Sarah Paterson talks to Adam Bateman, head chef at Tatlers Bar and Restaurant in Norwich about what it takes to make it as a chef and his passion for producing great food.
Why is it a good profession to get into?
I think it is a good profession to get into because people will always have to eat and will always like to enjoy great food and the experience of eating out. It is also good if you want to climb the career ladder and are willing to push yourself to try and produce perfection. Being a chef is not for everyone but it really is a very rewarding job. I have been lucky enough to work at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons which is the 28th best restaurant in the world. I learned a lot there and it was a great experience.
What work does it involve?
As head chef, I oversee all of the cooking which does involve a lot of running around and getting sweaty. Other parts of my role include: doing the rota, writing the menus, doing the ordering and managing finances. The actual cooking is the part of the job I am the most passionate about!
What are the positive and negatives of this profession?
There are lots of positives to the job but the biggest I would say is being able to produce food to an exceptional standard. I love that when your customers are happy, you can feel a buzz in the atmosphere of the restaurant and that is always really rewarding. The negatives would be the long hours. I do 15 hour days, starting at 8am and leaving at 11pm at night. If you like your sleep, this may not be your ideal job. You have to be passionate and determined to get where you want to be particularly as the starting wage is not always that great.
Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?
I think there is, as I mentioned people always need to eat so there will always be a demand for chefs.
What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?
Employers are looking for someone who is disciplined, passionate and want to work to a high standard. You must be able to prioritise, follow instructions, work as a team and communicate well. My advice would be to look at doing a course, somewhere like City College Norwich, as their training is really fantastic. Also get as much work experience as you can, which may include working for free.
Source: EDP Thursday, March 22, 2012 9:00 AM