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Shortage of chefs is recipe for disaster

 
AN EXPLOSION in the number of restaurants in south Manchester is causing a shortage of trained chefs.

Restaurant owners say they are struggling to fill positions because there aren�t enough chefs with the right skills.

Lisa Ramsden, co-owner of Rhubarb on Burton Road, West Didsbury, said: �The restaurant scene in West Didsbury has exploded over the few last years and south Manchester has been a victim of its own success.

�There aren�t enough chefs of the right calibre with a good enough range of skills because all the good ones have been snapped up already.�

Lisa, 34, and her husband Mark, who is a trained chef, employ four other chefs at the restaurant which opened four years ago.

She said: �Because we�re a small restaurant we need chefs that have a wide range of skills and some of them that have worked in large restaurants only know how to focus on one food area.

�We do train new chefs up, but that all takes time.�

Mark Johnson, manager of Croma on Wilbraham Road in Chorlton, said he had to turn to a local catering college when an advert for a new chef failed to turn up a suitable candidate.

Mark said: �None of the people we interviewed had the skills we needed. It was a surprise that there were not enough people out there with the right skills.�

South Manchester has undergone a boom in restaurants, cafe-bars and bars serving good food, with areas such as Chorlton, West Didsbury and Didsbury becoming a magnet for food-lovers.

Celebrity chef - and owner of Greens on Lapwing Lane in West Didsbury - Simon Rimmer, says the problem is a skills shortage.

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