Marcus Wareing has urged chefs not to "suppress front of house" and instead to "step to the side".
Speaking at the Gold Service Scholarship launch event held at the Corinthia hotel in London's Whitehall yesterday (4 September), he said: "Chefs can suppress front of house. It was when we started to step to the side a little bit… [I realised] they [front of house] didn't need me over their shoulders. It was a fabulous surprise for me in terms of me being absent from the restaurant."
When asked why it has taken so long for some chefs to take a step back, the chef-owner of the one-Michelin-starred Marcus in London's Knightsbridge told The Caterer: "Chefs are very focused on what they are doing, and they've got their heads down on the plate. Sometimes you don't actually get to see what's around you and as time goes on you change, so we're all growing through an amazing industry and an amazing workforce and we're constantly learning as we go along."
The MasterChef: The Professionals judge undertook service duties at catering college and said he is still "connected to front of house", having continued to lead training sessions at his own restaurants.
He added: "There's got to be a working relationship with the back of house and there has to be a mutual respect. I'm a big believer that if you go to a workplace and you are not respected, then go somewhere else. Don't work for people who don't value you. It's not worth it.
"I think in hospitality you'll never be out of a job, you'll always have a job to go to. What you need to do is find the right job, do your research, understand who you want to work for, look at what your goals are and try and go out there to get them."
Wareing spoke alongside chef Andrew Wong. Other speakers at the launch included Dame Kelly Holmes and Robbie Bargh, founder of the Gorgeous Group.
Entries for the Gold Service Scholarship will close on 3 October.