Rob Allsworth, chef lecturer, East Kent College

The Staff Canteen
Rob Allsworth

Rob Allsworth discusses his role as Chef Lecturer at East Kent College and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Rob Allsworth

Place: East Kent College

Role: Chef Lecturer

Bio: Rob Allsworth is Chef lecturer at East Kent College where he has been in the role for five years, he offers his advice on social media and how further education is a bridge into employment.

Chef Skills

Rob Allsworth 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?

Five years.

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

  • Be prepared to work hard
  • Ask lots of questions, but think of the right times to ask them
  • You need to know all the information you can get but a Chef in the middle of service doesn’t want to stop and answer questions that could be sorted later
  • Get involved as much as you can in all elements of catering, really immerse yourself because it is all consuming
  • You need to understand that you will be a little obsessed if you are really passionate about food, all the top Chefs are a bit obsessed

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

Going for work experience, getting involved in student competitions. Be prepared to get work experience, because if you work for someone for a couple of free days you get the experience and they may offer you a job. Then just try and work and push yourself.

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

Anyone that is accessible to them really, the best level that you are confident at. I would say if you are a student to speak to your lecturing staff as they may have connections to local restaurants and could point you in the right direction.

We have students that we are happy to push towards high-end restaurants and we have students that are not necessarily suited for that kind of pressure.

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

I would say it is very important because further education is that bridge from education into employment. There is a lot more choice for students now but I think education gives them that bridge because going straight into a restaurant is very difficult. It is almost like a rite of passage to come out of school, get your experience and figure out what you want to do, but I do think that in education you should have a job at the same time. We only have our students in four days a week, allowing them more time to get work experience and jobs in their spare time, so that they get the best of both worlds.

Are there any other tips you can give from a lecturer’s perspective?

Social media, especially Twitter, is used massively by Chefs. Follow local restaurants, local Chefs, food organisations, the media and anything you can. I think that Facebook is for friends and family but Twitter is a professional tool, so use it accordingly.

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Editor 1st June 2017

Rob Allsworth, chef lecturer, East Kent College