Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Damian Clisby – My worst job

12 February 2010
Damian Clisby – My worst job

Damian Clisby is the executive chef at Cotswold House Hotel.

What was your worst job?

When I was a part-time kitchen porter for one weekend. It was a small local restaurant, where most of the food was pre-bought - such as frozen spring rolls, etc.

What was so bad about it?

When I arrived there was a chef smoking at the back door - it wasn't a good start. One of the chefs showed me around, and I remember seeing mould on the shelves in the walk-in fridge, and grease dripping from the shelves in the kitchen. The chefs were dirty and lazy.

I worked hard that night trying to keep up… there was no machine, and everything was washed by hand. When the chefs sent the last table they cleared their sections, mostly by wiping everything onto the floor. They organised their orders for the next day and went home, leaving me to do the rest. I finished at 2.30am.

What did you learn from it?

That I would always work in a clean and organised kitchen. That no matter what position you are in, it is one team and each role within that team is just as important as the other. I would never not help the kitchen porters.

What is the best bit of your current role?

The best part about my current job is the people I work with, who are driven and enthusiastic. I manage two kitchens, three different food offerings, an á la carte restaurant (Juliana's), Hick's Brasserie and the Noel Arms, which is a good food pub. I enjoy the diversity in what we do. We are currently working on our coffee shop, developing and sourcing new products.

What's next?

To develop what we have at Cotswold House, and to link with local businesses to support the village. Our next event will be a pig roast, to raise funds for the local recreation ground.

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