As we noted in our earlier blog post, one of the major challenges that one is bound to face when trying to establish a café that specializes in exotic cuisine is that of getting good chefs. There are plenty of chefs around, of course — but very few of these are specialized in exotic cuisines. Most of the chefs you encounter in the neighborhoods tend to be folks who are only conversant with local cuisines. Those who happen to have some understanding of exotic cuisines tend to exhibit a very rudimentary level of such understanding. This is how you end up with a chef who only knows how to cook a couple of Indian dishes (typically curries), a single Japanese dish (Sushi), two or three Italian dishes and a couple of Chinese dishes. That’s it. Such a person can hardly be described as being a ‘specialist’ in exotic cuisines.
Whenever I think about the task of getting chefs who specialize in exotic cuisines, I always wish that the hospitality industry was more like the shipping industry. In that industry, if we take a company like UPS – whose workers’ portal is Upsers.com, you see that they always have a good pool of talent to choose from. Even for more specialized tasks, like those of UPS tracking number optimization, there is nonetheless a good pool of potential workers to choose from. Actually, those are even likely to include Uspers, who are already working for the company: which brings about the possibility of hiring in-house.
But with respect to something like the recruitment of chefs for exotic cuisines, the choices tend to be fewer. Actually, we only have three options. One option is that of hiring the local chefs who claim to have some understanding of exotic cuisines – but who, as we have seen, tend to exhibit very rudimentary levels of knowledge in that area. They can then be given further training over time. The other option is that of bringing specialist chefs from abroad. The final option is that of hiring unskilled people locally, and training them to a level where they become expert chefs specializing in exotic cuisines.