Paul Gayler, consultant chef, Braehead Foods

The Staff Canteen

Paul Gayler discusses his role as Consultant Chef at Braehead Foods and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Paul Gayler

Place of work: Feedback Consultancy with clients including Braehead Foods

Role: Consultant Chef

Bio: Paul owns his own consultancy company called Feedback Consultancy, with clients including Braehead Foods. Before going full time with his consultancy firm Paul was Executive Chef at the Lanesborough for 22 years.

Can you tell me a bit about your role?

I work with the head development Chef to develop recipes and ideas and then get them out into the market.

Why did you choose to do consultancy full time?

I was one of the original people who set up the Tesco Finest range many years ago, so I’ve always done development through the industry. When I spoke to Braehead, they wanted to move the company forward with new ideas, so they are now one of my clients and I work with them developing new products for the market.

What is it that you enjoy about the development side of things?

The creativity. At the end of the day, I’ve written 25 cookery books, I’ve always been a person who can turn new ideas into a reality, so that’s great for me to be able to bring a more modern style into events catering.

You’ve done a lot in your career, would you advise someone should specialise early on or should they gain experience in all areas first?

Development Chefs are usually people who have done their training and moved through the business, I don’t think you should come from catering college and into development, that experience is vital. You have to know what you are doing before you can start developing your ideas.

How many years would you advise people to gain experience for before going into development?

You need at least 10 years really. At the end of the day if people are talented they can go in whenever, but I think from a professional point of view, you can bring more to the party if you have experience and have been around the block a bit.

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

1. Love food, make sure you are passionate about it

2. You need to get pleasure out of pleasing people

3. All it comes down to is you have got to want to do the job, it’s a demanding job.

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

I would probably have liked to have stayed in France a bit longer, I was there for about eight months, but it wasn’t the best time for me personally. I would like to have stayed longer to get a bit more experience in French cooking. 

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Editor 18th May 2017

Paul Gayler, consultant chef, Braehead Foods