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  • Writer's pictureThe League of Extraordinary Chefs

CASE STUDY: Ghost Chefs vs Culinary Machine

For over two decades, our client has owned and operated a family hunting lodge, nestled in the heart of a pristine wilderness. This lodge has been a beloved retreat for generations, providing guests with not only a connection to nature but also fun culinary experiences.

The Hunt for a Chef

The lodge's operating season, from September to November, spans four months, with each week welcoming a fresh set of guests. Despite its storied history, the lodge faced a culinary challenge that had been simmering for the past four years: finding and retaining a skilled chef who could single-handedly manage every aspect of the culinary operation. More illusive than a 30-point buck, the lodge struggled every season to find the right fit. The ideal candidate needed to be a one-man or woman culinary band, responsible for creating menus, ordering ingredients, executing dishes, cleaning up, and engaging with guests. Essentially, this role is similar to a personal family chef, as the chef lives on property and interacts with the guests.

The View from the Blind

In June, the lodge initiated conversations with the League, looking to us to "track the big one" and find them a "trophy chef". Everything was poised for a mutually beneficial partnership. However, just when it seemed the hunt was over, our client found and hired a chef on their own. While they opted to explore this new option, they asked the League to stay close, with the intention of using our services next year.

Ghosted by the Chef

September 1st quickly approached and the new chef was slated to start. But just as it was all coming into the sights, something spooked the chef and he bolted. With hunting season just days away, the lodge was in a major pickle.

In this moment of crisis, the League of Extraordinary Chefs stepped back in. Within 24 hours, we not only rectified the situation but also honored the original agreement, putting our client at ease. We found a chef that would be a great fit for an assignment in a remote location and quickly made arrangements to place him on property in time for the first group of hunters.

This partnership is about more than just filling a chef position; it's a commitment to creating a seamless and professional experience that supports the hunting trips the guests have come to know.

Machine vs. Ghosts

This scenario is not unique. Many clients in the hospitality industry face the uncertainty of ghost chefs—talented individuals who are independent, not fully committed, and willing to change plans at the drop of a hat. They may jump ship at the slightest hint of a better opportunity. In contrast, a well-oiled culinary talent machine, like the League, provides dependability, reliability, and professionalism. While we had to scramble to find and place the right chef quickly, we have an entire roster of talent ready for action - something our clients don't readily have at their fingertips. This is why you want a trusted culinary talent management partner.

In the end, it all comes down to one question: What is the stress of uncertainty worth to you?

The League of Extraordinary Chefs provides the answer - a guarantee of culinary excellence, dependability, and peace of mind.

Ready to find out more?

We're ready to listen and help devise a plan custom-fit for your property.

Contact us today!


About the League of Extraordinary Chefs

The League of Extraordinary Chefs was established in May 2021 when a team of chefs converged upon the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. Arising out of extreme staffing shortages in the culinary industry, the League was born and has grown to a full roster of highly-vetted and qualified culinary professionals. We offer talent management and placement of extraordinary chefs & FOH hospitality professionals for hotels & resorts, sporting & entertainment events, conventions, top tier restaurants, and vacation ranches. From short-term (3-7+ days) to long-term (6+ months) to permanent placements, let us source the right culinary talent for your needs. #STAFFEXTRAORDINARY


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