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Chef features and interviews

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Russell Bateman, Head Chef, Colettes Restaurant, The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

Russell, great to meet with you today, thanks for taking the time to speak to us.  Let's start with you outlining your role as Head Chef at Colettes

 I'm Head Chef of Colettes, which is the fine dining restaurant at The Grove Hotel, in Hertfordshire.  I've been here for year and a half.  I have a team of eight that includes myself.

Serving how many covers?

 Forty-five covers is really the maximum that we do, it's a dinner only restaurant"¦.

That's a very nice job, Russell?

 Yes I know"¦.. It's a great role.

Russell, let's talk about the aspirations for the restaurant.  You've been awarded three rosettes, congratulations, where do you want to take the restaurant?

 I want to take both Colettes and myself as far as I can go"¦"¦.

And how far is that?

 I'd like to think that we could reach four rosettes with the AA and I want to improve our score in the Good Food Guide

 What's your score currently?

 At the moment we are five out of ten. Going forward, you know I've worked in enough Michelin star restaurants, I don't think, you can ever say that you want one (Star) but I think we can. I want a full restaurant, I want the customers to be happy, and I want my team of chefs to be happy.

And what about the business, Russell?  What are The Grove saying that they want you to achieve?  Have The Grove set you targets?

 First and foremost, we are a business and we need to make the margins which we are. The restaurant is also busy, we are doing good business, and that in a way is the main goal - it's working the way that we are doing what we do. The Staff turnover is low. The GP is good, the customer feed back is really good we are also getting strong non resident business, which for a hotel, and a hotel out of London, I think, is really good.

Do you consider the opportunity that you have is a real chance for you to make a name?  You're young, you're not a "Big Name"