Career advice from Michelin star chef Andy McFadden

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2016

Chef Career Advice

Based on his extensive experience working within the Culinary world, Head ChefAndy Mcfadden offers his advice to aspiring Chefs in an attempt to help them on their journey up the career ladder:

Hi, I'm Andy Mcfadden, and I'm the Head Chef at L'Autre Pied restaurant.

The biggest advice I'd give to someone just leaving college and they think that this is the right career for them, is find a Chef or restaurant that you really want to go to and that you think you can stay there a long time and you know really go for it but don't have this thing in your head about doing a year, really go and learn everything you can in the kitchen.

For a Chef that you want to work for and a restaurant that you want to work in and that's it really go for it. In terms of the industry today I think it's more exciting than ever, it's more diverse than ever especially if you're in a city like London there's so many restaurants you can go to now. It's not only about Michelin stars there are 40 odd 1 star restaurants there are so many places you can go that's why I'm saying find someone you really want to work for and stay with them.

The best advice I have ever been given was by my father and he said always write everything down, even the things you think are silly little things, like the set up or how you set up your section or how you clean down or just recipes, of the biggest thing like how many times do we have people saying oh what recipe was that again. Always write everything down.

When a Chef applies to me It's not so much the CV, I'm not really too bothered about where they worked before or that, the biggest thing that I want to meet them in person and them always to a trial like a day or a week or whatever a couple of days I'd recommend more than one day if they can afford it. The biggest thing for me is attitude, attitude. You can teach anyone how to cook and if they've got the right attitude and they’re keen and they’re willing to learn and as well when they come on a stage not to just have they’re heads down peeling onions all day, be up, alert, looking around, asking questions and that's how you learn that's going to excite me I want to teach somebody like that.

I would say in terms of a career at L'autre Pied I mean I'm not one of those Chefs who's coming in at 12 and leaving after the last main course and standing on the pass and checking everything, I'm in there in there with my guys, I'm in the shit, I'm making the bread every morning, I'm making the sauces 3 days a week, I'm there I'm teaching the guys all the time, were like a small team, were a very tight knot, it’s a young team, it's a hungry team. We are pushing, were not afraid to say that we are pushing to get better were trying to do harder every day and if you come and work for me I put so much energy into my staff I feed off them and they get so much in return from me. I'm one of those guys that I'm there for my staff and they expect a lot from me. I start from zero every day and I push myself to get to a high level at the end of the day and that's what I try to inspire my staff and they expect that from me and that's what I try and do.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2016

Career advice from Michelin star chef Andy McFadden