Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park Hotel

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th April 2017
Michael Caines

Michael Caines discusses his role as Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Michael Caines

Place of work: Gidleigh Park

Role: Executive Head Chef

Bio: With an MBE to his name and two Michelin stars for his restaurant at Gidleigh Park Hotel, Michael Caines has achieved a great deal over the course of his career. After leaving catering college as the ‘Student of the Year’ in 1987, Michael spent time in kitchens of Grosvenor House Hotel, Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons, Saulieu and Joël Robuchon, Paris. Michael returned to Britain in 1994 to take up the position of Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in Chagford, Devon, where he has remained ever since.

Follow Michael Caines on Twitter: @michaelcaines

Chef Skills

Michael Caines 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? 

20 years, so since 1994.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Put themselves in some of the top kitchens and make sure they are applying a patient but the progressive approach in terms of their learning. A lot of people want to get there too quickly and miss the detail, so be patient. But also make sure that you are having a broad base of learning, the industry keeps changing, the way we used to eat 20 years ago has changed and is still changing; the next generation can’t lose sight of why people go out to eat.

The recession has certainly shaped the market to a more casual/fine dine market and there’s been less grand openings and young people need to make sure that they don’t get confused between the technical obsession of cooking and the reality of what people want to eat. What people want to eat is great food with good service in a wonderful environment.

It’s important that a Chef understands that they are not just staff in the kitchen, they have to create around that. Work with the front of house team, have an understanding of the business and what the business is in terms of food cost and creations and regional/sustainable approach.

The best advice I can give is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, to learn and develop your craft over time. Put yourself in the right places and recognise that you should cook great food for your customer with flair and imagination and good attention to detail. Beyond that, you should be training with the right Chefs in various experiences to broaden your options in the future when you want to work within a business.

View Feature posts about Michael Caines

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;
- Head Chef Jobs
- Executive Chef Jobs
- Sous Chef Jobs
- Commis Chef Jobs
- Chef de Parties Jobs
- Pastry Chef Jobs

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th April 2017

Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park Hotel