Ben Bulger, development manager, River Cottage

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd February 2017
Ben Bulger

Ben Bulger discusses his role as Development Manager at River Cottage and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Ben Bulger

Place of work: River Cottage

Role: Development Manager

Bio: Ben is the new food development manager at River Cottage having previously worked as Head Chef at Exeter’s Magdalen Chapter. Ben is a champion of fresh, seasonal local ingredients, using the freshest organic produce. His style is simple, well-executed cooking.

Follow him on Twitter: @gastronaut35

Chef Skills

Ben Bulger 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?

Seven weeks.

What experience and how many years in your opinion would someone need in order to progress to the top level of the industry?

 The important thing about working as a Chef is to get the right experience to thrive in the kitchen. A variety of experience is key, so apprenticeships are a great way to get ahead as you’re learning in the workplace. I would say that a minimum of 10 years would get you a strong footing in the industry, so you can fully master the basics. People want to jump aHead too quickly and run before they walk, but you really do need to do your time! Having said that as a Chef, you’re always learning.

What are your ultimate top five tips for someone looking to start a career in the industry?

  • Enjoy food so you can build upon your passion.
  • First things first – go and stand in the kitchen! Make sure it’s what you want to do.
  • Once you have decided, focus on something you’re passionate about, whether it’s pastry, seafood or fine dining – go and find out more.
  • Find the best place to go and learn your craft. Aim high! You learn from the people you work with, so look for the best names.
  • Work hard. It’s not easy so keep your Head down, learn, and don’t be afraid to put the hours in.

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

 Of course, it depends on the area of cookery you’re looking to get into,  but why not start with River Cottage! We have an education team that offers a range of qualifications and experience courses for budding Chefs  - we’re all about teaching people to become considerate, ethical and competent Chefs.

You mention that you help with CV writing and mentoring, what advice are you giving to young Chefs?

What should someone be writing on their CV and do you offer advice for when they attend interviews?

A personal statement about who you are and what you care about, especially if you haven’t got much experience to back you up – put yourself on the paper. Say where you want to be and what you want to get out of the job. When you secure the interview, be confident but not cocky.

Find a Chef Job

Whether you're an aspiring Chef soon to be leaving education, or you are an established Chef looking for a new culinary challenge, we have a variety of Chef roles to suit you;
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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd February 2017

Ben Bulger, development manager, River Cottage