LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Manager, LA Plaza Cocina

Employment type
Full Time
3 months ago
Los Angeles

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes serves the public by providing educational experiences through public programming and exhibitions that celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and all Latinos in Southern California. LA Plaza opened to the public in 2011 in two renovated buildings located in the downtown Los Angeles historic core. Established by the County of Los Angeles, LA Plaza operates as a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors and is partially funded through the County’s cultural arts program. LA Plaza is a Smithsonian affiliate museum. More information at

The LA Plaza Cocina is the organization’s newest project that will extend the museum’s offerings to an exploration of Mexican culinary arts from its indigenous roots to contemporary interpretations. The cocina will be in LA Plaza Village, a new residential-retail development adjacent to the existing campus. The cocina will include an exhibition kitchen, exhibition space, a small gift store, a small food vendor, and dining area. The cocina will offer a wide range of programming that includes cooking classes, talks, children’s programs, chef events, wine tastings and more. Opening is projected in First Quarter of 2019.

Position Summary:

Reporting to the LA Plaza CEO, the cocina manager will be responsible for overseeing all operations of the project, including food and retail sales, programming, rental activities, and marketing. LA Plaza staff will play a supportive role in carrying out some of these assignments.

The project manager also serves as the official ambassador of the project by connecting with chef and culinary organizations in the U.S. and Mexico and serving as media spokesperson.


Values & Principles:

The Cocina Manager will serve as an exemplary model of outstanding executive behaviors relating to leadership, integrity, creativity, and interpersonal relationships:

• Committed to learning and understanding the vision and goals of LA Plaza in order to advance the organization’s mission in serving the community.

• Committed to learning all products, services, work plans and metrics of the department and LA Plaza.

• Strive to reach and exceed established personal and professional goals.

• Abide by LA Plaza’s policies and procedures and operate with candor, transparency, clear communication and the highest ethical standards.

• Serve as a team player by working collaboratively with all LA Plaza employees.

• Uphold the highest standards of customer service for all LA Plaza’s constituents in terms of speed of response, accuracy and completeness.

• Demonstrate a strong passion for fulfilling the goals of LA Plaza as an ambassador of the organization with the larger community.


Major Responsibilities:

The manager will be responsible for designing and implementing a year-round calendar of activities for the cocina that will include but not be limited to:

• Developing a series of cooking classes, food talks, children’s activities and other programs that position the cocina as the leading center for Mexican cuisine in the U.S.;

• Working closely with the curatorial team in developing compelling permanent and rotating exhibitions that highlight the history, variety and cooking techniques of Mexican cuisine;

• Manage operation of a retail store that carries hard-to-find Mexican cookbooks, cooking utensils, food ingredients and other items;

• Developing and overseeing a food service operation that will generate both revenue and foot traffic during business hours;

• Coordinate function events with outside groups and chefs desiring pop-up locations;

• Developing a series of tasting events with local and visiting chefs

• Working with vendors to develop branded merchandise items that could include wine labels, clothing, cookbooks, etc.

• Developing a close working relationship with the Mexican chef and restaurant community in the U.S. and Mexico

• Working with relevant brands to develop strategic marketing opportunities

• Developing and maintaining a project budget in conjunction with LA Plaza staff



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function assigned satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

• Experience: 3+ years in a food operation setting; restaurant management experience preferred.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree and/or cooking certificate from a recognized culinary school

• Communication Skills: Strong written and verbal communication skills; bilingual skills preferred

• Technology Skills: Internet competency and strong computer proficiency, including mastery of the Microsoft Office software suite and a familiarity with database software, and a willingness and ability to learn appropriate database, spreadsheet and other computer programs.

• Project Management Skills: Strong organizational and management skills with attention to detail. Proven track record of achieving budget targets.

• Judgment and Discretion: Skill in determining matters of importance and information of use to the executive, exercising initiative in accomplishing any related tasks or referring the rest. Ability to refer, give, deny or ask for information in a tactful and friendly manner. Ability to keep information confidential.

• Team Work & General Skills: Ability to work well independently and as a team member. Ability to take initiative and follow tasks through to completion. Ability to work with a team toward LA Plaza’s goals, leveraging each team member's skill set. Strong ability to maintain the integrity of confidential information. Professional appearance and demeanor.


Working Conditions:

• Ability to travel and attend meetings, presentations and events outside the office.

• May require weekends, extended work day, attendance at off-site events and/or meetings.



LA Plaza offers a competitive compensation package that includes:

• Salary range: $60,000 - $80,000

• Individual health, dental and vision care

• Free parking

• Non-match 401K plan, AFLAC


LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


To apply

Please send resume and cover letter, demonstrating your interest and qualifications, and at least three references to Tracy Serrano at [email protected]