Cook III – Lead Cook

StatusFull-Time, Non-Exempt
Start date:Immediately
CompensationCompetitive Hourly Wage, Excellent 100% Employer-Paid Health Benefits, 403b Plan Including Employer Contribution and Matching.
Questions:Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter to Executive Chef, Kandie Farout,

The Bishop’s Ranch Kitchen

The Bishop’s Ranch hosts groups of 12 to 150 guests at a time for retreats, conferences, trainings, camps and events. Food is a central component of hospitality at the Bishop’s Ranch. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served at set times and most often buffet-style. Our kitchen team is committed to creating a positive, creative, professional, and low-stress environment. We cook from scratch utilizing fresh ingredients sourced locally as much as possible and some grown right on the Ranch.

Under the direction of our Executive Chef and Sous Chef, our Lead Cooks are responsible for leading a team through a shift in the preparation, serving, and clean-up of meals.  We are looking for team players with a positive attitude and a passion for hospitality and food. Weekends Required. 

Primary Duties

  • Lead a team in preparing meals for 12 to 140 people, more for special events
  • Plan and direct meal preparation so food is ample and ready on time and prepared to Ranch Standards
  • Ensure dining area is ready for food service and food is presented properly
  • Respond to requests from guests and monitor food serving areas during mealtimes 
  • Operate food preparation equipment such as slicer, commercial mixer, gas stove, grille, and ovens, dishwasher, food processors, barbecue, and other commercial kitchen equipment
  • Support Kitchen Manager and Assistant Kitchen Manager by double checking menus and prep lists
  • Make sure food is provided for special diets
  • Plan and direct end of meal clean up.
  • Enter shift information into kitchen log
  • Monitor refrigeration temperatures 
  • Train team members on general cooking skills and safe kitchen practices
  • Other projects as assigned by supervisor


  • Communication skills necessary to lead a meal preparation team and communicate with Kitchen Manager, other Ranch staff, and guests
  • Culinary knowledge and cooking skills, including following complex recipes, adequate to serve nutritious and attractive meals on time for large groups 
  • Able to scale recipes to different group sizes.
  • Time management skills being able to plan ahead
  • Flexibility and confidence to make changes to menus as necessary depending on supplies available, changes in numbers of guests or special dietary needs. 
  • Knowledge of operation of food preparation equipment such as slicer, commercial mixer,  gas stove, grille, and ovens, dishwasher, food processors, barbecue, and other commercial kitchen equipment
  • Knowledge of kitchen sanitation and safe working practices
  • Able to work at least one weekend day or weekend evening per week
  • Capable of lifting 40 pounds unassisted

Overall Description

The Bishop’s Ranch is a self-supporting institution of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

The mission of the Ranch is to serve God by providing for people of all walks of life a place where lives are changed; a place of hospitality amidst the beauty of God’s creation where renewal of spirit, mind and body is nourished, leading to spiritual growth and closer relationships with God and one another.

We fulfill the mission of the Ranch by providing hospitality for retreats, conferences and other gatherings to groups and individuals from the Diocese of California, other churches, and non-profit groups.  Our goal is to provide these services in a personal and relaxed but efficient way that enables guests to reach their goals for spiritual, personal, and organizational growth.

Working at The Bishop’s Ranch is service oriented, and doing our jobs successfully is based on teamwork.  Because of the wide-ranging nature of the tasks involved in caring for our guests and facilities, it may be necessary to perform tasks outside our usual line of work.  For example: when on duty in the kitchen a guest may come in and ask where sports equipment is found; an office worker may be called to help when a guest finds a broken water valve; a maintenance worker may need to help in the kitchen when a group suddenly has increased in numbers, or a cook must leave due to illness.  The flexibility to help in such a situation in order to support our guests and the overall goals of the Ranch is a requirement of working at The Bishop’s Ranch.

Drought Response

Sonoma County and much of California are currently experiencing exceptional drought. Our rainfall last year was 25 inches below normal. In June, though the Ranch had no mandates, we opted to take several big steps to reduce our water use including:

  • Pausing irrigation to almost all of our landscapes and lawns and only watering select areas enough to keep them alive until the rainy season
  • Reducing our vegetable garden and stopping irrigation of our gardens
  • Asking residential staff to reduce usage
  • Asking guests to reduce usage through shorter showers, fewer flushes and smart use.

Through these measures, we are saving 1000’s of gallons of water each day. Don’t be surprised when you visit the Ranch and our landscapes look a little less vibrant than usual.

We are also currently planning a project to move most of our landscaping irrigation to recycled water. We will have more information on this project soon and will need your help to make it a reality.

The Ranch’s water comes from wells near the Russian River. Over 600,000 residents of Sonoma and Marin counties also draw their drinking water from this area. We believe it is important to be good neighbors, good stewards and make sure we all have enough water for necessities. We invite you to be water-wise too. We can all do our part to conserve this most precious resource. Join us!

A Message from The Bishop’s Ranch Board

It is a transition time for The Bishop’s Ranch. We said a loving farewell to Sean Swift and his family this autumn after 31+ years of leadership. It’s also a time of great uncertainty for all of us as well as for the Ranch as we endeavor to calibrate risks in the time of a pandemic and our ongoing need to be with one another. The Bishop’s Ranch Board is taking steps, in consultation with Bishop Marc and Diocese of California staff, to assure ongoing leadership for the Ranch.

At this time, Aaron Wright continues as the Acting Executive Director and thanks to him and all the hardworking staff, the Ranch is open for visits in careful compliance with a big host of extra care measures for the safety and wellbeing of visitors. Many of us have made weekend and midweek visits and though it is different, yes, the food is still fabulous, the staff warm-hearted and welcoming, and the surroundings lovely and deeply calming.

Here is a summary of what’s going on about leadership at the Ranch:

In consultation with the Bishop and Episcopal Camp and Conference Center (“ECCC”), we have rewritten and recently finalized the position description for the Executive Director. Our plan going forward is to fill the Executive Director position with someone who can continue effective Ranch operations while engaging with us in an intensive period of visioning and strategic planning for the Ranch’s future, over the next few years. This work is essential for the ongoing financial sustainability of the Ranch which despite our generous donors and the hardworking staff, will almost certainly operate at a considerable loss this year.

We’re working through the holidays with the hope we can make a Board decision about the method for recruitment and appointment in December 2020 or January 2021. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, warmest wishes for good holidays and may we all navigate them with love given and received in whatever form is best.

Black Lives Matter

Last week we paused all social media and email communication in solidarity with #blackouttuesday and #amplifyblackvoices and in acknowledgement that our primarily white voices were not the voices that needed to be heard. 

The Bishop’s Ranch staff has been listening, learning, planning and actively engaging in local protests of the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others. We stand with the #blacklivesmatters movement and commit ourselves and our organization to the work of anti-racism. 

The Ranch’s mission is to serve God by providing for people of all walks of life a place where lives are changed; a place of hospitality amidst the beauty of God’s creation where renewal of spirit, mind, and body is nourished, leading to spiritual growth and closer relationships with God and one another. Our board of directors reads this mission statement at the beginning of each meeting, and it guides and informs our decision making. 

As part of the Episcopal Church we take seriously our baptismal covenant “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being with God’s help.” 

We recognize that we have much work to do. We have taken steps and will take many more. 

We acknowledge that the Ranch itself exists on land once home to Southern Pomo people.

We acknowledge that the Ranch has too often been a predominantly “white space.”

We have committed to equality and justice in our hiring, staffing and compensation practices and have a diverse staff reflective of the racial demographics of Sonoma County where more often racism shows itself between white and Latinx communities. 

We acknowledge there is much more work to be done, and we commit to doing the work. 

A healthy hand washing chorus.

As you are pining for summer camp at the Ranch, you can help yourself stay healthy with this hand washing song.

Get yourself registered for camp here.

Advent Message

Dear Friends,

The stones that cobble the creek bed are dry and gray on this autumn day. It is so quiet along the empty creek that as my steps crunch brown leaves, the sound echoes within the crumbling banks. I give up on walking and sit on a tipped-over tree trunk, surprised that there is no sound from insect, bird or mammal. The creek is usually a refuge of life but today it feels wound down. It lays bare, spare, waiting.

Later in the day I tiptoe to a back seat in the chapel, unnoticed by a choir at rehearsal. The director stands at the piano, teaching an inspired piece of music, playing chords with his left hand while his whole right arm makes expansive shapes of the music in the air. The singers respond and the uplifting music magnifies, fills the once empty chapel to the ceiling until it spills from the windows and doors.

Grace Cathedral Boys Choir
The rain began that night. By morning the stones of the creek were shiny. Before nightfall, tiny puddles formed. The thinnest threads of water connected the once dry stones and one puddle to another as the empty creek shifted toward a hoped-for fullness.

Emptiness and fullness. Both states holy and connected. Within its history, the Ranch itself has lived both states many times. Yet the purpose is ever to share, to lead with welcome so that children, families, teens, adults find their lives renewed, made stronger and in turn share themselves. At the close of your eventful year, please reach out and be part of the Ranch mission of renewal and connection. Through a gift to the Annual Fund, someone, many, will benefit. Even you, I hope. Especially you.


Sean Swift, Executive Director

P.S All aspects of life at the Ranch, including meeting its budget, are centered on community. Every gift at every level is important in supporting the continued success of the Ranch. The Annual Fund supports a host of activities that allow us to have a lasting impact on the lives of many people in our community, while maintaining a strong tradition of hospitality and environmental stewardship. I hope you will consider a donation to the Annual Fund in your end of year giving plan.

Keepo Creek Falls

Benefit Concert Celebrates Beethoven’s Birthday

A Light in the Darkness

A Benefit Concert Celebrating the Birthday of Ludwig Van Beethoven
Sunday, December 16 at 4 pm
The Chapel of St. George at The Bishop’s Ranch

$40 ticket includes the concert and refreshments.
Purchase ticket or make a donation here:

cropOn Beethoven’s birthday, join Santa Rosa Symphony Music Historian Kayleen Asbo, pianist Emma Asbo and baritone Jason Byer for a candlelight concert in celebration of the life and music of a hero for our time, in a musical journey that carries us from darkness to joy. All proceeds from the concert go to the Scholarship Fund at The Bishop’s Ranch to provide summer camp experiences to children in need.

Ludwig Van Beethoven’s life is one of the most astonishing stories of all time. Through the sheer power of his determination and will, he rose from his grief-stricken childhood to become Vienna’s most famous and sought-after pianist, conductor and composer. At the pinnacle of his fame, tragedy struck again as he discovered his growing deafness. Despite excruciating pain, constant personal rejection and the terror and fear of the Napoleonic wars exploding around him, Beethoven found a way to pour his broken heart into his music, creating a pathway of hope and healing for all of us that led to a vision of universal peace and love in his Ninth Symphony.

Christopher Putnam – One of a kind musician and friend of the Ranch

Christopher Adam Putnam, 51, of Berkeley, CA, passed away on September 15, 2018. Born in San Diego, the son of Judith Putnam, Christopher attended St. Augustine High School, University of Redlands (Bachelor of Music), and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Masters of Theological Studies).

Christopher was an extraordinarily talented, creative, and versatile musician who worked as a conductor, organist, pianist, accompanist, teacher, and improviser. He was also a gifted liturgist, working closely with clergy in a series of church musician positions. 

At the University of Redlands, his teachers included Edgar Billups, Samuel John Swartz, Audrey Jacobson, and Leslie P. Spelman. For many years, he was a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) and was one of a select few to attain the prestigious diploma of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists. 

After positions at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (San Diego) and All Saints Episcopal Church (Beverly Hills), Christopher accepted the position of Associate Canon for Music at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, serving under Dr. John Fenstermaker from 1994-2000, and then as Canon for Music from 2000-2003. Performing duties as organist and choir director, he also established the mixed-voice Cathedral Singers, and appeared several times on recordings from the Gothic label as accompanist.

Most recently Christopher was the Associate for Liturgy and Music at All Souls Episcopal Parish (Berkeley). Starting in 2004, he grew its vibrant and eclectic music program over a span of 12 years, including directing the Parish Choir and playing the organ, piano, and keyboards; playing the washtub bass and melodica to accompany the Angel Band; and leading and accompanying the Hearts on Fire Gospel Choir and band. He retired for health reasons in 2016.

In addition to church music work, Christopher played with the San Francisco Symphony, performed at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, and improvised scores to silent movies at both Grace Cathedral and All Souls Parish. He also taught as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Notre Dame (Belmont) and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Berkeley).

Christopher served his local Masonic lodge, Oakland-Durant-Rockridge (ODR), as Master in 2011, and the California Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons as Grand Organist / Assistant Grand Organist since 2010. He traveled throughout California, playing the old parlor organs of historic lodges, and electronic keyboards, pianos, and organs of other lodges, in Masonic rituals and public ceremonies.

Christopher met Caroline, his wife of eighteen years, at The Bishop’s Ranch, when both were on retreat for the Grace Cathedral Inquirers’ Class. He maintained a strong ongoing connection with the Ranch, playing for hymn sings, salon concerts for Ranch events, parish retreats, and Board retreats. He also led program retreats with fellow musician Ana Hernández, and composed a work honoring Ranch staff.

Christopher is survived by his wife Caroline De Catur Putnam, mother Judith Ann Putnam, and former wife Annette Rossi.

Donations are being accepted in memory of Christopher to Berkeley Emergency Services. For more information, please contact Jocelyn Bergen at

Musical Fundraiser for Camp

A Harp Happening

with Brendan Swift to support READ Camp

Thursday, May 17th, 5:30 pm
at the Paul Mahder Gallery
222 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg
$35 ticket includes the concert and reception.
Purchase ticket or make a donation here:

cropBrendan is a protegé of the late great revivalist of the Celtic harp, Chris Caswell. Brendan teaches and performs traditional Celtic, Nordic and American old-time music on the harp, piano, fiddle and five-string banjo, but perhaps is best known for questioning and stretching the boundaries of the Celtic harp. While his playing can certainly evoke the mystical qualities many associate with the genre, it also seamlessly incorporates jigs, reels, strathspeys, and other toe-tapping dance tunes, more typical of the fiddlers’ world. Brendan grew up in a musical family right here at The Bishop’s Ranch and we know you’ll leave this concert nurtured and inspired.

Find out more about READ Camp.

Our harpsichordist Kathleen McIntosh, who was scheduled for this event, is unable to be with us at Thursday’s event. Her husband is ill and she needs to be with him. Our prayers are that he will heal and that at some future date she will be able to offer her concert.

Welcome Marguerite

We are pleased to announce that Marguerite Cauchois will be our Seasonal Camp Director this year. Starting in February, Marguerite will work with Interim Program Manager, Pat Moore, to hire staff and meet with camp chaplains.

Over many summers, Margaurite has been a camper, volunteer staff, Ranch Hand and Assistant Camp Director. Her home parish is St. John’s in Oakland.

Camp staff applications are available here and priority consideration will be given to applications received by January 19.