Irish kitchens are experiencing a hiring crisis when searching for new chefs, according to a Restaurant recruitment expert.
The number of cooks in Ireland peaked in 2019 at 26 thousand but has fallen sharply since the pandemic.
Many chefs exited the sector during the last two years because of the restrictions imposed on the hospitality sector.
Founder and Chief Executive of We Have Chefs, Paddy Lynn, says the demand is overwhelming and that an obstacle is also that many believe that chefs from other countries can only cook in their local cuisine which Lynn says is completely untrue.
He says a good chef in one cuisine will naturally be a good chef in another cuisine.
According to a hotelier, lack of chefs is the single biggest issue facing the hospitality sector.
Many hospitality workers left the industry during the pandemic and kitchens are now struggling to recruit chefs.
Lorraine Sweeney owns four hotels in Wicklow and a restaraunt in Dublin.
She says chefs are a particular challenge because it is such a specialised skill as a chef cannot work as a receptionist or in any other area of the business and their set of skills pertain directly to culinary skills.