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Wanted at Google: A few good chefs

Search giant launches a global search for "culinary engineers." Candidates will compete in a cookoff.

Search engine giant Google is launching a global search for two executive chefs to feed all the hungry engineers it's been hiring.

Qualified chefs can submit resumes and top candidates will be invited to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., to prepare a meal for a "tasting committee." Four finalists will compete in a Google Chef Cookoff, the company said Thursday in a statement.

Standards are high, according to the job description. Candidates should preferably have spent a minimum of five years as a sous chef and three years as an executive chef, and should have experience preparing ethnic and vegetarian cuisine using organic ingredients. The chefs will be required to cook an "eclectic menu capable of suiting every Googler palate, from vegan entrees to pad thai, grilled burgers and wood-fired pizza," the company said.

"These two chefs will play an important role in managing the company's growing appetites," President Sergey Brin said in the statement.

Google, the leader among search engines and so popular its name has become a verb, has been on a . It is reportedly looking to expand its office space, which means more mouths to feed.

According to a company blog posting, the kitchen at Google goes through 55 gallons of olive oil a week, and breakfast chefs make two fresh smoothies or one custom omelet every minute.

A sample menu on the blog includes Ahi Tuna & Avocado Poke, Calypso Rice Salad, Roasted Pork Loin and Hazelnut Shortcakes with Plum Compote.

Google's cuisine has been legendary since the company's early days, when it hired the former chef for the Grateful Dead.

Tasty victuals--free breakfast, lunch and dinner--are only one of the many perks the company offers its burgeoning number of employees. Others include a staff doctor, dry cleaning pickup and delivery, onsite car wash and oil change, gym, personal trainers, tuition reimbursement, proximity parking for pregnant employees and nursing rooms for mothers.

And then there are the stock options, which shot up past $300 a share in June and have continued to trade at close to that price, making Google the world's biggest media group by stock market value.

Google declined to comment. (Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story.)