San Diego has joined the growing number of large U.S. Cities facing a serious shortage of chefs. It is a multifaceted concern that impacts every aspect of the food service industry and requires an assertive response.
There are ongoing issues such as the inability to earn a living wage, the lack of adequate training (two local culinary schools have closed in the past year), and professional and interpersonal hurdles that many young chefs are not prepared to negotiate.
Add the current demographic shift that more women are entering the industry than men and there appears to be a pressing need to change the way business is done in America’s commercial kitchens.
One example of the times is the KITCHENS FOR GOOD Project Launch Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Overall class size continues to increase, while male/female ratios have risen from 20 percent women four years ago to 60 percent women currently.
Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego and the Chefs de Cuisine Education Foundation represent the oldest and largest chef organizations in San Diego. These two affiliated organizations are partnering with KITCHENS FOR GOOD, by providing one-year memberships to Project Launch graduates at no cost to the individual.
The membership offers a mentorship program as a bridge between the initial weeks of Project Launch through that first year when crucial professional decisions often must be made. The mentorship aids in the transition from cook to chef and provides graduates with an ongoing professional database.
The reality, however, is there are not enough women mentors available for the influx of women entering the profession.
Women face special challenges in this industry, not the least of which has been sexual harassment and abuse. There also are numerous less volatile situations that arise when the counsel of another woman professional would be highly beneficial.
If you are woman food service professional in San Diego, your help is needed. If you are not in the industry, but have a favorite chef or restaurant, ask them to contact our web site and get involved.
Professional mentorship training will be provided, a systematic mentoring program will be in place and appropriate boundaries will be adhered to
The real need is for talented people to donate some of their valuable time and experience. A while women mentors are certainly a priority; men mentors are also in short supply.
A mentor is assigned to each graduate for one year. Mentors must be culinary or food service professionals with at least five years experience and have completed mentorship training provided by Chefs de Cuisine and KITCHENS FOR GOOD.
Click Volunteer Now. Your name wil be added to the list of potential volunteers. You will be contacted to continue the application process.
KITCHENS FOR GOOD is an innovative culinary apprenticeship program the helps to provide individuals from troubled backgrounds with the professional culinary skills and personal life skills to create successful lifestyles and careers. www.kitchensforgood.org
The Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego, formed in 1961, is the oldest and largest chef organization in San Diego. It focuses on professional development, culinary certification and supporting the programs and activities of its partner organization the Chefs de Cuisine Education Foundation.
The Chefs de Cuisine Association of San Diego Education Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation created in 2002 with the mission: To create and promote culinary-related educational opportunities that address industry standards and provide scholarships, mentorships, and apprenticeships.
Graduates of KITCHENS FOR GOOD Project Launch Culinary Apprenticeship Program receive one-year memberships to Chefs de Cuisine at no cost to the individual to aid in the transition from cook to chef and provide graduates with a professional database.