Words of Advice from – Nathan Outlaw

After some 3 months of the blog being live, we’ve decided to do a series of posts from high profile chefs based on 5 questions on getting ahead in the industry. The answers are not edited in anyway, straight from the emails we received from them.

Today it is rising star and general all round nice guy Nathan Outlaw. Having worked for John Campbell twice as his Head chef & Sous chef at The Vineyard & Lords of the Manor, he now has two of his own restaurants. Recently he relocated his eponymous 2 rising Michelin star restaurant to Hotel St Enodoc along side his Seafood & Grill. He is also a champion of Cornish produce using his numerous TV appearances, Great British Menu being the latest, to promote the suppliers & produce he so passionately believes in.

1.   What would be your best piece of advice for a fresh face school leaver who is obsessed with ‘Food Porn’ looking to get into the industry?

I think getting into a really good kitchen for a few weeks before you decide on college is my advice. The reason why is that I believe all people are different, so some need college and others don’t. Find out where your level is and decide from there!

2.   What qualities are you looking for in your more junior chefs when recruiting new staff?

They have to have the desire to learn and work hard. No one whats to waste time with someone who doesn’t put in the effort

3.   Would you recommend that staff do stages & how do people get to do a stage with you?

I do recommend stages and when you get one work as hard as you can and ask as many questions as you can. When chefs do stages with me, they contact me with a nice well written letter. It shows effort!

4.   In light of the recent death of a young chef through excessive hours (on average 100+ per week, for multiple weeks – See our post), does the industry need to change & what changes have you made to reflect this in your own kitchens?

I think the industry is changing and it certainly has in my kitchens. I don’t agree with working 100 hours a week, but I also think you can not operate a great small restaurant with your staff working a 40 hour week. At the end of the day the chef or owner has to open there eyes and be fair with there staff. I have done 100 hour+ weeks in my career plenty of times and you can’t keep doing that. I think my advice is if you don’t like it don’t do it. There is plenty more jobs out there!

5.   Do you think that the media (in particular television) have raised the profile of the industry in a positive way?

Yes I do. I have been cooking for 18 years now and in that time I have seen a massive rise in customers expectations and knowledge. That comes from media. It’s got to be a good thing when people are becoming more aware of what we do. I think good food shows are great.

For career opportunities with Nathan Outlaw, contact him here;

Nathan Outlaw Seafood and Grill, St. Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LA



It’s also worth following him on Twitter as well, as he often announces staff vacancies & opportunities on there.

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Many thanks to Nathan for doing the ‘5 Questions’ for the Chef Hermes Blog, it is much appreciated and hopefully an insight for our more junior readers.

Next for the 5 Questions, is Michael Wignall of The Latymer Restaurant.

3 Responses to “Words of Advice from – Nathan Outlaw”

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] starred. There have been exceptions to the rule Aiden Byrne, Andrew Turner, Jason Atherton & Nathan Outlaw (at the time, now has 2 stars). They were approached because it was the opinion that they could […]

  2. […] new talents & encourages them to press forward with their ambitions. Notable successes are Nathan Outlaw (who now has 2 Michelin stars of his own) & the highly respected Anthony Flynn in […]

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