Head Chef at Shaggy Yak

Be a part of the Snowball Chalet and Shaggy Yak management team that offers guests the winter holiday of their dreams, in the heart of Nagano’s snow country.

We are looking for a Head Chef for The Shaggy Yak Yurt - a unique new 50-seat restaurant with a bar, low tables, comfy seats, rugs, great music and a roaring fire.

This role is best suited to an experienced chef with confidence and a can-do attitude who wants to be part of a unique mountain dining experience in a Mongolian Yurt. You must be prepared for the whole village to be talking about your restaurant - because they already are!
Ideally, you are a ‘people person’ who has initiative, a positive attitude and a focus on packing flavour and flare into Japanese cooking.
You’ll be devising and delivering a delicious menu of Izakaya-style dishes to diners from mid-afternoon into the night. You’ll manage 2 separate kitchens - a new small ‘rustic’ kitchen in the yurt and a full commercial kitchen inside the Snowball Chalet.
You’ll be supported by a full-time Assistant Chef, restaurant manager, 2-3 wait staff and additional staff if required (cleaning, food preparation, etc). You will be heavily involved with menu development and operational processes and be responsible for stock control, ordering and food safety.

Skills & Experience

We’d love to hear how you meet the following job requirements:

Work Conditions

We are passionate about what we do and truly value our people. We believe our staff are our business. You will work around 40 hours a week and we will make sure you will have PLENTY of time to head up the mountain most days, make great friends and have the experience of a lifetime!
If you are not a Japanese national, you must be eligible and willing to get a Working Holiday Visa for Japan. Please see details here: Working Holiday Visa. You will also need relevant travel insurance (we can advise which policies adequately cover snow activities. This is a must!).

The Team

The team for the 2018-2019 season will include:
  • Management Team
  • Snowball Chalet Guest Services Manaeger
  • Snowball Chalet Guest Services 1
  • Snowball Chalet Guest Services 2
  • Shaggy Yak Head Chef
  • Shaggy Yak Restaurant Manager
  • Shaggy Yak Kitchen Hand
  • Shaggy Yak Restaurant Staff 1
  • Shaggy Yak Restaurant Staff 2
  • Shaggy Yak / Chalet Services (works in chalet or restaurant as required)
  • Madarao Tours Guide

Dates & Times

  • 10-15 Dec will be the settling-in and training period
  • 16 Dec will be ‘soft opening’ night with locals/friends testing our services at Shaggy Yak
  • 16 Dec is the official season opening for Madarao Mountain Resort
  • 22 Dec is the official opening for Snowball Chalet and the Shaggy Yak
  • The official end of the season is 31 March however we will close in the days leading up to that as the village gets quieter
Ski resort work is obviously snow and customer dependent. All Guest Services and Shaggy Yak staff must commit to working from 15 Dec 2017 until 31 March 2018. Working days/times during the final 4 weeks (5-31 March) are open for negotiation if the workload has reduced. We’ll speak with staff regarding their shift preferences – we’re hoping to create an atmosphere where everybody is happy and living the dream...

How to apply

Email a cover letter addressing the skills and experience section above and a resume to join the Snowball Chalet team in Japan. Send it to and we will be in touch.


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