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Two weeks looking for a chef - and not one applicant

Dingle restaurant owner says shortage of skilled kitchen staff has reached crisis point in last few years – even as recession hits.

THE OWNER OF a popular restaurant in Dingle has said he has spent a fortnight looking for a chef de partie – and had yet to receive one CV.

Sean Roche, owner of Doyle’s seafood restaurant, posted the following on Twitter over the weekend:

This morning, he told that had received two text messages of enquiry since posting that tweet yesterday but otherwise had seen no interest expressed:

I advertised in a local magazine as well, and other people in the food industry have been retweeting my job offer but no luck. It is six months of guaranteed work for good pay, five days a week. To be honest, I’m not really surprised – I have the same chef for the past three years but it has been difficult to fill the chef de partie job the last two to three years.

Not even the lure of spending a summer on the picturesque Dingle peninsula, in the heart of the lively heritage town, has attracted applicants. Roche explains:

The majority of staff in the catering industry around tend to be foreign, Czechs, Lithuanians, Estonians, but even that is going to change as they move on to London, especially with the Olympics coming up.

We’re not the only ones struggling. The Cliff House Hotel in Waterford has a Michelin star and it should have people lined up to try and get a job in there but they have been having problems too. It’s been the same for the Tannery in Dungarvan.

Paul Flynn, chef and owner of the Tannery, has been appealing on Twitter for applicants for another chef de partie job for the past few weeks:

Sean Roche notes that when he was a young chef, he sent his CV out to all the top restaurants in the country in the hope of getting some valuable experience. He says:

It seems to me that anyone worth their salt are now heading away straight off to Australia and other places abroad. There is a real shortage.

The dearth of catering staff is not just in rural Ireland. Catherine Cleary in yesterday’s Irish Times noted that in Dublin, the Shelbourne, Shanahan’s on the Green and Bon Appetit in Malahide, all prestigious eating houses, are looking for staff.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) counts as one of its priorities getting more skilled chefs into kitchens and wants a catering course made available to the unemployed to meet the demands of those restaurants surviving the recession – but lacking the staff numbers to function properly.

  • Anyone interested in the chef de partie job in Doyle’s of Dingle are asked to contact Sean on 086 8049563 or email doylesofdingle[AT]

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