The Caterer

Samir Sadekar – My worst job

12 January 2010
Samir Sadekar – My worst job

Samir Sadekar is the restaurant manager and executive chef at Imli, London.

What was your worst job?

Market research for a soap brand, before becoming a chef during my catering college days in Mumbai. As is the case with every student, I was short of money, and took the job for some part-time work at the weekends.

What was so bad about it?

In the early 1990s, before the IT boom, market research was still in its infancy. People were suspicious of being accosted on the street and being asked personal questions. Answers ranged from a simple "no" to abuse, with people accusing me of having nothing better to do.

What did you learn from the job?

I learnt to persevere and maintain a good positive mental attitude. Despite being turned down constantly, I still got the required minimum number of forms filled so I could earn some money. I focused more on the positive responses that I got rather than the ones I didn't, and with the assurance that out of the teeming millions of people in Mumbai, there were bound to be a few who would respond.

What is the best bit about your current role?

I have a very interesting job title as restaurant manager/executive chef - this is the challenge of the job. There are many variables that keep me on my toes - for instance, there could be a sudden rush of bookings, guests could change their minds about the menus they have pre-ordered, or someone might need a bespoke menu for their boss and want to make a decision immediately. The goalposts keep moving and it is important to adapt to the changing environment. If you get stressed easily, this would not be the job for you, but if you take it as a challenge, it is the most exciting and rewarding job in the world.

What's next?

Imli - Indian tapas - has been trading for four years and progressing very well, and we have built up a large, loyal customer base. Now we feel that we are ready to take Imli to the next level. Hopefully we will open more branches and extend the brand by introducing Imli sauces and chutneys, even an Imli cookbook.

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