After a successful work experience placement at Gather & Gather we interviewed the fantastic Steve Deakin, Group Executive Chef at Rolls Royce and Andrew Clarke, the bright young candidate with an exciting future in hospitality!
Q)So, Andrew, why did you want to do a work experience placement?
A) I like cooking and it has always been a dream to work in a professional kitchen!
Q) What was your favourite part of your placement?
A) I enjoyed all of it but working alongside the other chefs in the professional kitchen was an amazing experience. The staff were all so friendly and made me feel part of the team.
Q) What did you learn on your placement?
A) How to work in a professional kitchen.
Q) How has it inspired you for the future?
A) I would definitely like to work in a professional kitchen.
Q) Would you recommend work experience?
A) Yes, definitely and if anyone wants to work in a professional food environment there are opportunities through Springboard.
Q) Any tips for other young people?
A) Follow your heart and do something that you enjoy.
Q) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A) Preparing and cooking food in a professional environment.
Thanks for the great insight into your placement Andrew, and now to find out what Steve Deakin thinks about the benefits of work experience and having Andrew in the kitchen!
Q) Hi Steve, first question - what did you do to help Andrew on his placement?
A) I met him on his first day before he started work in the kitchen to find out more about him, and make him aware of the environment he was about to enter - making sure he was comfortable as it can be daunting entering an unfamiliar environment and meeting new people. I also worked alongside Andrew and made sure he got to taste the different foods we were preparing for service such as tamarind paste and understand how it is used.
Q) What do you enjoy about taking on work experience candidates?
A) Their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, and excitement when they make something for the first time and people enjoy eating it!
Q) In your opinion, what are the main benefits of work experience?
A) It allows the individual to experience a realistic environment and gain a greater understanding of the importance of deadlines, that each meal service has to be out on time and how working together as a team makes this happen. People also get to experience how much concentration and physical effort is required to do the job and how much satisfaction and enjoyment they can get from being part of the team and working towards a shared goal.
Q) What is your top tip for young people considering getting into the industry?
A) Don’t be afraid to give it a go, our industry is great for people who enjoy being creative and enjoy meeting people and learning new skills. The hospitality industry is very diverse and everyone should be encouraged by how approachable it is and how it positively encourages and rewards people who make the effort to get involved and make contact with employers & training providers.