Development Chef

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Term: Fixed Term Contract; 1 year ~ March 2024:

           40 hours a week, based on 5 days out of 7.

Location:  Manchester Co-op Live, Connell College, 301 Alan Turing Way, Manchester M11 3BS, once open relocate to M1 2EJ & Co-op Live at Eastlands.

Salary: Circa £70,000 per annum based on experience

Team: Kitchen, Oak View Group Hospitality

We’re on a mission to create the best live music experience in the UK.

Co-op Live will offer a food and beverage hospitality service that will put us head and shoulders above the crowd as we welcome over 23,500 fans and amazing artists to taste the delicious food and drinks unique to the space in Manchester.

With 32 amazing bars and restaurants and 12 premium lounges and clubs – we’re going to be delivering an exceptional hospitality service for the people of Manchester and beyond. On the menu will be great food seasoned with world class service and all with a planet friendly vibe in the heart of our vibrant community.

Role Purpose
As we gear up to opening our doors in the next 12 months, we’re looking for a Development Chef to join the F&B Hospitality team on a fixed term contract, supporting the concept development team in the mobilisation of the venue by developing commercially viable, creative, and innovative products ready for opening. We are looking at driving growth and innovative ways that enable us to be ahead of our competitors.

So, if you are an experienced, positive, and passionate development chef who has created incredible hospitality and events who would love to be part of something so unique, then we want to hear from you!

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Motivate and inspire the team and Co-op Live to new higher levels of culinary excellence
  • Bring expert knowledge on food trend including tracking of food news/reviews
  • Forecast potential trends that will emerge and draw insights for the business
  • Attend selective food exhibitions/shows/seminars and summarise interesting ingredients/trends/products that could be of use across the business
  • Identify opportunities where existing products could be adapted, new products developed
  • Creative development resulting in the launch of new products, menus and marketing initiatives
  • Work on company briefs to deliver innovative and profitable ideas, that potential new products can be produced profitably and meet food safety requirements
  • Support the concept team to meet and exceed fan expectations
  • Participate in sessions to build a strong bank of ideas and focus development
  • Participate in tastings to provide the team with trained culinary feedback and thought suggestions for improvements
  • Concept development demonstrating understanding of all policies and relevant Co-op Live brand standards
  • Support the concept teams with repeat sampling when required
  • To ensure all recipes are tested and proved at larger volume levels and completion of accurate recipes
  • To collaborate with all parties so all the recipe information, calorie counts, and allergens are placed on the kitchen/ technical systems
  • Cook and present products clearly, accurately, and confidently at relevant presentations/tastings
  • Understand the wants and needs of both internal and external customers to keep us continually ahead of our competition
  • Establish and build relationships with key contacts and suppliers, ensuring awareness of new market ingredients
  • Work with chefs to ensure that food standards across the business have a consistently high standard of quality and presentation
  • Coach and develop chefs to ensure they can perform to the required capability level and can always meet and maintain company standards, compliance, and policies in all areas of food health, safety, and quality.
  • Provide imaginative ideas on presenting food to fans that will increase food sales
  • Deliver all development required for pre-opening for culinary operations, ensuring Co-op Live is ready for opening and continues to be an arena of choice
  • Build successful relationships with all relevant venue heads of departments across Co-op Live and OVG Hospitality

Knowledge, Skills and Experience


  • Working knowledge of all applicable environmental health compliance, sanitation requirements, food preparation guidelines, safety standards, etc. pertaining to OVG Hospitality and venue services operations
  • COSHH Awareness training and knowledge of HACCP
  • Basic Food Hygiene qualification
  • High level of organisational and project management skills
  • Excellent communication with employees, co-workers, management staff, suppliers and guests in a clear, professional, and courteous manner which fosters a positive, enthusiastic, and cooperative work environment
  • Able to understand English both verbally and written
  • Highly personable with good presentation skills
  • Good working knowledge of computer applications: Microsoft office, procurement systems and kitchen operating systems
  • Experience of working in a team-oriented, fast-paced, event-driven environment
  • Experience working with high quality cuisine in a highly skilled culinary role
  • Broad industry knowledge from volume catering to fine dining/hospitality
  • Creative and innovative thinking
  • Commercial acumen and knowledge of event venue catering developments and food innovations
  • An understanding of ingredients and nutrition
  • An ability to grasp sterilisation and preservation processes
  • The skills to develop recipes
  • A handle on consumer trends
  • Passionate about food with a high standard for food presentation and enjoys cooking with a creative edge
  • Experience in development planning for mobilising a large multi concept venue


  • Advanced Hygiene qualification
  • Relevant food product management or food technology qualification

Our Inclusion Commitments
Our venue is for the fans, the artists, everyone! Attracting a diverse workforce which reflects our local community is what will make our venue the best music venue in the UK!  

We understand that to continue positively disrupting the sports and live entertainment industry, we need a diverse team to help us do it. We also believe that inclusivity drives innovation, strengthens our people, improves our service, and raises our excellence.  
We are committed to creating a great place to work amplifying voices from all different backgrounds.  There is something for everyone at Co-op Live, come and get involved. 

If you do require any additional support or reasonable adjustments to support your application, please let us know and we will work with you to ensure you have everything you need. 

We will consider applications from all candidates who are able to demonstrate the required skills necessary to fulfil the role. 
Employee Screening and eligibility to work
We recognise the importance of safeguarding, dependent on role you may be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service Check, details of which will be shared with you at interview.  

If successful in your application, you will be required to provide eligibility to work evidence in line with the ‘Eligibility to Work in the UK’ requirements. 

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