Chef Steve’s Hometown Café Story

Are you a rockstar in the kitchen?

Are you a rockstar in the kitchen with a heart to help people live healthier lives? Don’t compromise. Cook well. Serve well. Be relevant. Change tastes amazing at Hometown Café.

Be Relevant

Chef Steve’s passion for delicious food is paired with a love for creating healthy options. Chef Steve was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has opened 14 restaurants around the world. Most recently he was the executive chef at Coconut Grove in Nevis, West Indies. Chef Steve has also been the chef de cuisine at the Dupuy Canal House in the Hudson Valley, The executive chef at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the opening food and beverage director at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club.

Following a decision to make more healthy food choices in his own diet, Chef Steve became a registered and licensed dietitian. SCMH and Chef Steve have partnered to add nutrition education and support to patients and their families as a new service provided to those staying at the hospital.

Reimagining Hospitality Cuisine

From scratch cuisine with flavors from farmer comfort to well-traveled foodie.

From Scratch Cooking

“Seriously the best muffin I’ve ever ate in my life,” Alyssa.

Where Creativity Flourishes

Creativity and professional development are encouraged and financially supported. 

Chef Steve teaches knife skills to Rebecca

We Support Your Development

Smith County Memorial Hospital is dedicated to investing in its employees and promoting their professional growth. Our initiative, the Grow Our Own scholarship program, is a shining example of this commitment. The program, funded by donations from the community, empowers eligible employees to pursue degrees, certifications, and training programs relevant to their roles and career goals. We also offer job shadowing and internship opportunities.

Newer Leading Edge Facility

Built in 2018, our Hometown Café serves healthy and exciting lunches to the public on weekdays. It’s also the best salad bar in North Central Kansas.

Meticulous Quality

From the selection of fresh ingredients to the presentation on the plate. Every element must work in harmony to create a memorable culinary experience.

Community Impact

Teaching healthy eating habits reduces the risk of chronic diseases and improves our community’s overall well-being and quality of life.

Chef Steve teaches knife skills to Rebecca
Chef Steve teaches knife skills to Rebecca
Chef Steve teaches knife skills to Rebecca

Hometown Café

Offering high-quality food in a healthcare setting is always a formidable challenge, one few healthcare facilities can tackle.  The quality and service goals of a chef and food service professional do not always align with the nutrition concerns of a healthcare facility.  Smith County Memorial Hospital has devised a unique solution to this problem in the person of a Chef-Registered Dietitian.  By combining the responsibilities for creating food and delivering nutrition services we are able to maintain high quality standards of both food and service while filling the nutrition needs of patients and the community.  The result is a food service department that is highly relevant to the medical team, the staff of the facility, patients in the hospital, and the community at large.

The Hometown Café is situated at the front entrance of the Smith County Memorial Hospital, located in North Central Kansas up near the Nebraska border.  We are open to the public Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and serve approximately 100 staff members, 30 Meals on Wheels participants, 30 members of the public, and 10-20 patients and guests in the hospital daily.  Our meals are based on the macronutrient parameters of the DASH diet, and we tailor food and nutrition to meet the needs of patients on an individual basis.  As a Chef-RD, Chef Steve goes into patient rooms every day armed with 30+ years’ experience providing tableside service to patrons in high-end hotels and stand-alone restaurants, intimate knowledge of what is in the refrigerators in the Hometown Café kitchen and the skill to know what to do with it, and a dedication to the highest level of service called the Spirit of Hospitality.

Current Career Opportunities

Food & Beverage – Sous Chef

I am looking for a Rock Star Sous Chef to help me with my career capstone project!

There is no ideal candidate for this job. A good candidate could have a culinary degree or be a graduate from the school of hard knocks. I am both myself. In either case, you should be able to present a decent pedigree in the form of a resume. Experience in healthcare food and beverage might be a plus, but it is not necessary.

I need an individual with solid experience who will immediately know what I am talking about and be able to add something of value to the conversation. I am imagining that this person will have 10+ years of hands-on experience in high-volume kitchens, some of it in supervisory positions. You’ll need to have a keen understanding of logistics and mis en place. If you are unaware of what mis en place is, you are not my Sous Chef. I am looking for a person with a good work ethic who manages from the front, leading by example, as I do. We all do dishes in my kitchen! If you are too good to get dirty with the rest of us, please move on to another job opportunity! Experience in the front of the house would be good. Our kitchen is open, and we are all ambassadors for the facility.

I am looking for a Sous Chef with enough hands-on kitchen experience to be an asset everywhere in the kitchen immediately. I need someone who is confident but not arrogant. I didn’t draw outside of the box on this one; I threw the box away and made a new one, so you must be willing to try something that hasn’t ever been tried before and not be afraid to fail, get up, dust off, and try again a different way. That is what I and my team do every day! I don’t intimidate easily, so I’m looking for someone who may do certain things better than I do! I am all about the strength of the team! Come and make my team stronger! You must have that understanding and be able to get everything you can out of whatever assets we have at our disposal. I need a Sous that can be one of those assets on the first day of work!

Again, there is no ideal candidate for this job. If you are in what you think is a dead-end job flipping veggie burgers in a large healthcare facility somewhere and you know you can do more, then come join us and be relevant!  

Smith County Memorial Hospital is dedicated to fully supporting your development as a professional. You can make this opportunity what you want it to be. We will train you to become a Certified Dietary Manager if you lack healthcare experience. I have precepted three CDMs that are presently working in the kitchen, and I am precepting two more right now that will sit the national board in a few months.

 My expectations for this applicant are very high. If you are the Rock Star I am looking for, please apply! Apply Now


Food & Beverage – Cooks

Smith County Memorial Hospital has openings for food service personnel. This position is for cooks with professional experience to provide food and beverage services for patients, staff and the general public. They will collaborate with the nutrition and food service team regarding menu planning and nutrition specifications. Forecasts production, inventories and purchases, ensures all food and entrees are prepared in a timely manner, according to the recipes appropriate for the menu. Other duties include stocking and serving portion-controlled hot and cold food, replenishing stations, restocking work stations, assembly, delivery and collection of patient trays. Successful candidates will deliver guest service in a polite and courteous way and exhibit a friendly and approachable demeanor. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who is interested in a regular schedule or someone wanting to work their way up in the hospitality industry. Apply Now


Food & Beverage – Dietary Aid/Dishwasher

I am looking for Rock Star Dishwasher-Dietary Aids with a solid work ethic and a commitment to the Spirit of Hospitality!  

One of the people who keeps the wheels turning in the Hometown Café is the Dishwasher-Dietary Aid. The Dietary Aid runs what we call the tray line at breakfast, lunch, and supper. They read and double-check the meal tickets I write, telling everybody in the kitchen what items go on trays we send to patient rooms. I need the Dietary Aids to be switched on because we tailor meals to individual patients, creating many moving parts where mistakes are easily made. This person must be aware of current and past diet orders and probable changes.  

We all do dishes at the Hometown Café! Nobody escapes this task, not even me! In fact, I do many of the roughest pots and pans before anybody else even arrives in the kitchen. You’ll never see pots and pans stacked up waiting for a Dishwasher to arrive.

This is an entry-level position, and you can make this opportunity what you want it to be. Smith County Memorial Hospital is dedicated to fully supporting your development as a professional. I started as a Dishwasher in 1976 and eventually decided to make it a profession. Everybody in the Hometown Café kitchen started at ground zero and moved up. I can give you the tools you need to move yourself up. All you have to do is bring that Rock Star work ethic and be committed to the Spirit of Hospitality!  

Often, people who perform this task in a hospital setting feel insignificant and unappreciated. Here at the Hometown Café in the Smith County Memorial Hospital, you are an integral part of a dynamic team that is critically relevant to the medical team, the staff of the facility, patients in the hospital, and the community at large. You can be proud of the work you do in the Hometown Café!

The Dishwasher-Dietary Aid works a steady schedule starting at $15 an hour with full benefits, including medical and a contributory retirement plan, but the top side is open-ended! You make it what you want it to be!

If you are committed to the Spirit of Hospitality and can bring that Rock Star work ethic to the table every day, come join our team and be relevant! Apply Now



Looking for a position that’s not listed? We keep applications for up to six months, so we encourage you to send an application to be considered for new opportunities. Questions about openings can be sent to

Interested in a job shadow or internship experience at SMCH? Great! Fill out our application designed especially for students.

Smith County Memorial Hospital is an equal opportunity employer. Background check required.

Competitive Pay

Competitive pay plus a lower cost of living adds up to a higher quality of life for our staff.

Paid Time Off

Our comprehensive paid time off program can be used for any type of time off from work.

Vibrant Community

We are encouraged to be engaged in local and surrounding communities to pursue personal fulfillment.


We encourage personal improvement through formal and informal education.

Health Insurance

Employees who work an average of 87 hours per month qualify for enrollment in our robust group plan.

Cafe Discount

One of our staff’s favorite perks is the discount they receive at our Hometown Cafe, where fresh food is served.

Retirement Package

We provide a retirement program to recognize our employees’ loyal service and to assist them in saving for retirement.

Newer Facility

Built in 2018, we believe that a quality healthcare facility can improve the wellness of the individual patients we serve and that of the community as a whole.