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The Caterer

The Restaurant Group Chef

28 July 2005
The Restaurant Group Chef

The Restaurant Group Chef

Joshua Emett, 32
What? Head chef
Where? The Savoy Grill, Savoy hotel, London
Which company? Gordon Ramsay Holdings
Salary range? £50,000-plus

When did you get this job? I've been here two years but I have been with Gordon Ramsay for five years. I had worked with Mark Sargeant at Coast and I helped when he and Gordon launched Claridge's restaurant.

What's your history? I'm from New Zealand. I did catering college over there but came here when I was 20. I had to leave for Australia when my visa
ran out but wanted to come back into an English kitchen and do some serious cooking so Gordon sponsored me.

Tell us about working for Gordon We work in a certain way at this company. It's professional, strict and tough but we do focus on staff hours and training and make sure the young ones stay interested. We don't want them to burn out at 22.

And what about the hours? Junior staff work four days on and three days off but at managerial level we get just two days off and are always available ą we take the weight. It works well. I don't have a big staff turnover. This industry has lots of temptations but I expect my chefs to be on the ball, awake and clean-shaven.

So, you've reached the top already - where next? There's plenty more to do. London is competitive and my options are endless. Opening your own restaurant is a huge undertaking ą a massive, massive task. It takes a minimum of one year to get functioning and then you need to do the fine-tuning.

What's your tip for the top? You need to be stubborn, ambitious, relentless ą put your head down and get stuck-in. We look for old-fashioned qualities in our staff ą common sense, honesty. Solid, hard-working young people. It will carry them through.

Why do it? The rewards are huge ą if you love cooking, there is lots of job-satisfaction. There is also good money if you know the business side.

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