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Graham Eveleigh – My worst job

06 November 2009 by
Graham Eveleigh – My worst job

Graham Eveleigh, training and development director, BaxterStorey

What has been your worst job?

It was my first role as a head chef, working for a small events and functions caterer. We regularly provided the catering for officer dinners at an army barracks based in London.

What was so bad about it?

Working for a small company, I had to drive the van, carry the equipment, organise the staff as well as prepare the food.

On one occasion the meal was to be served by an army waiter who was obviously trying to put a spanner in the works. He was very smartly dressed in full regalia to serve the officers.

I was running late after getting all the gear to the top-floor kitchen and preparing the starters and the main course. All the food had been dispatched to the dining room below by a connecting dumb waiter. For dessert I loaded a huge ceremonial cut-glass bowl with traditional trifle into the lift and sent it down to the army waiter.

As I heard the lift door opening, it was accompanied by a scream and footsteps back up to the kitchen. A furious waiter appeared at the door, covered from chest to feet in cream and custard. We collapsed in laughter. I can't remember what we served instead.

What did you learn from the job?

Event catering is very hard work and there needs to be a plan "B" for every eventuality. I moved into contract catering soon after.

What is the best bit of your current role?

I love the ability to look at our business as a whole and to direct training and development in areas where I know it will make a difference. We recently held our annual Chef Academy graduation and it was very rewarding seeing how excited the chefs were at graduating in front of friends and family.

What's next?

Growing our ever expanding business. I believe that, as long as you have a flexible approach and an open mind, then the opportunities will always be there for you.

At the moment it is great to be a part of something so successful.

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