• Cyril McAree

Making Professional Kitchens Great Workplaces Chef Network Launches a ‘Kitchen Workplace Charter’


Chef Network, Ireland’s professional chef community which represents over 3,000 chefs, launched a Kitchen Workplace Charter at a Kitchen Culture Seminar in the offices of LinkedIn, Dublin on the 20th of November.

The chef community in Ireland have taken action to make the industry a better place to work by creating a Kitchen Workplace Charter which consists of a set of principles for each kitchen team to adhere to which will foster a working environment built on respect and professional development, and create a culture where people are happy to come to work.

The Charter was launched at a Chef Network Kitchen Culture Seminar, which also saw a panel discussion with acclaimed chefs and industry experts address key challenges within the sector. In order to promote the industry, the panel agreed that there is a need to change perceptions about bad behaviour in kitchens and communicate the reality that this aggressive behaviour is no longer acceptable or commonplace.

The Kitchen Workplace Charter asks chefs to make a commitment to making their own kitchen a great place to work by Building a Positive and Encouraging Environment, Nurturing Camaraderie and Team Spirit, Promoting Learning and Development, Prioritising Work-Life Balance, Giving Back to the Chef Community and Contributing to a Positive Future of the Industry.

Chef Network is asking chefs to print the Charter which is available at www.chefnetwork.ie, put it on display in their own workplace, and talk to their team about how they plan to implement these guiding principles.

Ruth Hegarty, head of community at Chef Network, said, “The Kitchen Workplace Charter was put together by chefs for chefs as a statement of intent for how they want to make kitchens great places to work. It is our commitment to making the industry better at both retaining chefs and attracting new people to the profession. We want chefs to join the conversation with the Chef Network online community, and share ideas about how we can use this Charter to improve our industry. Chefs across the country are stepping up to the plate and we really need the support of the whole industry to get behind this initiative to support chefs and improve kitchen culture”.

Chef Network Skillnet, the training arm of Chef Network, support chefs with professional development through subsidised, peer-led training which will not only sharpen their culinary skills, but also provide the leadership and management skills needed to implement the Kitchen Workplace Charter in their own kitchens.

In the process of developing the Kitchen Workplace Charter, chefs came together to discuss what they love about being a chef and spoke about the camaraderie in the industry, the creativity and variety in the job, and the many opportunities and different career paths it affords them. Chef Network is also calling for chefs to tell these positive stories to help promote the industry and attract the chefs of the future.

Chefs can sign up to Chef Network for free through the website www.chefnetwork.ie where they will also gain access to an online community where they can ask for advice, find and post jobs, and read blogs from other chefs on topics such as wellness, sourcing sustainably, experiences of travelling and working abroad.

For more information about the Chef Network Skillnet events, see www.chefnetwork.ie or email info@chefnetwork.ie.


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