Words of Advice ~ Tom Kerridge

So as we edge nearer to Christmas and the chefs we’d like to feature in the series of ‘5Questions‘ are getting busier & busier, we’d like to thank them all for their efforts in helping with the posts. The chef featuring in this post is no stranger to the media, he actually started out as a child actor, until he found his true calling in 1994 when joined The Capital Hotel. After stints with Gary Rhodes & Stephen Bull and restaurants Odettes, Monsieur Max & Adlards, Tom decided that, with his wife Beth, they should have their own restaurant. With money in short supply they decided to take on a run down Marlow pub.

‘The Hand & Flowers’ opened to the public in March 2005 with the coveted Michelin star duly arriving in 2007. Tom’s former career in TV would come in handy with his appearance in the BBC’s Great British Menu earlier this year and is rumoured to be taking part in the series in 2011.

As ever we’d like to thank Mr Kerridge for taking the time to his ‘5Questions’.

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?

The best piece of advice, that i can give anybody who wants to get into the industry,is dive straight in head first and be prepared for a whole world of mayhem, fun and hard work. Find the best local restaurants/hotel knock on their back door and see if they have any jobs.

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

Qualities that we are always looking for at the hand and flowers is enthusiasm and common sense. if you have those 2 things, then as a junior chef you should be able to go a long way.

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

My boys often go out and do stages in restaurants where they have an opportunity to be inspired and see new methods and new ideas of cookery. I think it is important that the guys get out of the kitchen every now and then so they don’t live in just my blinkard world. To do a stage with us is no worries, we are always happy to see new faces in the kitchen , just drop us an email.

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?

When working as a professional chef in top end restaurants you know the hours are going to be long and hard but it is important that you have fun whilst doing them. being a chef is a way of life and one that should be embraced and enjoyed, just be careful not to burn the candles at both ends too much!!

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

I think the media has done wonders for this industry and has allowed chefs no matter what quality to help inspire people to cook. it is also shown this industry to be a vibrant and exciting one where people can have enjoyable careers.
Again we’d like to thank Mr Kerridge & his team for making this post possible. If you would like to contact Tom about possible employment opportunities, he can be found here;

The Hand and Flowers
126 West Street
Marlow
SL7 2BP

Tel: +44 (0)1628 482 277
Email: theoffice@thehandandflowers.co.uk

Web: thehandandflowers.co.uk/

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