How to make hospitality more attractive for the next generation chefs

The time we need to start thinking about how we nurture future talent is now. Hospitality is an industry full of possibilities, and we need to encourage and inspire new talent by making kitchens an environment that they can’t wait to enter.

At the same time, existing talent cannot be neglected and it’s important we understand the value of retaining it. Not only for business reasons but also for the specific skills which experienced chefs bring.

We spoke with six chefs to find out what needs to be done to attract new talent and how young chefs can set themselves up for success.

Mentorship is essential

“We need to be willing to mentor and support young talent, we need to be willing to sacrifice our time, dedicate some of our passion and be willing to teach – sometimes we are reluctant in sharing our knowledge, in fear of someone becoming better than us. Leaders need to abandon this fear.”

Candice Adams
Academic Operations Manager at Capsicum Culinary Studio



Make mistakes

“Respect what you don’t know. Don’t try to do too much. Making mistakes and learning from others is a major part of your growth as a culinarian. Accept where you excel and respect where you don’t.”

Lewis Hughes
Chef and Founder of Hughes Hill Catering 
Click here to check out his recent Take20 with us.

Reframe what it means to be a chef

“Let’s go from “Oui, Chef” to “Why, Chef?” Let’s promote curiosity while honouring tradition. Curiosity with diversity in thought and experience breeds innovation. A new generation could mean a new perspective on the way we do things.
As leaders, let’s embrace that diversity. Let’s empower the next generation to reshape what a Chef is.”

Shanna Sooknanan
Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant Associates 


Create a culture of learning

“Move around the kitchen, give new talent exposure to the various sections. Introduce them to all the people in the team, from sous-chef to kitchen porters so they can learn from them and get to know all the different characters. Ultimately, knowledge needs to be drip-fed down the kitchen”

Danny Silcock
Sector Development Chef at Brakes


Create New Positions

“We see people today and think where they will be in six months. And we’ll create positions for the chefs who need an extra promotion, even if they don’t exist.. Because it helps us retain them and it helps them feel rewarded. They can see that we care and we can identify they’re doing well.”

Amanda Fuller
Group Executive Chef of Sam Prince Hospitality Group


Never stop chasing your dreams

“My advice as a restaurateur and chef for those finding success is to never stop chasing your dreams and don’t let anything stop you. The road to success might have ups and downs but stay focused and motivated and you will get there.”

Ali Yazdi
Chef and Founder of SLAW and Next Door Cafe




It’s clear that a focus on mentorship, diversity and respect will ignite the change we’re all working towards. If you want to be part of the change, #FairKitchens has developed a free Leadership Training for all hospitality members and established and future leaders to build a better environment the whole kitchen will benefit from. 

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