothera. Activities in Antarctica may include riding snowmobiles, flying in small aircraft over ice shelves or sailing through pack ice on an ice-strengthened ship.

For the experienced chef with a positive attitude and a passion for delivering fantastic food, this role offers a different and truly unforgettable opportunity.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through our extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.

COVID-19 update
• We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that BAS Ships and Stations remain COVID free and that staff are deployed safely and responsibly. Our medical screening for this season will therefore take account of the recognised factors that increase your risk of an adverse reaction to the coronavirus (Primarily this is BMI at or above 30, age over 60 years old, or a history of smoking). The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
• You might be required to quarantine two weeks prior to your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked at point of application by BAS staff and those without the right to work in the UK or without a realistic prospect of being able to acquire the right to work in the UK will not progress.

Please read the Applicants guide here before submitting your application.


To provide a high standard of professional catering service, including varied, balanced and nutritious meals that meet the dietary and medical requirements of personnel on station. Working a shift pattern, sometimes including nights, the incumbent will provide up to three main meals a day for up to approximately 150 people (summer season) as well as snacks, bread and other baked goods for work breaks. In winter, the incumbent will be working alone to provide for a smaller contingent of up to 25 people.


  • NVQ 3 or 4 or equivalent experience.
  • Nationally recognised qualification in Food Safety level 3. Must be current.


  • Catering: provide meals and snacks for station staff and visitors, as required.
  • Stock control: manage food, equipment and stock rotation. In summer seasons, active involvement with head chef and Station Logistics Manager for indenting of replenishments.
  • Food safety: maintain high standards of personal and kitchen hygiene; maintain food safety records.
  • Cleaning: maintain cleanliness of kitchen and all food storage areas.
  • Training: train station staff in basic food safety and safe working practices.

Head Chef Opportunity

During summer months there is a requirement to appoint a head chef, who is responsible for managing the team of chefs on station. The head chef is locally supervised by the Station Logistics Manager and is selected from the pool of summer and winter chefs, after all the successful candidates have been identified. To be considered for this additional responsibility, candidates must provide evidence of supervisory experience at interview.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Perform team supervision while reporting to SLM. Conduct supervisor appraisals of peers for Station Leader. Chair team meetings.
  • Oversee end-to-end catering service, including kitchen management, meal plans and stock control.
  • Training and quality assurance of peers (other chefs).
  • Manage rotas for duty shifts, including nights.
  • Organise and collate stocktakes of frozen, dry and fresh provisions, and submit resupply indents.
  • Assist in purchasing new kitchen equipment through the indenting process.

The head chef is liable to receive a supervisory and responsibility allowance (SRA) for the duration of the appointment during summer seasons only.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/24

Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 8 and 9 June 2021

As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Ability to clearly communicate with management & “customers” - Essential
  • Ability to produce comprehensive written reports when required to do so - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Demonstrable computer literacy including the use of Microsoft Word and Excel - Essential

Decision Making

  • Ability to work unsupervised, under pressure and within limited time and resources - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work on their own but be able to take direction from management and share duties with other chefs - Essential
  • Must be adaptable to changing requirements - Essential
  • Working in a remote area - Desirable [3]

Managerial ability

  • At least 3 years’ experience in kitchen management - Essential
  • Ability to teach cookery to people with a variety of background, skills and experience - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Basic numerical ability to maintain stock control - Essential
  • Experience with computerised stock control - Desirable [3]


  • NVQ 3 or 4 or equivalent experience - Essential
  • Nationally recognised qualification in Food Safety level 3. Must be current - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Extensive experience of cooking for a range of differing clients, including those with specific dietary requirements - Essential
  • Experience in producing a range of quality menus for up to 150 people - Essential
  • Experience of catering for outside events - Desirable [3]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.