Chef – Summer

Job reference:
BAS 20/39
Contract type:
Antarctic contract
Appointments will be for a period of up to 6 months.
£24,272 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Antarctica – Rothera or Halley Research Station
Closing date:
31 March, 2020 11:59 pm


British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity for an experienced chef at either Rothera or Halley Research Station in Antarctica.

What is it about?

As an experienced chef the ideal candidate will provide a high-standard, professional catering service for one of the stations during the summer season. Summer chefs work in a team and, at Rothera, overlap with the outgoing and incoming winter chefs.

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. Chefs must be able to produce a wide and interesting variety of dishes to sustain a constantly fluctuating population at Rothera and a relatively fixed population at Halley, each with their own challenges.

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. Activities in Antarctica 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.

Head chef opportunity

During summer months there is a requirement to appoint a head chef at Rothera, who is responsible for overseeing the end-to-end catering service, including personnel management, kitchen management, meal plans, stock control and food indents for future seasons. 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.
The head chef is liable to receive a supervisory and responsibility allowance (SRA) for the duration of the appointment during summer seasons only.

Who are we?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its 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 its 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 to 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 amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


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 at Rothera (up to 50 at Halley) as well as snacks, bread and other baked goods for work breaks.


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. Active involvement with station management 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.

Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/06
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31 March 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 23 June 2020

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.

Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.

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

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

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +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.