Words of Advice ~ Mark Jordan

So this is looking like the last in the current series of ‘5Questions ~ Words of Advice’ for this year, and  it also a coincides with the last in The Apprentice series as well. On the surface of it there wouldn’t be any kind of connection between the two, yet we’ve managed to find one. Featuring in the penultimate programme in the series was a hotel on Jersey where Mark Jordan plies his trade.

Mr Jordan is Executive chef at the Atlantic Hotel, with the Michelin starred ‘Ocean‘ Restaurant. Before moving to Jersey in 2004, Mr Jordan gained a star at Gilpin Lodge in the Lake District, prior to going up north he also picked up experience in such revered establishments as; Llangoed Hall, Mallory Court, Rascasse, Gordleton Mill and The Pink Geranium. Now being only one of two eateries on the island to currently hold a star.

As to the connection with the BBC’s show The Apprentice, Mr Jordan cooked an exclusive meal for the winners of a task, in which Lord Sugar flew them to the Channel Island. Fortunately we’ve managed to get our hands on a copy of this very menu for our readers

Here are Mark Jordan’s ‘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?

My advise to someone who is considering coming in to the world of catering i would definitely recommend maybe getting a part time job at first basically because catering is not like what it is on the tele it very hard work with a lot of hours, but can be very rewarding and so you really need to be sure that this is what you want its a very long road but with determination and skill the benefits are tenfold.

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

When i’m recruiting junior staff i rarely go by experience as they are still very green, i look for a spark or a connection, someone who has respect and shows a willingness to learn and listen regardless of financial situations or colour or creed.

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

I think stages are very very useful and i send my guys to all manor of places because giving the guys different experiences and seeing how other chefs work and how there kitchens work makes a better grounding and a more rounded chef as appose to just knowing one way or being a mini me as it were. My kitchen door is always open to chefs and regularly have chefs spending time with my boys in my kitchen every new face is a new experience.

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’m afraid the industry will never change catering has always been about long hours and pressure situations it is more down to the people in charge the head chefs need to be in control of there kitchen and monitor who is being over worked or who is slacking  that is the only way we can stop the days of the 90s. i have a michelins star but i still ,make sure the boys get a slit in the afternoons and also make sure that they do not work over a 55 hour week and get two days off which is normally unheard of in such places.

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

Television in my view has had a mixed review in my books when i was training there weren’t any cooking programs really i remember when marco released his program it was  a revelation a real insight into how a professional kitchen works, the good and the bad but i’m afraid now there are just to many programs some are good but some are not so good and should not have been aired. they send out the wrong message about the trade it is only a very tiny percentage of chefs that make it onto the big screen meaning nearly all young chefs will be stuck in a kitchen for a very long time maybe without even hitting the TV.

If you would like to contact Mr Jordan about possible future employment or stage opportunities can be contacted through the hotel.

Atlantic Hotel & Ocean Restaurant
Le Mont de la Pulente
St Brelade
Jersey JE3 8HE
Channel Islands

Telephone +44 (0)1534 744101
e-mail info@theatlantichotel.com

As ever many thanks to Mr Jordan for taking part in the ‘5questions’ and we’re also very grateful to Victoria Leedham at Dovetail Agency for facilitating this interview.

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  1. […] assisting me in getting Michelin starred Mark Jordan to take part in the 5Questions, his PR agent Victoria has stayed in touch. Trying to get a copy of […]

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