Bad economy got you down? Apparently kitchens are still hiring

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I know that things seem like they're bad all over. Between layoffs and down-sizing, companies closing and the just plain sluggishness of the job market in general, things seem pretty grim, right?

Wrong, slacker. It appears that the restaurants in this town are going through something of a temporary cook-shortage, because I've heard from three different guys over the past couple days, all complaining that they're looking for cooks and can't seem to find them anywhere.

First, it was Brandon Biederman of Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill, who I found scouting around on Facebook looking for help -- for night cooks in particular. After that, it was Biker Jim Pittenger who was looking for some new "minions" to work shifts on his two dog carts -- despite the fact that he'd just lost out on his chance to open his first brick-and-mortar location at the Southlands development. He was having trouble finding just the right body to fill that particular job -- someone who could handle the crowds, remain cheerful, knock out a ton of dogs off the grill, and not walk off with the cash-box at the end of the day. Apparently, that's just too much to ask of an employee these days.

Finally, just this afternoon I got word that Santoro's is also in the market for some new blood, both at the original 9500 Heritage Hills Circle location in Littleton and at the new spot, in the Safeway shopping center at 151 West Mineral Avenue in Littleton, which just got open on August 4.

What happened there was, a few employees got moved from the original Santoro's to the new one to help the staff through their soft open. But now that things seem to be stabilizing, owner Herman Weiss and Santoro's exec chef Mario Esposito (a native of Sorrento, and ex of Il Fornaio and Chianti here in Denver) want the new location to have a team of its own -- which means cooks are urgently needed to staff up at both addresses, both to bulk up the new line and to fill holes in the galley at the first location.

So no more whining, okay? If you're a cook, there's never any reason to be without work for long. Granted, none of these spots are the most glamorous positions in the city (though Vesta and Steuben's come close). And none of these guys are hiring for above-the-line positions. But everyone has to start somewhere, right? So if you can hold a knife, operate a stove without hurting yourself or maybe just always saw yourself offering wieners to the masses, start making some phone calls. There's no excuse for a good cook to ever be out of work long. The jobs are there. All you have to do is look around.

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