Job Opportunities

Executive Chef, Country Club of Peoria, Peoria Heights, IL by DZA

Another quality culinary career opportunity as Executive Chef with the Country Club of Peoria, Peoria Heights, IL brought to  you by DZA

Fire wiped out the first Country Club of Peoria clubhouse on Grandview Drive in 1920. That partly explains why the “new” building was built with concrete walls.  “It was a tumultuous time for the club,” said Harry Puterbaugh, a fifth-generation club member, past president, and current member of the board.  “Members got together and had to decide whether to fold operations or continue on. They decided to keep it going but were still a little leery after the fire so they built this place that could withstand anything.”

The club started as an idea in the late 1800s by a group of Peoria leaders who wanted “to encourage athletic exercise, recreation and social enjoyment,” according to literature from the time. It was officially formed in 1897, making 2014 its 117th year of continual operation from the same location It has been renovated, spruced up, redecorated, modernized, expanded and maintained countless times through the decades, but the majestic building off of Grandview Drive with its breathtaking views of the Illinois River still serves the Country Club today.

Country Club of Peoria by DZA
Executive Chef opportunity with the Country Club of Peoria by DZA

Position Specific: The Country Club of Peoria is looking for an Executive Chef who understands the business side of F&B and is a strong leader of the people.  This individual isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty while working with staff as opposed to dictating to them. Skilled at developing a healthy collaboration between the front and ‘back of the house’ staff and managers. Maintain vendor relationships; utilize local as much as possible.   Continue to control food & labor costs while providing an excellent experience at the Club. No major issues at this time. Most of our current membership and their guests view the Club as the ‘best restaurant’ in Peoria.

In The GM’s Own Words: “The Country Club of Peoria is a great mid-western private club.   Good club culture and values both from the members and staff. Members take great interest in the staff and appreciate all they do to make the Club a special place.   Each year the membership donates to a holiday fund for the employees and in 2023 we had our largest donation amount on record. Peoria is a great community to live in and raise a family with a very reasonable cost of living; a small town feel but big city options.   Two hours from Chicago, St. Louis and/or Indianapolis.”

Initial Focus:

  1. Recruitment, Labor Development & Cost Management – The next Chef will inherit a skilled and tenured staff that thrives under a great leader. Inspire the team and build a strong culinary culture driven to excellence. Serve as coach and mentor and lead by example while at the same time, working within budget guidelines.
  2. Adapt and Contribute to the Strong Club Culture – Interact with members, listen to them, and learn what they want and for what they will pay. Be visible and engaging with the membership acting as the face of Food & Beverage.
  3. Future Capital Needs – The Executive Chef is expected to evaluate the current kitchen and provide recommendations for enhanced new equipment and systems. Plan for what the kitchens look like in five years.
  4. Food Cost Control – The new Executive Chef is expected to evaluate current operations and provide recommendations for product control while providing a great product. Initiates changes that respond to the marketplace and members’ needs, both present and anticipated. Improve the menu variety focusing on fresh farm-to-table and sustainable ingredients.

Candidate Qualifications:

  • The new Executive Chef has Club experience, is a talented Chef but a better teacher and leader. Understand the importance of team and culture not only in the kitchen but as a total Club.
  • Has the ability to demonstrate good judgment, problem solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Look at what we currently do and understand it before making any changes. Nothing is broken, so the challenge for the next Chef is how can he/she build on the current success.
  • Develops recipes, standards and techniques for food preparation and presentation, and ensures the staff is trained to ensure a high-quality product is served on a consistent basis.
  • The Executive Chef is the department head and leader of the food operation for the Club.
  • The Executive Chef is successful by being visible around the campus; the members want to meet and greet.
  • The Executive Chef creates the annual department budget based on criteria and goals set by the General Manager, Finance Committee and Board of Directors.
  • The Executive Chef participates in updating the group with menu changes, get feedback from members and talk about food trends.

Additional Information:

  • Annual food sales $1.850 MM; Total F&B Sales $2.750 MM.
  • The Club currently has a 39% food cost with a food cost goal at 38% with a sales mix of 50% A La Carte and 50% Banquet.
  • There are 18 culinary staff and 4 steward supported by a $760,000 Labor Budget.
  • There are (2) Sous Chefs and Banquet Chef. The Chef does the Purchasing.
  • The Club supports two (2) Kitchens, A la Carte Kitchen (Main Level)/ Banquet Kitchen (Lower Level) Management rates the condition as a 4 out of 5. Older Kitchens but we continue to upgrade equipment on an annual basis.
  • CCP has one 38,000 sq. ft. Clubhouse with 450 members whose average age is 54.
  • The Club operates (12) twelve months annually. Reduced Schedule for Jan, Feb & March (Wed – Sat) The busy months May-September, December.
  • The Executive Chef reports to the General Manager and works closely with the Clubhouse Manager, F&B Manager’s (2), Controller, Golf Professional, Maintenance Supervisor and Grounds Superintendent.

Dining Venues:

New Bar – Casual w/ 50 seats, serving Lunch & Dinner, Tues – Sun

Old Bar – Casual w/ 50 seats, serving Lunch & Dinner, Tues – Sun

Grandview – Formal w/ 50 seats, Lunch & Dinner, Tues – Sun

Card Room – Casual w/ 18 seats, Lunch & Dinner, Tues – Sun.

Governors – Casual w/24 seats, serving Lunch & Dinner Tues – Sun.

Outdoor Terrace – Casual w/ 100 seats, Lunch & Dinner Tues – Sun.

Private Parties – The Club has five (6) private rooms with seating from 10 to 250 guests. The largest sit-down event the Club can accommodate is 250 Guests.

The Club offers a competitive base salary, performance bonus and benefits package including a 401k, health /life insurance, ACF Dues and Conference. Relocation allowance is available.

Already Interested?  Send your current resume in strict confidence, along with a note expressing your interest and supporting information (a digital Portfolio is encouraged) by Clicking Here to upload your information:

Work with Denise Zanchelli and Team DZA, a team of proven culinary professionals to help advance your career.

Contact Daniel Hugelier​, CMC, Bill Schulz, MCM​ or Denise Zanchelli directly.

We welcome your reaching out and make a personal connection with TeamDZA by writing either Daniel Hugelier, CMC  or Bill Schulz, MCM​  or Denise Zanchelli

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