A new initiative launched by writer Kat Kinsman in partnership with some of the world’s best chefs and Unilever Food Solutions aims to make kitchens the world over fairer, healthier and happier places to work, and put an end to the damaging kitchen culture that has in some cases led to chefs losing their lives.
#FairKitchens is described on its website as “A movement of chefs supporting chefs to inspire a new kitchen culture.” The initiative is being promoted via social media and kicked off on 29 May with kitchen teams being asked to take “An Hour for Us” – to stop what they were doing and discuss a proposed code of conduct that would encourage kitchens to be more open and unified.
Kinsman of runs the ChefsWithIssues website, a resource for chefs struggling with the physical and mental toll of the job, and has spoken previously about how kitchen culture needs to change or more chefs will die – watch below.
A recent survey by Unilever Food Solutions reported 63% of chefs having experienced depression, 74% having felt sleep deprived to the point of of exhaustion, 53% having felt pushed to breaking point and one in four having suffered physical abuse at work. It also found that 60% of young chefs felt there was little possibility for career progression, while 34% of chefs felt under appreciated on a daily basis.
A number of high profile chefs have lent their weight to the campaign, including Ludo Lefebvre and Michael Gulotta. It’s generally felt that changing kitchen culture would be one way to tackle the industry’s growing chefs shortage.
So, will you pledge yourself to #FairKitchens?
Working, running and being part of a restaurant can be a grueling task and take its toll on you and everyone around you. It has taken me a long time to figure out that building a team you can trust and rely on is critical for the needed work/life balance (for everyone). Trust me, I wasn’t always this way and still need to remind myself each and every day. We end up spending more time with our staffs than we do our family, so treating one another with respect is a must. As an industry we need to constantly be striving to be better (me included), which is why I have pledged to join the #FairKitchens movement to support the fight for chef well-being and encourage other Head Chefs to do the same. To hear more about the #FairKitchens movement and find out how you can join the cause, visit www.fairkitchens.com #partner #AnHourForUs @unileverfoodsolutions_na @makdaddies @rachelpaigedejong @icanmakesoup @sammynuckols @lmaria88
A post shared by Ludovic Lefebvre (@chefludo) on May 16, 2018 at 2:18pm PDT