So the industry that I love has apparently moved from a skills shortage, to a crisis point, with a full blown chef shortage? I’ve looked at this in depth and have written about this in my blogs. I have spoken at length about my personal views on how the industry must change if we’re to encourage young chefs into our kitchens my blog the final bell on dinner service? http://www.fullerflavour.wordpress.com has been picked up by local and national press.
I was asked for a recent BBC article for an upcoming documentary, why I still bothered with an industry that is so sacrificial in terms of what it expects from its employees,why indeed I thought? With many a chef leaving the industry & few coming in to replace them why don’t I jump this sinking ship? My answer was simple, I love to cook & I do what I love. The kitchen was my sanctuary in an otherwise unorthodox upbringing it found me and I am grateful for that and everyday I give all I can back. There’s probably a thousand kids out there that could benefit from this type of environment to give them a purpose, some stability a constant, a family even. I train young chefs now & I find it hugely rewarding, I mentor chefs for competitions and most importantly I’m not done yet, “my best is yet to come!” perhaps I’ll have that put on my headstone one day, but as I say to my guys in the kitchen after a 15 hour marathon shift “you may feel depleted, exhausted, paralysed even, but there is always someone out there willing to push that bit more, how much do you want it?” But I then realise that I’m perpetuating the myth for another generation of young chefs, so what needs to change? I don’t have all the answers but if we try to reduce hours, stress and workload the environment would be more appealing, but that would involve more staff and increased cost, so what we really should be asking is how much are willing to pay for a good meal??