Advise for Cooking in Europe

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by meatball matt, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. meatball matt

    meatball matt

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    Hi all. I've been thinking a lot about moving to Europe to cook. It would be a dream to work in a French or Italian kitchen, then after some time come back to the states with a killer resume. I've been looking online and it seems that it's very difficult to get a work visa for France. You have to be able to prove that you are better than the citizens there for the job as they want those cooking jobs to go to those who already live there.

    So I was thinking a way around this might be to contact U.S. companies, such as hotel chains, that have locations in France or somewhere in Europe. I've read that this is an easier way to get into Europe as the company will be able to grant work visas and possibly have other Americans working there.

    Does anyone have experience with working in Europe or best practices for getting work in Europe. I would like to stay at least six months if not longer. Does anyone know of companies that make it easier to be granted work visas into Europe?

    Thanks for any and all advice!

    Matt
     
  2. recky

    recky

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    Hi Matt,

    unfortunately, US companies in Europe are subjected to the same immigration laws as local companies; they can't 'grant' you work visas, but have to go through the same channels as everybody else. Essentially, a US citizen cannot work in Europe, period. There are some exceptions, where companies struggle to fill positions with qualified EU citizens, which is mainly the case in IT and other hi-tech fields. Immigration laws are the same throughout Europe. If you are under 26 (I think) there may be a way to find work legally under a working holiday visa programme.

    Please do not forget that almost without exception (the UK and Ireland being obvious ones), people throughout the EU generally do not (and do not like to) speak English at work. You are generally required to speak the local lingo fluently before being considered for employment. That's why 99% of Australians, Americans and South African doing the 'Great OE" (overseas experience) end up in London, competing for jobs and accommodation. Those that take the leap into other EU countries (backed by a certain amount of command of the local language) usually fare far better, working more worthwhile jobs than pub bar work. With your kitchen experience, a valid working visa as well as a basic command of the local language there will be really interesting work available for you.

    Apparently, one has to be able to speak Spanish in US kitchens - how's your Spanish? ;-)

    Good luck from this seasonal/regional restaurant out in the sticks somewhere in Germany that's always struggling to find kitchen staff...

    Recky
     
  3. fablesable

    fablesable

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    Work and travel visas......look them up! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  4. ljokjel

    ljokjel

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    Scandinavian countries wont be a problem, since we all have a pretty good English. I've even worked in "English" kitchens here because one out of five cooks talked English, and it was easier just switching language than teach the foreign dude Norwegian.

    And we are really lacking cooks as well in the entire country.
     
  5. lagom

    lagom

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    I can confirm ljokjel thoughts. We are struggling to find decent cooks in sweden. My kitchens are english speaking as they are multi national staff and english is the common lingo. However, getting a work visa here is definatly a "process".
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    There is a small country in Europe that is not in the E.U., has its own currency, and has far fewer "issues" with visas. While Englisch is not spoken in the kitchens, most people speak it.

    And no, its not Vatican City......
     
  7. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    denmark? the danes do tend to speak pretty good english
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  8. lagom

    lagom

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    Thank goodness they do because Danish is a real mouthful to speak. 😋
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I meant Switzerland.....

    Mind you, both the Swiss and the Germans would be horrified if you said the Swiss spoke High German....
     
  10. meatball matt

    meatball matt

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    Thank you all for the advice so far. So I'm noticing that it may be possible to work in Sweden, Finland, and possibly Switzerland. I will look up work visas. I would really like to work in any of those countries. Is there an online forum to find cooking positions in those countries? I'm thinking something such as Craigslist in America?

    I have committed to my Chef to work through the summer but come September I'm ready to make a move, whether somewhere else in the States or overseas.

    Again thank you all for the advice and I welcome more feedback.
     
  11. ljokjel

    ljokjel

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    November /december is high season in Norway.
    The FB-group "kokker søkes" is a good place to start.
     
  12. meatball matt

    meatball matt

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    Thanks ljokjel, I will check that out today!