Adam Brown, Brockencote Hotel

The Staff Canteen

Adam Brown discusses his role as Head Chef at Brockencote Hotel and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Adam Brown

Place of work: Brockencote Hotel

Role: Head Chef

Bio: Trained in prestigious and Michelin-starred kitchens across the country, Adam Brown, became Head Chef at Brockencote Hotel at the age of 25. From Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to Le Champignon Sauvage, to the sister hotel Brockencote Mallory Court, Brown has won recognition of his talents. He has progressed through the ranks including Coventry Chef of the Year and finalist Midlands Chef of the Year, together with his team he has developed enticing menus for Brockencote to tempt any palate.

Follow Adam Brown on Twitter @ChefAdamBrown

Chef Skills

Adam Brown 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? 

3 years.

What advice would you give to someone just entering into the industry?

Just be sure that it's definitely what they want to do and be in the understanding that there is very little social life. It is hard work, the pressure is high, but if your hearts there and you really want to do it, it’s worth it.

 I will say that it’s a long road to the top, you have to learn your skills, you have to learn to do things properly. Get into a kitchen, my advice would be a three rosette establishment, with or without Michelin stars as soon as possible because you are going to be using the best possible ingredients that you can. You want to be looking for something with a Head Chef and a  brigade, something that is reputable, preferably something that is pushing things forward, doing modern food, but it does not have to be modern it can be classical, but it can be classical in a modern way. I wouldn’t say don't go to college but, do day release or something if you can.

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

Well, I have been doing this since I was 15 and a half, I’m 34 now, so quite some time. I did become a Head Chef at 25 but I think personally I took that step a bit too early and that’s when I went down to London, that sort of hit me like a sledgehammer really because you think you know it all, but you don’t. I took my first proper Head Chef role at 29 after being out and about a bit and I’m now 34 so you never stop learning put it that way.

When you get into higher positions it's no longer about running your own section, I have a team of eight Chefs underneath me, all the menus and obviously the figures; you are running a business, so there really is no rush. Learn your craft and skills first and then everything else will follow.

What are your ultimate top five tips for someone looking to start a career in the hospitality sector/ who are the key Chefs and restaurants that someone should be speaking to and trying to gain experience with?

First of all find the right establishment for you, find the kind of cuisine that you want to work with, then you will find it more pleasurable to do and you are not fighting against anything.

You need to make sure that you are going to be happy because it is going to be hard and make sure that you are working in a restaurant with a Head Chef that is a respected establishment, that’s the most important things to keep in mind from me, the rest of it just follows to be honest.

What are you looking out for on a CV or in an interview if someone was applying to work with you?

I think first impressions always count, and I have been taught that since I was a kid, so you want to look at someone who presents themselves clean and smart. What we do is we give them an interview where we just have a chat really and we get them into work with us for a day or so; we usually just do the second day to make sure that we have the right person.

But we can usually tell from the first day that we have the right person. We can tell this through how clean they are as a person, how clean they keep their section, their interest and their knowledge. Another thing what we look out for it if they are keeping a record of the information, like in a little book or something, that’s when you know you are on to the right kind of guy.

That’s a good tip as well: when you are going into an establishment take a little notepad in, show a bit of interest, ask questions and try and get round on the sections. If they just stick you on the veg, you don’t want that, you want to have a  look at what’s going on the pastry, on the desserts, the sauce, how the Head Chef makes sauces.

Adam Brown main plate

You are not going to get on these sections until you are a bit further down in your career anyway, but all those things so that you know that you’re in the right establishment.

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th January 2017

Adam Brown, Brockencote Hotel