The Lead Cook (LC) is the designer and driver behind the camp set up, menu creation, feeding, cleaning, and caring for volunteers on a project.
The LC works with the WSL, the project leader, tool manager, and cook team members at different stages of the project. The LC goal is to create a healthy menu on budget, taking into consideration the number of helping hands, meat and vegetarian needs, and food safety while on the project.
Most people desiring to be a Lead Cook should be a CTM first, to get the hang of how we do large group cooking. It is also helpful to have a background in and passion for food preparation (even if it’s just for their family) as well as a desire to camp. If someone has extensive experience catering or backcountry cooking for large groups, they may be able to successfully jump to lead cook after reading the handbook and talking with staff.
Lead Cooks should be CTMs (Cook Team Members) first, unless they have prior experience in large-group cooking and have discussed their experience with staff. They should attend a cook training and thoroughly read the Cook Handbook created by WRV and tailored to WRV projects and mission. Lead Cooks self-select for projects although sometimes particular people are asked to join a project team given their experience.
This depends on the type of project, but typically six weeks are needed prior to project to coordinate disposal of the waste at the end of the project and providing leftovers to the next lead cook or CTMs for the next project on the calendar. The time commitment can range from 20 to 80 hours depending on the complexity, location, and length of the project.