YOUR LO­CAL NEWS

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE -

Over the past week we’ve been work­ing on a story which came out of Te Aroha, about a pub­li­can there who had spent nearly five months look­ing for a chef to op­er­ate a restau­rant at the Grand Tav­ern. Graeme Black­ford told us about his search and his view that the lack of chefs was ac­tu­ally a re­gional prob­lem. So we quizzed a few Hamil­ton restau­rant own­ers and found that Graeme’s hunch was right on the money. Re­porter Kel­ley Tantau also con­tacted New Zealand Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion and it was con­firmed there was a na­tion-wide short­age of chefs. While re­al­ity food and cook­ing shows have proved pop­u­lar on tele­vi­sion, it has not trans­lated into more qual­i­fied and qual­ity chefs en­ter­ing the in­dus­try. Some restau­rant own­ers have upped their pay rates in a des­per­ate at­tempt to get chefs to stay on while oth­ers are head-hunt­ing staff from other eater­ies. The sum­mer sea­son is ap­proach­ing and no doubt the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try will be scram­bling to make sure kitchens are well staffed to man­age do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourists.

Lawrence Gullery

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