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One Aldwych's executive chef Dominic Teague leads a team of 26 full-time chefs who deliver dining experiences throughout the 105-bedroom, five-AA-star hotel in London. This includes the hotel's Indigo restaurant, Downstairs at One Aldwych, and afternoon tea, banqueting and room service.
The hotel has long had a strong focus on sustainable sourcing and, as well as working hard with his suppliers to use the best of British produce, Teague has also created a gluten and dairy-free dining concept at Indigo. Not only is this creative – with a version of bread and butter that rivals the real thing – guests often don't realise anything is missing from their meal.
Teague has developed a new seasonal tasting menu series at Indigo that kicked off this autumn and celebrates local, seasonal produce. This will no doubt include dishes featuring the hotel's honey, which is generated through two beehives on the roof, alongside a herb garden also used by the kitchen team.
Teague oversees the delivery of 122,000 covers a year and manages all food costs and payroll and is responsible for recruitment, training, HR and development of all chefs. In fact, his influence extends beyond the kitchen to the front of house and reservations team, who are offered tastings on all new dishes to ensure they are trained to provide the best possible customer service.
This focus on training and nurturing has helped Teague achieve a low staff turnover of 8.7%. Meanwhile, he has restructured the hotel teams to eliminate double shifts and upskilled the team to be able to work both in Indigo and Downstairs at One. He has also created and recruited for two key roles – head chef and pastry chef – to elevate the creativity and assist in the management of the two kitchens. Teague has even filled operational gaps that would normally have been the responsibility of the front of house team, demonstrating his dedication to the wider business in the absence of a food and beverage manager and hotel manager during Covid.
When it comes to being creative, he has delighted guests, too. As well as a new afternoon tea to accompany the Indigo restaurant menu, Teague has relaunched the hotel's Charlie Afternoon Tea, which now operates 160 covers a day.
Adapting to changes in demand to drive down waste, Teague has also maintained payroll through sensible buying. He orders less more frequently, so rather than buying 50 lemons a week, he buys six per day. Menus have been adapted to increase variety too, allowing the team a regular outlet for their creativity.
He might have a great many covers to consider each day, but this is a chef that takes a granular approach to delivery, both for his guests and his team.
What the judges said
"Dominic demonstrates great leadership skills, which shows in his low staff turnover. He is a passionate chef who motivates his team through nurturing and training, while always looking at how he can bring something different to One Aldwych that is relevant and refreshing, such as the gluten- and dairy-free concept at Indigo."
Adam Bateman, Grand Hotel Birmingham
Dominic Teague, One Aldwych
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