Join Our Team

Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering is an authentic Panamanian
cuisine restaurant and a sole proprietor business.

Welcome To The Esencias Panameñas Team

Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering is seeking individuals with previous experience in a full service restaurant and bar that will strive to exceed our guests' expectations and provide them with nothing less than extraordinary dining experience. The candidate will become knowledgeable of Panama’s history and gastronomy so as to be able to explain and guide guests in order to positively experience the Esencias Panameñas’ Panamanian Cuisine concept.

If you would like to work in a new and upcoming team oriented, fast paced, high volume, challenging and professional environment, then please submit your resume to: No phone calls accepted. Candidates must possess a valid work permit, be a permanent resident of the United States, or be a United States citizen.

The following position is available at this time:

  • Sous Chef/Kitchen Manager - 5+ years’ overall culinary experience, including 2 years’ Latin/Caribbean cuisine experience required

Position Description: Sous Chef/Kitchen Manager 5+ years’ overall culinary experience
including 2 years’ Latin/Caribbean cuisine experience required

Esencias Panamenas Restaurant & Catering – winner of 2017 and 2018 Best of DC – Best Latin American Restaurant, is seeking an experienced, forward-thinking Sous Chef/Kitchen Manager, who is passionate about the culinary arts, to join our team and take over the operations of the BOH.Esencias Panameñas Restaurant & Catering, unlike a typical Latin cuisine restaurant, will provide a unique combination of authentic Panamanian food with a Caribbean flair at value pricing with a fun and entertaining atmosphere.If you are passionate about the restaurant industry and have prior experience as a Chef, we invite you to apply today.

The following tasks and responsibilities are under direct supervision of the Chef/Owner:


  • Certificate or Associate Degree in Culinary Arts required (Bachelor’s preferred)
  • 5+ years’ overall culinary experience, including 2 years’ Latin/Caribbean cuisine experience required (Panamanian cuisine preferred)
  • 2+ years’ Sous chef and Restaurant management experience
  • Ability to enunciate all food and beverage names in Spanish correctly (Spanish preferred)
  • Ability to work well under pressure and in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Capable of conducting and assessing restaurant inventory
  • Experience with delegating tasks and maintaining fast speed of service
  • Ability to regularly work evenings, weekends, and holidays, and be willing to work at least 50 hours per week
  • Ability to work all stations on line with attention to detail, speed and accuracy
  • Strong interpersonal skills, clear thinker, remaining calm and resolving problems with guests and employees, using good judgment
  • Maintain and strictly abide by state sanitation/health regulations and company policies

Essential Functions of the Job:

  • Work hand-in-hand with the Chef/Owner to oversee restaurant functions by following Esencias Panamenas’ best practice to ensure that guests receive the utmost dining experience
  • Become knowledge of all the items the restaurant and bar has to offer (food, beverages, Panama holiday specials,) and its components (decor, Chef/Owner)
  • Champion and adhere to all company high standards and policies, including kitchen cleanliness and sanitation, and employee Code of Conduct, attendance, uniform and appearance policies
  • Ensure food preparation, food portion and presentation meet Esencias Panamenas’ standards and commitment to quality
  • Follow health and safety procedures in the kitchen and in accordance with city, state and federal requirements
  • Perform a daily "walk through" inventory to prioritize product utilization
  • Manage relationships with distributors and resolve issues with vendors promptly
  • Follow the budget established by the restaurant Chef/Owner
  • Hire, manage, train, and mentor BOH staff and delegate tasks related to meal prep, cooking and delivering food to diners in a timely fashion
  • Create schedules for BOH staff to ensure there are always enough workers to meet the demand, particularly on weekends
  • Monitor food and labor costs
  • Keep up with industry trends and propose menu changes and adjustments to the Chef/Owner, based on seasonal availability
  • Order supplies, food and ingredients based on rapidly shifting demand
  • Maintain inventory levels and conduct full weekly inventory
  • Schedule and oversee necessary maintenance and repairs on kitchen appliances
  • Respond personally to guest food questions and complaints
  • Performs other duties as required or directed by Chef/Owner