Staffing Issues

Chefs Still Can’t Find Enough Good Cooks for Their Kitchens

This food's not going to cook itself.
This food’s not going to cook itself. Photo: Masterfile/Corbis

Too few cooks in the kitchen is by now a well-documented side effect of an explosive restaurant industry, and today, the Times gave a few dozen big-name executive chefs and restaurateurs another chance to gripe and remind everyone how little has changed.

It’s the problems that Grub highlighted a few years back: the same stagiaire-eschewing young culinary grads; the insane growth of sit-down restaurants (they’re multiplying faster than even fast-food chains); and the “greener pastures” phenomenon of underpaid chefs leaving their 425-square-foot Bushwick studio to open Dubuque’s first ramen–fried-chicken fusion joint, or whatever.

Hooni Kim, chef-owner of Hanjan and Danji, says he’s given up on expecting that “line cooks will be able to season correctly.” His new dishes are ones that he can make himself, in advance, and let the line cooks heat up. In short, it’s still looking bleak and probably going to get bleaker: If the growth continues over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates kitchens will require another 200,000 jobs.


Chefs Still Can’t Find Enough Good Cooks for Their Kitchens