Chef Hunting: Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer told Super Chef about how he finds chefs for his restaurants (see main article,Chef Hunting: Jobs):

I think this is a pretty hot topic for so many chefs and restaurant groups right now. I would say that nearly all that I’ve spoken to in the past year are on the constant search for talent with all of the expansion going on. We use a variety of different channels to bring in new chefs (and FOH managers as well) including:

Craigslist (still a good source although requires a lot of weeding)
Culinary Agents
Good Food Jobs

We rarely use recruiters, but more so rely heavily on word of mouth referrals from other chefs or chefs that are linked to us from prior positions. For example, we just opened quite a few new restaurants in the past year and I’ve noted where each of those chefs came from:

Charlie Palmer Steak NYMatt Zappoli, previously worked for us and Charlie tapped him to come back to work for us (even after he had opened up his own restaurant in NJ)
Charlie Palmer at The KnickCliff Denny, had previously worked at the Viceroy Anguila with the Managing Director of the Knickerbocker.
Harvest TableLevi Mezick, who previously worked in NYC and was good friends with our Aureole chef.
Upper StoryJennifer Day, who had worked with me and another colleague previously here in NYC.

The only chef that I can think of that we’ve hired recently came from a job posting was our new Dry Creek Kitchen chef, Andrew Wilson. I believe we found his resume on Culintro. Charlie truly believes that recruiting–and more specifically, recruiting good talent—is paramount in this business and it’s not something that lies solely in the HR department. We are all always on the look out for good talent in the industry and you never know where you meet someone or when you’re going to need to fill a position.

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