Restaurant Recruitment

One of the really great things about recruitment is that you meet a lot of good people, both employers and candidates. With every project, I learn new things and am lucky enough to add to my knowledge for that specific company and the sector they operate in.

Recently I have been recruiting for a new restaurant so now know the difference between a CDP and a Sous as well as Gastro and fine dining. Through this recruitment process, I have been lucky to speak to a lot of very skilled Chefs and some extremely enthusiastic young chefs looking to develop.

I want to tell you about a chef last week who’s actions made him stand out. He had good experience, and a great personality which really shone through, as a result of this he was offered an interview with the Head Chef. Part of the interview was a practical under the Head Chefs expert gaze, this is a nail-biting (but not while around food) activity where many end up underperforming through lack of experience or under confidence.

This Chef had other ideas, he knew it was speciality a seafood restaurant so went at it from a different angle. Instead of worrying about what was going to happen it the practical, was he going to give me an egg, garlic, onion and 3 carrots and ask me to make Chicken Chasseur to feed five, I know impossible, he thought, I Can’t Fillet a fish. In his previous job, he didn’t have to fillet so he hatched a cunning plan, as Baldrick would say.

He purchased some fish the night before the interview and went to work with the help of a book and the mighty world acclaimed fish filleting teacher, better known as Youtube. His teaching began as he spent hour after hour skillfully using his sacred fish knife …….. ok, over dramatic but he spent the evening learning and practising techniques to make him quick and efficient at this skill he hadn’t done since college some years earlier. And GUESS WHAT?

He found he couldn’t do it to the level required. What to do? He really wanted the job, so he worked through to 6 am the next morning making sure….. ok too dramatic again. What he did was simply go to the interview, and before it came to the practical, he told the Head Chef what he had done the night before and that he was rusty and couldn’t do it. The Chef said that filleting a fish could have been one of the tasks, but he would now give him some ingredients to make a meal (not Chicken Chasseur).

After the interview, I received feedback from the Head Chef who said his meal was very good as was his personality and kitchen craft. He went on to tell me the story of how he had practised filleting the fish the night before and that he struggled, as a result of this……. he would like to offer him the job! He went on to say with his superb attitude he will soon be up to speed with filleting and he respected his honesty.

The moral of the story,

Prepare as fully as possible for interviews and be honest with employers about what you can and can’t do, personality and integrity always shine through.

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