IN THE PINK: Celebrity chef Anna Polyviou with Lola Westbury. Anna and Barbie have teamed up to inspire young girls to follow their passion for cooking and baking as the chef profession is still male dominated.
IN THE PINK: Celebrity chef Anna Polyviou with Lola Westbury. Anna and Barbie have teamed up to inspire young girls to follow their passion for cooking and baking as the chef profession is still male dominated.

Passion, positivity good mix for chefs

RELIABLE, hardworking and enthusiastic chefs are in high demand as restaurants and cafes scramble to fill the growing number of roles.

Federal Government data forecasts an extra 10,900 jobs will be created for chefs between 2017 and 2022, representing a 12 per cent increase.

This is on top of positions that will become available as other chefs retire or change industry.

Based on discussions with employers, the Australian Jobs 2018 report reveals the most in-demand chefs are those who can show they are reliable, hardworking, and enthusiastic, with a positive attitude - in that order.

Executive chef Steven Jones runs a team of 160 staff and says he looks for chefs or apprentices whose knowledge he can rely on.

"(The right person) has done a bit of research into what your business is about and knows a bit about current trends in the market,” he says.

They should also have a positive outlook in the way they talk and act, and be passionate about forging a career, not just having a job.

Jones says the right person will also fit in with the rest of the team.

"The people in the kitchen become like family,” he says.

Celebrity chef Anna Polyviou says it is important to encourage young chefs, and mentor and nurture them.

Although her line of work is busy, she says it is also fun, as every day is different.

"I love the rush about it and the opportunities that come with it,” she says. "There are aspects where I can be creative and innovative.”

The MasterChef mentor and Family Food Fight judge has teamed with Barbie to inspire girls to follow their passion for cooking with the Junior Executive Chef campaign.

Government data shows just one in four chefs are women.

Polyviou says being a female in a male-dominated occupation has given her opportunities, rather than barriers.


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