Traditional recipes

Do We Have a Nationwide Shortage of Skilled Kitchen Labor, or a Shortage of Fair Pay?

Do We Have a Nationwide Shortage of Skilled Kitchen Labor, or a Shortage of Fair Pay?

A shortage of skilled cooks, and the culinary beginners willing to train in order to become those skilled cooks, is plaguing the restaurant industry.

It’s partly because, as food culture continues to grow, aspiring chefs refuse to put in the years of grunt work that their predecessors submitted to, and partly because the industry has yet to reach a consensus on how to pay its employees a living wage.

In the past, culinary talents who wanted to reach the top of the food chain had no choice but to start at the bottom rung — but today, culinary school graduates are often bypassing the industry to open their own food trucks or small brick-and-mortars. As such, it’s become increasingly difficult to lure young cooks into professional kitchens.

“I see people my age and younger jumping around, thinking they can learn to cook fish in a month, pasta in a month, and then open their own restaurant,” said Matthew Ruzga, a sous-chef at Del Posto, told the New York Times. “The tradition is that you work at least a year for each chef.”

Part of that problem, restaurateurs have come to realize, is the celebrity chef, a relatively new concept that has exploded in recent years, leading many to dream of the fame and fortune that comes with a television following, all before putting in the work.

“Wanting to create a positive kitchen culture and also to have unforgiving, exacting standards is a hard balance to strike,” Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood told the Times. “There needs to be some understanding that this is a hard job that might well suck for several years. Period.”

A number of industry leaders, however, have also come to acknowledge that a big part of the problem comes down to pay.

“Until we determine a fair and equitable way to provide greater compensation for restaurant cooks, we will continue spinning our wheels as an industry,” said Chris Himmel of Boston’s Himmel Hospitality Group.


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”


Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars

L ate this summer, after the pandemic turned everyone into an amateur gardener and home cook, a frenz y erupted on Facebook. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson first spotted it while perusing a private Facebook group called Recipes of North Dakota — everyone was talking about mason jars. “For many of them, food preservation is a part of their daily life,” says Wassberg Johnson, who grew up in Fargo. They were keeping tabs on where they saw canning jars and lids, trying to nail down a fast-moving target. “It was this live tracking of them — this store in this town, this hardware store had them — where can you get them?”

In Brooklyn, Ashley Rouse, founder and CEO of Trade Street Jam, was frantically searching for mason jars, too, so she could sell her jams, which come in flavors like strawberry chipotle fig and blueberry lemon basil. “I need 30,000 small jars, and I can’t find them,” she says. “We’d normally get them from huge manufacturers, pallets at a time, but those places ran out. I’ve never seen that happen.”

At the same time, mason jar sellers were watching them fly off the shelves. Keela Buford, a representative of The Jar Store, a national distributor of glass jars and lids, said her company had seen enormous spikes in sales in mason and canning jars starting in March, with mason jar revenue, in particular, climbing 46 times over what it was in 2019.

Meanwhile, over on the Ball Preserving & Recipes Facebook page — Ball is arguably the most famous brand, with its signature script logo emblazoned on its folksy glass jars — people were downright panicking. On October 1, Ball’s social media team posted a seemingly innocuous conversation starter (“It’s time to show off your canning haul! Whether you made just a handful of jars or a whole shelf, share a picture of your accomplishment with us!”), only to be greeted with jarring rage. “EXACTLY HOW DO WE DO THAT WITH NO SUPPLIES. ” one woman responded. “I have been canning for 40 years and have NEVER had to buy early, never had to hoard, just went out and bought flats, rings and jars in August when the crops were ready. So are you actually going to get any of this into STORES before everything rots?”