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Thread: Overseas work/travel

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Overseas work/travel

    I wasn't sure exactly how to title this.

    Basically, one of the many things I like about this profession is that it's given me the opportunity to travel all across the country. As someone who is young, with very little education, money, or social skills - I am grateful that I can and have landed on my feet wherever I go and that cooking has opened a lot of doors to me. Especially since I never thought I'd leave my hometown when I was growing up.

    It's nice that in this industry there is always variety, so far as how different restaurants and kitchens approach their food, service, setting etc, but I'm sure I'm not alone here when I say that I would love to travel overseas and even moreso if I could work while doing so. Take your pick on the map - almost anywhere in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia/NZ, even parts of South America. Hell, I'd give my left nut if it meant I could live and work in Montreal. But it's intimidating when you start to think about travel expenses, cultural (kitchen & general) differences, language, visa issues and so forth.

    Anyone here have any experience doing this? If so, how was it and how did you get hooked up? School programs, connections from a chef, or just getting up and going?

  2. #2
    Von blewitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Merimbula, Australia
    If you end up in Aus, message me, I know guys in some cool places, and if you wanna venture into the sticks, I'd be happy to put you up for a few weeks


    Make simplicity seem like abundance - Tetsuya Wakuda

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    mr drinky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    St. Paul, MN
    I'm not sure about the chef aspect of it, but there are some countries that if you study there you can get a limited work visa, but they limit the hours per week. I believe the Netherlands has such a avenue. You could also just go illegal if you have the informal connections. I have lived and worked illegally a couple of times overseas and though it seams easy at first, if you want to stay long-term it is a PITA. It's worth it and also not worth it.

    You could also go to a place that has no rules really, for example Kosovo/Serbia or other post-conflict areas. I worked in Kosovo for 4 years and they had very good restaurants -- better than most mid-sized US cities. After Milosevic kicked the Albanians out of jobs they went to Germany and Italy and worked food service. Now they are back and running their own restaurants.

    You won't be paid sh!t if you work for someone, but with a bit of capital or partner you can capture a boatload of expat cash and you'd have an amazing time in a unique place.

    Also, New Zealand has a pretty streamlined process for immigration. I am not sure about their demand for chefs, but they are often looking for workers. My wife and I recently looked into relocating there.

    Just some did bits from the top of my head.

    Danny 'Zwiefel' Owen - 1971-2016 Moderator and Knife Knut for Eternity. RIP

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New Zealand
    Yeah, NZ is pretty good for obtaining a work visa, you aren't limited by how many hours you can work either.
    Most of our top restaurants are small places so may be a little harder to get sponsored for a visa, but if you've got the goods to back it up it may be OK.

    Queenstown is the place to go if you want to get a visa/work easily as its a seasonal town due to the ski season and them our summer Christmas holidays. So busy from Jan-April then July-October.
    Hotels, ski resorts and country clubs would be your best bet, and will hand out visas like hot cakes.
    Its like working for then u.n there as it's so multicultural, its great.

    Chefs were on the list for wanted workers/immigration and were fast tracked, not so sure what the situation is now.

    Can find out if anyone wants to know.

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