About Cooks for Hire, your source for expert hospitality staff

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Staffing the hospitality industry

SUPPLYING GREAT KITCHEN STAFF SINCE 2007


For those operating and managing the fast-paced environments of the hospitality industry, managing staff is perhaps the most challenging issue and one faced every day. A chef gets sick or injured, or you have a seasonal increase in volume and your kitchen is suddenly in an emergency situation. You need to provide the consistent quality of food and service your customers have come to expect. Cooks for Hire was created with just that need in mind. You get access, even on short notice, to proven, high quality staff that have already been evaluated. You don't need to worry about payroll, certification or other typical HR issues. We look after it all for you.

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Your kitchen staff partner

KEEPING YOU OPERATING SMOOTHLY


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Effortless Efficiency

No more hassle trying to find a new staff member, replacement staff or temporary fill-in. Just let us know what kind of position you need filled.

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Expert Staff

Cooks for Hire goes through a comprehensive evaluation process and requests a review of every placement to ensure you get quality people.

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Wide Variety

Whether you need Private Chefs, Sous-Chefs, Demi Chefs, Kitchen Helpers, Pastry Cooks or Dishwashers, we're here to help.

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Career Opportunities

For those who work with Cooks for Hire, opportunities abound to build your career including the potential for permanent full-time placement.

Find your perfect staff

Tired of hassling with payroll problems, staff turnover and other challenges of maintaining your own kitchen staff? Let Cooks for Hire take those issues off your hands. Get in touch today for more information.

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Meet the Team

Heather Loke

Director of Operations

Heather Loke
A.O.S. Degree / Culinary Arts
The Culinary Institute of America, NY
Director of Operations

Although cooking was a notable hobby throughout high school, it was not the first choice for Heather Loke when deciding upon her career. She was accepted into the University of British Columbia on a full scholarship, but after three years of a Biochemistry degree, Ms. Loke decided to change directions. It was during Biochem lab that Ms. Loke discovered the striking similarities between following lab procedures vs. recipes at home. In both instances, you begin with your reactants that get mixed together and heated in a certain order to cause molecular changes, thus forming new products. The major difference was that in cooking, the products were more appealing in terms of taste, aroma and visual stimulation. After coming to this realization, Ms. Loke left her current field to travel to New York to attend the prestigious ‘Culinary Institute of America’. She completed an AOS Degree in Culinary Arts in 1999 and obtained her Red Seal Trade Certification in Canada in 2003. From stages in New York, to training at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and back home to the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, Ms. Loke has acquired her extensive cooking and managerial experience from these well-regarded establishments.

With the growth and recognition of the beautiful Northwest and Pacific gateway to trade, Vancouver has grown from a Small Town community to a multicultural metropolis. With this growth came the need to provide our industry with reliable, thoroughly vetted staff that could fill in during emergency staffing shortages. Cooks for Hire was created to fill the void in the industry for such a need.

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Meet the Team

Jen Lai

Operations Manager

Jen Lai
BCIT School Of Business
Marketing/Marketing Management, General
Operations Manager

Jen Lai was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. In post secondary, Jen studied English Literature, Sociology, and Philosophy when International Trade & Transportation enticed her into the corporate world. She fell in love with the aspects of inbound and outbound freight brokering, and deeply enjoyed organizing customs documents and dispatching tractor trailers to move shipments all over North America. With over 10 years of logistics management and scheduling experience, she has continued to evolve into hospitality as Cooks for Hire’s Operations Manager.

Jen has been involved in Toastmasters International for over 5 years and obtained the highest level of educational achievement in the organization in 2015. As a Distinguished Toastmaster / DTM, she completed over 200 speech presentations, coached and mentored clubs in her division as director, and led numerous projects to meet their objectives and goals. Jen continues her education studying at BCIT in her Marketing Management Certification. Learning in depth about digital media branding, the platforms in social media, and business management, has given her great insight into the impact of marketing to building successful brands in business. Jen brings with her a unique sense of humour, positive attitude, and bubbly personality and absolutely loves working with the other staff at Cooks for Hire Management Inc.

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Meet the Team

Melody Chen

Executive Office Manager

Melody Chen
BBA Degree
National Chin-Yi University of Technology (Taiwan)
Executive Office Manager

Melody Chen originated from Taiwan where she studied basic accounting in high school and graduated from the National Chin-Yi University of Technology in 2011 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. For completion of her co-op program in 2011, Ms. Chen was a waiting staff manager, an office assistant, and kitchen helper at Asian cuisine restaurants. During this time, she not only discovered her interest in providing customer service and communicating with clients and coworkers in different languages, but also gained new knowledge on a daily basis. To continue with her self-improvement in foreign language skills and international outlook, Ms. Chen lived in Australia for two years and gained further experiences as a farming production worker and a supervisor’s assistant in Melbourne, and as a sales representative in Brisbane.

In 2014, Melody Chen travelled to Canada and studied courses in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) at VanWest College and completed them in 2015. Ms. Chen speaks English, Taiwanese, Mandarin, and basic Cantonese. She loves travelling, cooking, tasting exotic foods, and meeting new people from different countries. Canada is the perfect nation for her to continue exploring her interests and utilizing her skills set. Ms. Chen is currently employed as an Executive Office Manager at Cooks for Hire Management Inc.

Testimonials

WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING


I wanted to thank you for the wonderful service you have always provided us. After so many years of calling on you for special events, client events and big family get-togethers, the food and the service is always impeccable. From prep to table to clean-up the process is flawless; I never worry.  And the final statement, the absolutely  scrumptious food! Beautifully presented, a feast for the palette and for the eyes. Thanks you for always being there for us.   Warmest regards, Keith and Faith

We have used Cooks For Hire since September, 2015. Each and every time, this team has provided us with quality staff who are professional, courteous and reliable. Their skill level varies from dishwasher/kitchen helpers to Certified Chef de Cuisines. I would strongly recommend Cooks For Hire to anyone in the food service industry.

Harley, Food Service Provider to Independent Schools & Colleges

Each of your cooks has successfully integrated into our Food and Beverage team to provide short-term, quality support to our operations. Cooks for Hire understands our organizational needs and provides us with staff who are aligned with our values, have flexible skills sets and show the highest level of professionalism and positivity. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this outstanding team.

PARC Retirement Living

I have been using Cooks For Hire for several years now and could not imagine our business without the hard work and dedication I get from all of their staff. Our business fluctuates frequently and Cooks For Hire really does a great job in providing the support we need. I personally believe that CFH provides an essential service to the industry. Thank you for this much needed service.

John, Executive Chef

The Cooks for Hire team has been a tremendous help in the past year especially with our Banquet operation. Team members who come to the site are respectful and motivated, with a “can do” attitude. I trust the work and quality they provide and it’s always a pleasure working with them.

Allen, Sous Chef

Cooks For Hire was very professional and discreet for our event. The food was delicious and beautifully presented and replenished on a continual basis. Our guests were never waiting around for canapés. We highly recommend the services provided by CFH. They played a large part in the seamless execution of our event. From the planning stages to the actual day of our event, CFH made the process stress free.

Alex & Jenny

As a chef responsible for executing high-end dinners, canape parties and large volume buffets, the staff at Cooks For Hire enable me to perform at the highest level of expectations. I have a small core staff that we routinely augment with CFH, helping keep our total labor and administration costs down and our productivity up. I can honestly say that Cooks for Hire has some of most knowledgeable Chefs I have had the pleasure to work with.

Chef Dan, Commodore Ballroom

With Cooks for Hire, you’re just a quick phone call away from long and short-term staffing solutions for reasons such as sick leave, leaves of absence, vacation, maternity & paternity, long and short-term disability or seasonal demands.

Our assessment process means the employees you receive are competent and ready to go, typically with considerable experience already gained in the industry. Plus, your new staff are insured and registered with WorkSafe BC and have FoodSafe™certification (if applicable to their position).

Fill out our convenient online feedback form and we’ll contact you as quickly as possible to get you on your way.

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Partners

Our company name, 愛&思いやり (pronounced Ai & Omoiyari) which, loosely translated, means “love” and “empathetic consideration”, represents our philosophy. Located in the heart of Vancouver, B.C’s Historic Chinatown, we at Ai & Om believe everything should be approached with passion, knowledge, and care. From the deliberate selection of knives to the way we provide for our customers.

Founded by Douglas Chang, in partnership with Tosho Knife Arts, we aim to provide quality edged instruments to professionals and amateurs alike. Douglas has had years of experience supplying the cooks in the top kitchens of Vancouver
with knives and stones and sharing his knowledge of how to sharpen and care for them. Now we widen the scope to bring that knowledge and experience to the non-professional.