‘Come home!’ Celebrity chef Josh Emett is recruiting Kiwis overseas

The restaurateur has taken to social media to find top-notch culinary talent

‘Come home!’ Celebrity chef Josh Emett is recruiting Kiwis overseas

It’s summer in New Zealand. The country is no longer in lockdown. Restaurants are busy.

If you’re in the culinary sector, then “your skills are in demand,” celebrity chef Josh Emett posted on Instagram as he called on Kiwis overseas to come home and help food businesses in New Zealand.

The restaurateur behind The Oyster Inn and Madam Woo has taken to social media to recruit talent in the culinary industry – and he’s set his sights on talented Kiwis abroad.

“Isn’t it about time you headed home?” Emett said. For world-class talent willing to accept his offer, the celebrity chef is even promising to pay for a portion of their airfare.

“We’re constantly looking for good staff,” he said, explaining to The New Zealand Herald how he taps into his online network to meet top-notch professionals.

Read more: Hiring in a post-crisis world

Emett believes recruiting through social media is a “great way to find staff” since his own friends, as well as industry insiders, also share his call-outs.

“Often, we find our best staff by word of mouth and through other colleagues in the industry rather than putting ads out through Seek or other places where everyone is doing the same thing,” he said.

Business activity in New Zealand is slowly easing back to normal, but with it comes the problem of staff shortages in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, both of which relied heavily on migrant workers before the pandemic.

Read more: Celebrity chef Guy Fieri raises $21.5M for struggling workers

With global travel strictly regulated amid the crisis, potential workers from other parts of the world were barred from coming in to support New Zealand’s food industry.

“The wait to get back into New Zealand is out almost to April at the moment, so even if they do want to come home it isn’t a quick process,” Emett shared.

Celebrity chefs in other regions of the world are also doing their part to support the restaurant industry, which was among the early casualties of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

In the US, chef and restaurateur Guy Fieri started the multimillion-dollar Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help food-service workers struggling financially because of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, David Chang of Momofuku donated US$1m (AU$1.3m) to the Southern Smoke Foundation, another relief organisation for restaurant workers, HRD reported.

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