Chefs' training in the European Union

Chefs' training in Europe has been analysed as part of an European Union (EU)-funded Project. This includes surveys in schools, companies and associations of the countries involved.

The issue of chef training has been occupying the minds of those in the catering sector in many European countries. The potential variation in professional practice and theoretical teaching is often evident even in a single region or within a city.

The Koch G5 countries wanted to understand the extent of the differences – and similarities – within Europe in greater detail and, at the start of 2021, launched a joint project within the framework of the EU Programme Erasmus+. As part of this, surveys have been conducted in schools, businesses and associations of the countries involved.

In Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy (South Tyrol) and Switzerland, the analysis started with the research question: “How do chefs assess the quality of their training and what specific changes do they say will improve their vocational education and training?” More than 160 chefs aged between 16 and 25 have taken part in the online survey.

"Training is generally assessed as satisfactory although there are country-specific differences," explains author Elisabeth Gruber as a summary of her results. “In all countries, young chefs want to develop and move on in their careers. Some gaps in knowledge are beginning to form in specific areas of competence." For example, the young chefs stated they had “not done enough purchasing and ordering, not acquired sufficient knowledge of food science or diet, and not gained sufficient skills for preparing meat, poultry and game." adds Gruber.

"They also said they wanted a more modern approach and greater creativity when creating dishes and designing menus." All of the results can be used in Koch G5 countries to adapt curricula and as the basis for further studies.

The individuals responsible from the five German-speaking chefs' associations agree that “what connects us is a passion for cooking and, in light of the shortage of skilled workers across Europe, also concern for the chef profession." "The findings from the academic evaluation are helping us to learn from one another and, in each case, to ensure that training is set up well in our countries.”

Source: (website of the German hospitality industry), revised by iMOVE, January 2022