Being a chef in Bogota

I'm a chef of 4 years experience currently working and improving my skills and craft. I'm trying to look for work as a chef in Bogota trying to make around 1.5 million pesos to live comfortably by my standards. I don't know what the high end culinary scene is like in Bogota but any knowledge of that would be appreciated. But my main question is. What kind of visa do i need to work as a chef and how well should i be able to speak Spanish, ie. should i keep trying to learn Spanish broadly or should I try and focus on learning phrases used in a kitchen. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated, and i hope to hear from any of you in this time of need, thank you very much for reading.

At this site which uses self-reported data from working people in Colombia, you can see the average monthly salary for a "Cocinero Chef" with 4 years experience in Bogotá is around 2.7 M COP. … -salario#/

You should work on your Spanish overall, with emphasis on kitchen, tool and food vocabulary, IMO.  I'd go for a visit or two or three and present yourself to restaurants and show them your stuff, you might get an offer, you never know.

Nordhazen :

should i keep trying to learn Spanish broadly or should I try and focus on learning phrases used in a kitchen.

All of the above. :)


The following website page is the best one I've seen for how to get a work visa for Colombia. … -work-visa

Per the linked article, you will need a contract from your new employer .. and the cost of the visa is over $200, possibly payable by the employer.

According to both the above web page and a less-impressive article at, a work visa applicant who obtains a job-offer in Colombia must leave La República and apply in Panama or another country with a COL consulate.

Your employer will probably assist you in the logistics of obtaining a Colombia work visa.

cccmedia in La Zona Cafetera

Colombia surely needs some good cooks. What is your specialty? The Colombians love Mexican food and Chinese. But the Mexican and Chinese restaurants are mostly garbage down there. They also like Japanese, and I found that the Japanese food/sushi was pretty decent. I ate at a Korean restaurant in Villa de Leyva, and considering they must have a VERY hard time finding Korean ingredients, they pulled off a fair job.

Have you the money to open your own place? Just enough for a lease and an oven/fryer/stove? I would love to go open a spot, but I'm chickenshit. I've wondered how open the Colombians might be to Southern food. Chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, gumbo, etouffee, shrimp and grits, mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, etc.

The reason I ask is because you can go to a small town and there will be 25 restaurants all serving the same exact Colombian dishes, but not a single Chinese or Mexican or Italian joint. I often ask the Colombians in those towns, "Do you guys like tacos?" And they're always like "Siiii!!" And even in the bigger cities, the foreign restaurants are not great. Colombians know jack dookie about cooking. Just watching them make rice is painful. I always ask if I can help make they rice, and they're like "Nooo! We do it this way here!" hehe

Some people might poopoo this, but I think Crepes and Waffles is one of the best meals you can get in Colombia. There's a reason they're all over the place and always packed full. There's such a lack of options for good chow, so any good food I think would likely do well.

Hi Nordhazen take a look at Touchef on facebook its a new app where chefs can cook from home and put a price on their plates, I think its a great alternative there is one near my house that i LOVE and i think the concept is great and innovative.

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