2023 Summer Arts Management – Summer Kitchen Intern

The Pearl Grindstaff Kitchen Internship

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is an international center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $7.7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports making lives meaningful through making.


Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

Penland welcomes everyone. Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and other people who identify as people of color or BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply, as are people holding other marginalized identities related to gender, sexual orientation, ability, and class background.


We believe that equity, diversity, and inclusion are essential to fulfilling our mission. We want to inspire and nurture the human spirit, and we value the perspectives and contributions of all people. We want the Penland experience to include varied ideas, world views, and personal characteristics. Penland is committed to being a community that welcomes and respects everyone regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to providing an environment free of discrimination. 


Position Summary

A Penland internship offers a unique opportunity to live and work in a dynamic, creative educational community and work with accomplished professionals in a mutual learning and knowledge-sharing environment. This position provides close exposure to the culinary skills and service philosophy employed by the Penland School of Craft Kitchen.  The kitchen and dining staff serve up to 230 over the summer. This position will support the kitchen and dining staff and gain experience in all areas of the culinary arts. Work includes food preparation, cooking, cleaning, and service for buffet-style meals for Penland students and staff. It will also include exposure to the general upkeep of kitchen dishwashing equipment, as well as the ordering and receiving processes. This position will work with a rotating group of scholarship students who often have minimal kitchen experience. The ability to work as a team member with all other functions of Penland is important. The intern is expected to work 30 to 35 hours per week and is managed by the Kitchen Manager. 


This experience begins on May 22 and concludes on August 30, 2024  (Start and end dates have some flexibility). 


You will receive $200 per week (up to $3000 for the experience), and housing and meals will be provided at no charge to you for the duration of the internship period.  If the dining hall is closed, we will not provide food, but there are kitchen facilities in the housing units. Class and studio access are not provided. Penland will work with individuals seeking educational credit for the internship and meet any college or university requirements. Details can be discussed in the interview process. 



This position will assist the kitchen staff with the following:

  • General meal and food item preparation.
  • Assistance with cooking, prep, presentation, and service of breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as dessert served seven days a week.
  • Assistance with order placement, truck deliveries, and general kitchen and dining hall stewardship and cleaning routines.
  • Assistance with preparation of  food items sold in our adjacent Penland Coffee Shop  
  • Help manage and work alongside a rotating group of work-study students.
  • Assistance with preparing, presenting, expediting, cleaning, and storage of food items served during our Penland School of Craft’s Annual Benefit Auction special events as well as assistance with serving a large group of auction volunteers.
  • Other duties relevant to the operation of the kitchen and dining hall.



  • Have a strong interest in the culinary arts.
  • Have a general knowledge of how an institutional kitchen works 
  • Have the ability to work within deadlines, under pressure, and with a positive attitude.
  • Have an interest in working with a broad spectrum of people, including kitchen professionals as well as individuals with little or no kitchen experience.
  • Be self-motivated and punctual.
  • Possess good verbal communication skills.
  • Possess strong organizational skills.
  • Have the ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • Have the ability to self-manage a changing and flexible work schedule. 
  • Have the ability to work collaboratively in a diverse work environment.
  • Have an interest in exploring the natural world and comfortable living in a rural environment.
  • Be diplomatic.
  • Having Servsafe training and or certification is not necessary but is encouraged. 


Physical Demands

This position requires the applicant to walk unaided up and down hills and over uneven terrain, bend, stoop, reach above their head, use fine and gross motor skills, and work in close quarters. The applicant must have normal visual acuity at near and far distances with correction and hear the spoken word with correction. The applicant must be fluent in English. While performing the duties of this job, the applicant may be required to sit and work at a computer. The applicant is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, touch objects, tools, controls, and talk fluently. The applicant must occasionally lift and move heavy objects weighing up to 50 pounds.


To Apply 

The internship will remain open until filled; however, the initial review of applications will consist of applications received by February 1, 2024. Please upload a cover letter and resume HERE.

We look forward to hearing from you!