The Balsam Lake Club in New York’s Catskill Mountains was founded in 1883 and has “a highly selective membership of 40.” It seeks a chef to work from May to mid-October, and room and board with accommodations for five is included.
CoolWorks.com, a website devoted to listing “Jobs in Great Places,” posted an opening on February 12 for a Seasonal Executive Chef (May to mid-October) at the Balsam Lake Club (BLC) in the Catskill Mountains in New York state.
The club has a “beautiful clubhouse and property” overlooking Balsam Lake, one of the sources of the Beaver Kill River. The Balsam Lake Club was formed in 1883 and its membership consists of “a highly selective [group] limited to 40 members. At this time, membership is virtually full.
“The members can be characterized as well-educated, widely traveled in the United States and abroad, and have experienced some of the best restaurants throughout the world,” the listing says. “However, having said this, they are known as down-to-earth, relaxed and courteous to a fault. They simply love fly fishing, good food, and good wine.
“The clubhouse is rustic; electricity is provided by the club’s own generator, and [it] has internet and TV,” the listing says. “The clubhouse sleeps 12 people comfortably. There are rarely more than 10 members and guests visiting the club at any one time [who] are usually there on weekends and often extend their stay for a long weekend on a Friday and/or Monday. With the exception of the high season [June and July], there is relatively little usage during the week.
“BLC is located about 10 miles north of a hamlet called Lew Beach and is one of the prettiest spots in the Catskills,” the listing says. “Make no mistake about it, it is remote but magnificent. Hiking, fishing and kayaking are the primary outdoor sports.
The season for the club runs May 1st to October 15th. The Seasonal Executive Chef position includes room and board, and the Chef’s accomodations “can easily sleep a family of five. There would also be additional work for a spouse/partner in the dining room and clubhouse.
Compensation for the position is listed as a weekly salary to be determined, with a bonus at the end of the season and benefits to be negotiated with the final candidate. One day a week (Tuesday or Wednesday) is given off, and gas is reimbursed.
“The Chef has complete responsibility for planning, purchasing and preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner when members and guests at the club,” the position description states. “Guests are required to notify the manager of their visit at least 48 hours in advance, to allow enough time to buy the necessary staples. Four days’ notice is required for groups of larger than 8.
The job listing says that meals at the club are served as follows:
Breakfast: Served at 8:00 a.m. and is usually simple.
Examples include: Fruit, yogurt, eggs, bacon, toast, juice, toast and or muffins. The chef is free to make waffles, pancakes or any suitable breakfast dish.
Lunch: Served from noon to 1 p.m. and is usually picnic fare, or can be soup, stew, sandwiches, or salads. Delivered to the Lunch Ground (two miles away), weather permitting, or at the clubhouse. Members can also grill meats, burgers and sausages at lunch ground if they desire.
Members bring their own hors d’oeuvres and beverages and usually enjoy “cocktail hour” on the porch.
Dinner: Served at 8 p.m, but earlier if requested in advance. Everyone loves salads and fresh vegetables and we grow vegetables in our garden. For parties of six or less, dinner can be served. When members exceed six, family-style or buffet style is recommended.
“The chef can plan and prepare whatever he/she wants for any meal, unless someone has expressed something specific or has allergies,” the job listing says.
Additional responsibilities for the position include supervising a household staff member to maintain the orderliness of the clubhouse and the serving and cleaning after meals. Separate accommodations are available for support staff.
“The position is unique as regards to schedule,” the listing says. “There are busy days [dawn till dusk], and quiet days based on member usage. The Chef is free to pursue personal interests when not on duty.
The listing says that for the right candidate, the Balsam Lake Club position could be a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cook what you like for a small group of discerning diners.”
“Tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Enjoy the beauty of the Catskill Mountain region and the ability to fish, hike and forage? We have just the job for you, if you are a self-starter, a passionate culinarian and want to try something unique,” the listing says.
To see photos of the club and property and to submit an online application or request more information, go to http://www.coolworks.com/balsam-lake-club/highlighted-job/4706-chef-at-legendary-founded-1883-fly-fishing-club-of