What was your worst job?
As part of my placement year from Oxford Brookes University I spent a month working at a tourist trap pub in Oxford. Having just done six months at Chewton Glen hotel, it was something of an eye-opener.
The contrast in terms of product provided could not have been more different. However, I think it was actually really good for me to experience both places and I believe you learn from all jobs.
What was so bad about it? As someone who was beginning to develop a passion for delivering great food and fantastic service, on night one I was shown how to use the microwave to prepare all dishes. All the food was described as home-cooked, but was prepared off-site and then reheated to order. There was also a complete lack of management - a very young team was left to get on with it, which was great fun, but total chaos.
What did you learn from the job? I learned about serving a lot of customers in a very short period of time. I would do 300 covers on a busy weekend lunch.
Also, it was one of my first experiences of working in a really big team and it taught me a lot about the dynamics of making this work and the importance of strong leadership and management.
What do you enjoy most about your current role? I love that every day is different; you never know quite what is going to happen. I also enjoy building a strong team around me and developing together as my restaurants grow.
What's next? I am beginning to work on some ideas for a third site and seeing what is out there. I think there are areas of London where a Sam's Brasserie/Harrison's-style operation could work… well, I hope so!