Letter: Why they can't stand the heat

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The Independent Online
Sir: In Australia and the US both floor staff and chefs frequently earn twice as much as their British counterparts - usually for fewer hours, and with better conditions. British establishments might ponder that when they bemoan the lack of good chefs ("Too few cooks spoil the broth", 7 July) - can you think of any reason why a grown man or woman should choose to work twice as hard as most people in order to earn quite a lot less? The myth that this is the way it has to be in order for chefs to prove their dedication is rubbish.

Gordon Ramsay is correct in identifying the apprentice system as a way of training chefs to a higher standard, but this still doesn't solve the problem of the drop-out rate. When young people note that even experienced chefs earn relatively little, it is not surprising that they opt for a different, better paid and less punishing profession. Neither is it a surprise that young British chefs are consistently leaving this country for - guess where? - Australia and the US.

BARBARA MALINEN

London SE8

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