Tom Aikens, Tom Aikens Restaurants

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th May 2017

Chef Career Advice

Based on his extensive experience working within Culinary Industry, Restaurant Owner / Chef, Tom Aikens offers his advice to aspiring Chefs in an attempt to help them on their journey up the career ladder:

My name is Tom Aikens, Restaurant owner and Chef I work at Tom’s kitchens.

I think for anyone that's going into catering as a career and there just leaving college I think they have to decide which area they want to go into catering, there's obviously the high end, the Michelin Star, there's the mid-range where you can go into some café's and brasserie or you could go into something completely different like being a food technician, so I think there are a lot of areas that you can go into in catering but you have to make sure you pick the right one.

I think from a young Chefs perspective for someone coming into the industry I think the industry today is an amazing place to be into I think there's a lot of passion in terms of what's going on, there's a lot of excitement a lot of energy, there's a whole different range of restaurants opening now, a lot of branded restaurants, a lot of high-end restaurants and I think the diversity of what you can actually do in catering is tenfold of what it used to be. I think the best careers advice I have been given is never give up, always keep going.

You’ve got to be very determined in where you want to go in catering because its quite a tough job to be in, the hours are long it's quite unsociable so you've really got to have a game plan of where you want to go. When a candidate applies for me it's not sometimes just about their CV and where they've worked, I'm interested to see if there passionate, keen, they show initiative, they show interest. When I have a Chef come into my kitchen I want to see him asking questions, I want to see him get involved, that for me sometimes tells a lot more about a Chef then someone who's got a multitude of different restaurants he's worked in.

I think if you came and worked for me you know at whatever age we'll always look at you regardless of your experience and I think it's always a Chef that has that initiative and that determination in terms of proving themselves in terms of where they want to go and what they want to do in their career and for me it’s someone who's really showing that that's going to get it and we can really help them in terms of getting them on their first ladder of their career.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th May 2017

Tom Aikens, Tom Aikens Restaurants