MEET THE CHEFS & TEAMS OF IRELAND’S PROFESSIONAL KITCHENS, WITH CHEF NETWORK
The Chef Network community brings together all chefs across Ireland. In a new regular column featured in the Hotel & Restaurant Times we will meet some of those members and hear from them what inspires and motivates them, their career challenges and opportunities, and how they believe we can improve the industry.
Here's a short extract from our interview with this month's chef - Laura Dent, Sous Chef at LinkedIn for Gather&Gather
BEING A CHEF….
What I love most is… when you take on something challenging and you're not sure if it is going to work out but you really really want it to, and it works out and you nail it and someone senior says yes, that’s brilliant, it works out bang on. Can be cooking wise, but also dealing with a situation or management…being challenged in general…in the postilion I am in, quite young, I know I am learning a lot as I go along. A lot of scenarios I am hit with I learn from every day.
The biggest challenge is…probably situations something happens and you have to try and confront someone on it in a constructive way..trying to get people to see things from your perspective so that they get and respect it. It's not really the cooking, it’s more so everything else around it.
What makes me most proud is… overcoming challenges, that is the one thing that for me that I feel best about myself…like when you have managed a situation as above
The most difficult thing I have had to face is…. When you have those love-hate points, I love this but I also sometimes just hate it…you’re a little bit addicted but sometimes you come home and you’re like ‘oh my God’ …now I definitely have days where I leave work not feeling great about how I’ve handled something not as well as I could have and knock to the confidence
The most rewarding thing I’ve done is….when I went to Dundalk, I hadn’t gotten the points to Tallaght or DIT, I got the grades to transfer to Tallaght and then got the highest grades in my year two years ago..once I was doing what I loved I got the highs ..The system might tell me I'm not good enough but I am good enough!
I have learned that…Hard work definitely stands to you
Put up with the tough work for a while until you have developed
A big thing for me is if someone comes in and they think they know everything, it is negative, you should also walk in ready to listen to whatever people have to say, even if you don’t agree you'll learn something…don’t’ challenge everything on the spot. Have respect, trust and listen…get on with it and over time form your own opinions and ways of doing things.
The key skills or traits to have in this job are…One of the best guys we have, I look at him as example, anything you ask him to do, he says yes, no problem. He listens, if he is not sure he asks, but that thing of being ready and accepting the challenge…and not having an attitude
Your attitude is everything…if it is good and respectful you will be given so many opportunities
No matter how much experience you have
We can create a better workplace by...Showing the person that they will get something back for their hard work, there is something in it for them. By showing them that whatever you are teaching them, that is offering into their pool of knowledge and experience and will stand to them…not showing them something to get the job done…it will stand to them.
People need to gain from it…its not just about the salary…
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH LAURA IN HOTEL & RESTAURANT TIMES