Gordon Dochard, University of Edinburgh

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th April 2017

Gordon Dochard discusses his role as Kitchens manager at University of Edinburgh and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Gordon Dochard

Place of work: University of Edinburgh

Role: Kitchens manager

Bio: Gordon has been the kitchens manager at the University of Edinburgh since August 2013, and before that he worked in establishments including British Trust hotels, The Savoy, Macdonald Hotels, Gleneagles and Crown Plaza as well as Edinburgh Zoo.

Chef Skills

Gordon Dochard takes us through his personal experiences whilst being in the Culinary Industry. These key skills that young Chefs and industry professionals learn as part of their basic training.

How long have you been in this role?

18 months.

What made you want to work in in-house catering?

I was attracted to the role because of the diversity of catering offers across the University, so I can be dealing with Grab & Go food one minute and then looking at fine dining the next. It can be very challenging, and the scale of the job can constantly surprise me, but it is enjoyable and the fact that there is no “Head Office”  to deal with was also very appealing.

What are your top tips for someone looking to start a career in the hospitality sector?

  • Aim to work at the highest level possible
  • Be prepared to work long, hard shifts
  • Listen to what people are telling you and learn from that
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

What are some of the things that young Chefs should be doing to build their CVs up?

They should be plotting their career path and have a planned programme with regards to working in the correct places for their career goals. It might be hotels, restaurants, education, as long as they know what career path they want to go down they can plot their CV around this and make sure they have the correct experience and everything on there.

What are the key restaurants that someone should be speaking to and trying to gain experience with?

There are various hotels and organisations that run very good apprenticeship and training schemes, so that would be a good place to start. As far as prominent Chefs go, Marcus Wareing, Jamie Oliver and the likes, who have come through the ranks themselves and clearly promote and develop Chefs within their schemes.

How important would you say further education is in this industry?

I think further education is important because of the dropout rate from the catering industry of people who can’t seem to comprehend or cope with the hours, stress or conditions of the job. If they haven’t got a good education behind them then if they do drop out and decide to retrain or go into a different line of work they might find it very difficult.

Finally, my advice to aspiring Chefs would be to have the ability to listen to advice, tackle each new challenge, talk to the rigGordon Dochardht people and have confidence.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th April 2017

Gordon Dochard, University of Edinburgh