We’ve been advertising for a new chef recently. We’ve found that, on the whole, local chefs are rare beasts and in high demand. So if you’re thinking of a future career or developing a passion into employment, you could do worse than go to chef school.
While it’s inevitable that many hospitality McJobs will be automated to some degree, cooking and eating is a fundamentally human experience – it’s social, emotive and sensory, bringing together tradition, memory and identity. Good chefs (and diners) are curious people, interested in tastes, textures and smells; provenance and process. They are drilled in traditional methods and techniques but use them to innovate, exploring fresh and local produce.
Robots may crowd out jobs in the deepfreeze-to-deepfry section of the catering industry, but that leaves plenty of space for those with a love of the craft of cooking.
Edit 2 Feb 17: this article reports on Japan's robot restaurants: Japan’s robot chefs aim to show how far automation can go