Search for chef now into 5th month


All Graeme Black­ford wants is a ‘‘good coun­try chef’’.

Some­one who is qual­i­fied but can cook a mean steak, a good chicken meal and rus­tle up a few burg­ers.

But the Grand Tav­ern pub­li­can’s search for a chef has moved into its fifth month with no sign of a likely can­di­date com­ing for­ward.

He’s ad­ver­tised in lo­cal and na­tional news­pa­pers and even has two black­board signs out­side the tav­ern in Te Aroha, ad­ver­tis­ing for a chef.

While there are cooks out there look­ing for work, no one qual­i­fied has put their hand up.

It has meant the tav­ern’s restau­rant hasn’t been able to func­tion prop­erly,

‘‘You can’t func­tion with­out a cook or a chef so we’re not get­ting by at all and it’s start­ing to cost us money.’’

Black­ford is the pres­i­dent Thames Val­ley-Coro­man­del Ho­tel As­so­ci­a­tion and he reck­ons his prob­lem is not an iso­lated one.

A search of the job web­site,, showed there were 21 jobs listed un­der the ti­tle, ‘‘chef’’ for the Waikato.

Pay rates ranged from $20 to $29.99 per hour while an­other job was listed with the rate of $35,000 to $44,999 per year.

‘‘We [as­so­ci­a­tion] had a meet­ing re­cently and talked about the lack of chefs,’’ Black­ford said.

‘‘You can’t get any­one. You look at the hos­pi­tal­ity col­umn of the sit­u­a­tion va­cant and it’s all peo­ple look­ing for chefs.

‘‘I know of a ho­tel in the South Is­land which took about 12 months to find a chef.’’

He thought there was a short­age of trades peo­ple across the board.


Grand Tav­ern pub­li­can Graeme Black­ford reck­ons no one wants to work in Te Aroha be­cause of a lack of rental ac­com­mo­da­tion.

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