Brexit Chefs. Blog by Oystein Mojord from Chef & Yöung

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th August 2016

On June 23, Britain voted to leave the European Union and with it comes one thing that everyone seems to agree on, uncertainty. The UK restaurant industry has long struggled with its chronic chef’s shortage and the question is now, how will Brexit impact an industry already in crisis?

At the moment, a majority of our chefs are from the EU or Asian countries and it has proven difficult to recruit young British nationals to the restaurant business. Few young British nationals start an education to become chefs and therefore many of our restaurants are run in a highly multicultural environment, mixing British, European and non-European workers.

On one side, the curry chefs have apparently blamed much of their chef’s shortages on the EU, as EU workers themselves cannot fill their specialty field. They need staff from Asia with knowledge, motivation and a feel for curries. Let us not forget that curries have been eaten in the UK for 200 years and are seen as a national dish. More than 23 million Brits eat curry regularly. Have a look at CNNs article about what curry chefs thought about the Brexit: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/11/europe/brexit-britain-eu-referendum-curry/

Perhaps with more open borders to the Asian countries we will see a surge in chefs coming over to fill Britain’s bellies with spicy curries.

On another side, the European chefs who have come to the UK have fulfilled important roles among our top starred restaurants with their experience and knowledge within European cuisines; without them our fine dining might not become the same.

The open boarders provided by the principle of Free Movement of Labour allows young people to experience life in different countries. The influence this has had on British food culture is apparent with the popularity of foreign foods on the rise each year. The opportunity for young chefs and foodies to travel across borders unhindered is a huge advantage to their culinary and personal development. This not to mention the ability of restaurants to hire from a wide pool of talent as well as reducing the cost of buying produce from the EU (where would we be without fresh oranges from Valencia or Champagne from France?) to include in menus.

At this time, only uncertainty is certain so it will be interesting to follow updates on Brexit negotiations closely. Whatever does happen, hopefully the restaurant industry will continue to grow with its incredible diversity and chef’s life will proceed.

What are your thoughts on Brexit chefs? #brexitchefs

Chef & Yöung is a Scandinavian pro kitchen gear brand for adventurous chefs and foodies. Everything started when the Norwegian chef, Oystein, travelled around the world and noticed that there was a high demand for quality chefs in the kitchens; meanwhile his colleagues were constantly switching jobs. He decided something had to be done and Chef & Yöung was born to bring in a new attitude among yöung chefs and promote cooking as a lifestyle. Oysterin co-owns Chef & Yöung with Mattias Nordlander who focuses on the sales, marketing and finance side of the business.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th August 2016

Brexit Chefs. Blog by Oystein Mojord from Chef & Yöung