What did you want to do when you were at school/college?
To be a chef at the highest level within the industry
How did you first get into the industry?
Where did you go to find out information about careers in the industry?
Castle college Sheffield
What industry relevant qualifications/awards do you have?
NVQ 2 kitchen & larder, NVQ 3 advanced kitchen & larder, Basic & intermediate Food hygiene, Finalist at 2007 Acorn scholarship award
Please briefly outline your career so far?
I started as an apprentice working for the Moat house hotel group for 1 year & then moved on as commis & junior CDP in a 1 rosette restaurant. After a further 2 years I worked in a cocktail bar & restaurant & was promoted to CDP. Then I moved to a golf & country club in Oxfordshire & worked my way up to Sous chef running the hospitality kitchen & members restaurant. After 3 years of learning about hospitality I moved to work for Holroyd Howe in a large private Business University as Sous chef. After 1 year I was promoted to head chef & now over see all Food operations in student restaurants, Hospitality & private directors dinning I have been in my current role for 3 years.
What do you do in a typical day?
First I open up the building & meet with my Sous chef to give out plans for the day. Then I work on main course for the morning & hand over to the Sous chef so I can work on menu planning & costing. Part of my mid morning will be for client meetings & future planning I then return to the kitchen to over see lunch service & hospitality. Early afternoon is used for training & developing new ideas within my site & for the company. Two afternoons per week are used for junior training & development. After lunch service is finished I meet again with my Sous chef to plan for the evening service & any directors/hospitality dinning. Late afternoon is used for finalizing menus & working on current & financial projects in conjunction with my General Manager. Final checks & meetings with evening teams are done & then I meet with all heads of departments to debrief on the days business & the following day.
What do you like most about your job?
Being able to see my ideas & Food come through the people that I have trained & to be given the chance to work with a large & enthusiastic team
What do you like the least about your job?
Not being able to cook none stop all day
What was your most memorable day at work?
Was it something funny, a disaster that you helped overcome, seeing someone famous, a challenge ……As an apprentice I was cleaning down the kitchen at the end of restaurant service after everyone had left, a customer sent back their meal & I had to try and cook the dish again with no guidance the dish was sent back out & I received a personal thank you from the customer who was a Saudi Arabian Sultan & then received the employee of the month.
What do you think is great about your sector/the hospitality industry?
Being able to put your ideas & knowledge in to a plate of food so that someone can enjoy & appreciate the experience
The reputation that contract catering has within the public eye & the whole catering world
What are your tips to young people starting out in the industry?
Take on everything that you are taught & constantly think of ways to improve yourself & what you do
What do you do in your spare time?
Eat out when ever possible, Running, football & Kick boxing