What Vancouver's chef shortage means for our city's food scene

Jan 29 2020, 11:03 am

Vancouver is a city known for many things: ski hills, a milder climate than our friends on the east coast, and perhaps most importantly, incredible food.

However, did you know that due to the current state of the culinary industry, there’s a chef shortage in our city? That’s right. Your favourite sushi restaurant, oyster bar, and ramen shop are becoming an endangered species as we speak.

It’s such a big issue that Metro Vancouver has even done a deep dive on it. According to their Restaurant Labour Shortage Report, while Vancouver’s restaurant industry is booming — with British Columbians making 2.7 million trips to restaurants every day and restaurants experiencing year-over-year growth — operators are unable to keep up with recruiting needs.

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So, what’s the problem? Our chef shortage issue is complex, but one of the reasons is that temporary foreign worker programs are limited — leaving BC without access to chefs to fill the gaps from overseas. Another is our city’s high cost of living.

LaSalle College Vancouver/Facebook

But there’s one (major) silver lining: there are a LOT of job opportunities for chefs in Vancouver. In fact, according to The Conference Board of Canada, over the next 10 years, BC will have 514,000 less skilled labour workers than needed, many of which fall in the restaurant industry.

Because you’ll find a less saturated market here than other cities, if cooking is something that you’re passionate about, Vancouver is a city where you can really make your culinary dreams come true.

LaSalle College Vancouver/Facebook

LaSalle College Vancouver is the city’s ultimate food-focused educational institution. It gives students hands-on time in the kitchen with industry experts in a state-of-the-art campus in Vancouver.

In just a year or two, students are fully-equipped to go out into the professional cooking world, and alumni have gone on to successful careers in impressive dining rooms and kitchens around the world.

The college is offering Diplomas in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Hospitality and Restaurant Business Management. So no matter if you’re passionate about flambeing salmon, julienning carrots, blind baking, or opening the next best restaurant in town, there’s something for everyone interested in food.

In the words of Metro Vancouver, “It starts with the people. Nurturing an environment where employees are engaged and feel recognized has the strongest potential for real change within any organization.”

If you’re passionate about cooking and are looking to embark on a brand new career in food, now is 100% the time. Don’t delay! Check out the incredible programs at LaSalle College Vancouver today to get started on your exciting culinary career.