In Singapore we fortunately don’t experience a shortage of flavours, cuisines and dishes. Every day we could eat something different if we wanted to. With this excess of choice, we perceive the kitchen world as a place that is steady, in order and ever prospering – after all do we love eating.
However, the reality looks different on the other side of the counter. What if you have all the flavours in the world, but no one to cook it for you? Many restaurants around the world are experiencing a shortage of chefs. The problem isn’t as drastic in Singapore yet, but it is necessary to look at the reasons for the problem around the world. Does Singapore need to expect similar problems? Many youngsters simply don’t know what a day in the life of an executive chef looks like.
From New York to the UK and over to Australia – the situation looks similar everywhere. Hence, Singapore might face the same issues. According to the Irish Times and the Guardian, many executive chefs complain that the young ones are not trained properly enough. This doesn’t just include their culinary skills, but most prominently the life as a chef itself. Many cooks in training are studying at culinary schools, but don’t experience sufficient enough time in an actual kitchen. Chefs state that a three month placement in a kitchen isn’t really enough to understand the inner workings of a kitchen.
If you have seen any of the many cooking shows on TV, you might have an idea of what it can be like in the kitchen. It is stress – no joke. We asked a Clubvivre chef about the life in the kitchen and why young cooks might turn away from it. Chef Andrew Ng has culinary expertise in Japanese and French fine dining and advises youngsters “don’t become a chef – unless you are prepared to burn weekends, work long hours, get burnt yourself, get cuts and scolded”.
Bon Vivant was launched by Clubvivre
More Kitchen Time – Less School
The glamorous life of a chef is definitely not so glamours in the beginning of the career. Chefs from around the world suggest that young trainees should spend more time in an actual kitchen and less in a culinary school. What use does it have if one is trained with refined techniques, but cannot handle to daily kitchen routine? Here lies the root of the problem. Many youngsters only realise very late into their training that a life in the kitchen isn’t for them, resulting in a waste of training and an acute shortage of chefs in kitchens around the world.
Bad Pay & Too Many Restaurants
However, there are more reasons. While more and more young chefs want to be Anthony Bourdain, the pay isn’t attractive enough. Another reason for the shortage of chefs is the ever-growing competition among restaurants. As the number of restaurants continuously rises, the amount of available chefs is getting smaller and smaller. Be it private chef or restaurant chef – this is a problem that Singapore might be facing soon as well.