Many of our staff work hard, but are unseen. Behind every meal in the hotel is a hardworking team in the kitchen that work tirelessly to provide local, fresh meals that they can be proud of.
We have a relatively young kitchen team, and Oli is one of our youngest, but highly motivated. He has always been proactive in giving suggestions for seasonal menus, and has played host to a few cooking videos that we’ve filmed on-site. We secretly think that he loves to be in front of the camera.
We caught up with him at home to see how he was handling the lockdown, and what ideas he had cooking for his return to Patshull Park.
“I originally began my career here at Patshull aged 17 as front-of-house as a waiter in the Lakeside Restaurant before taking up a culinary apprenticeship in the kitchen. I’m now 20, a qualified level 2 chef and working on my level 3 to become a chef at de partie level. I was lucky enough to have completed work experience in both Adams and Simpson’s and learnt a lot of things. I was able to speak to the head chefs and see an insight into their way of the Michelin starred kitchens.
Believe it or not, I enjoy the busy days in the kitchen the most. I think as a chef, you have to relish the stress that comes from hectic days for big events. Developing new menus also rates highly on my most favourite days as it allows the team to come together and brainstorm some ideas and challenge each other. I love that even at my level, my input is taken of equal importance to senior staff members and there have been a number of occasions where my suggestions have been put onto the menus.
I get a great sense of pride when I receive feedback from guests who have enjoyed my food as it confirms to me that I’m doing something well. (Side note from GM: if you’d like to personally thank any of our chefs, please ask your waitress / waiter who will be happy to bring your chef to meet with you).
Sometimes customers have asked for a recipe that I’ve developed and I’ve been more than happy to provide them with a copy. I always aspire to help our customers as best I can.
My long term goal is to either own my own restaurant or work in a Michelin star restaurant. In the meantime, I’m happy to hone my skills and learn as much as I can. Every day that I learn a new technique or menu combination is a day well-utilised.
Since joining the team, I’ve developed a love of golf, and in the summer it’s nice to play a round with colleagues after work.”
What’s family life look like for you?
“Family life is really good, my mom and I both love cooking at home and trying new things. She’s always been supportive of my career choice and it’s fun to collaborate on some meals!
I look forward to getting back to normal and going back to work; cooking again and learning new things for future menus.
I miss not being able to play football, it’s been a great way for me to unwind and socialise, so it’s been difficult these past few weeks. I’ll have to practice my footwork skills in the garden in the meantime.
This year I’m definitely looking forward to Christmas Day, when we have our bacon sandwiches as a team in the staff room as we prepare for the service ahead!”