Lesley Crosfield, the Albannach Hotel

The Staff Canteen
Lesley Crosfield

Lesley Crosfield discusses his role as Co-owner and Chef at The Albannach Hotel and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Lesley Crosfield

Place of work: The Albannach Hotel

Role: Co-owner and Chef

Bio: Lesley has been running the Albannach with her partner Colin Craig for 25 years, and the hotel received a Michelin star in 2009. The pair recently took over The Caberfeidh Restaurant and Bar in Lochinver, which is managed on a day to day basis by local talent under their direction. 

Chef Skills

Lesley Crosfield takes us through her 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 did you get into cooking? 

We started cooking professionally almost by accident and had no previous training or experience. A humble approach with simple but freshly cooked food was appropriate at the time, although we have held a Michelin Star since 2009.

So we would say be prepared for your own development to take time.

Do you think there was enough advice available when you were starting out? 

Some people find the conventional training routes a satisfying way into the industry. Some find a more individual approach right for them,

Food from the Albannach

Neither is better than the other. Everyone finds their own way.

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

1. Make sure it’s something you’re going to enjoy.

2. Make sure your situation allows time and focus on your development.

3. Learn to distinguish between constructive criticism and the odd bit of meanness along the way.

4. Later, when you’re more confident of your skills and value, learn what to leave out of a dish or menu.  Beginners show off all their technique, sometimes on a single plate.

5. Stay in one job long enough to learn from it, and also to look like a stayer on your CV.

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

The Albannach

1. Proof of flair/skill/talent

2. Commitment/lack of distractions

3. Ability to focus for long hours

4. Clean lifestyle

5. Pleasure in the job’s prospects.

If you could go back and tell yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?

Think long-term.  If this line of work suits you at all, it just gets better the longer you do it.

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th March 2017

Lesley Crosfield, the Albannach Hotel