It was William Shakespeare who said ‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’ and at The Brewery, the latter is something we believe in whole heartedly. I like to take the grassroots approach and think that the path to success is littered with failures and hardship, but ultimately, the glory of a job well done.
This is very true of cooking as we work in a highly competitive industry where every customer is a critic. Your work is scrutinised, assessed and dissected on a daily basis and as such, you need to have a thick skin. The fundamental quality which I believe is essential to surviving in any fast paced job, is a real love for what it is you do. Passion will carry you through the hard times and will drive you to keep coming back for more each time. For me, the passion to cook is more important than the ability.
At The Brewery, we strive to hire trainees who demonstrate a love of food and a determination to succeed, rather than years of experience. Over the past couple of years, this has helped us to change the processes used by the catering team, increase our staff retention and bring food costs down.
As our brigade which places a lot of emphasis on bespoke, unique dishes that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, it’s great to be able to bring fresh culinary minds to the table. Chefs need to be constantly innovating, and as such, we often find that experience can bog you down and cause your thinking to stagnate. With a new pair of eyes, you’re guaranteed a new take on something that even a top chef could miss.
It is also crucial that you continually support the development of your budding team. Understanding that not everyone learns the same way is important and helps you to understand the person rather than just assuming they will mould themselves around the role.
Even as an executive or a director, it’s important not to micro-manage every little detail and to allow for some creative control; it’s much more a case of guiding and supporting than it is imposing. After all, what’s the use in hiring the creative minds of tomorrow if you’re just going to dictate every aspect of their work?
In a world where we trust the qualifications on a piece of paper more than the person they belong to, it’s time to start investing in people. Treat everyone as if they have the potential to be great and you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised to be right!
Written by Tom Gore
Heavily influenced by his global culinary experiences, from working in kitchens all over the world, Tom’s ethos is to keep the basis of his dishes simple and use classic flavours, to create recipes with unusual combinations to a fine-dining standard.
Bringing his vitality and passion to the kitchen, Tom has pushed the boundaries of clients’ expectations for conferences and events, and working with his brigade of chefs, cater for all in-house events from private parties to award ceremonies and conferences for up to 1,000.