Sam Moody, the Bath Priory Hotel

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017
Sam Moody

Sam Moody discusses his role as Executive Chef at The Bath Priory hotel and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name:  Sam Moody

Place of work: The Bath Priory Hotel

Role: Executive Chef

Bio: Sam Moody is the Executive Chef of the Michelin star The Bath Priory Hotel. Sam has a genuine passion for developing menus that use fresh, local ingredients and has developed strong relationships with his suppliers.

Follow him on Twitter here: @thegoodmoody

Chef Skills

Sam Moody 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?

I started as senior sous, was promoted to Head Chef, then two years ago was promoted again to my current role.

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

Everyone is different, work hard improving day by day, it will come in a time that’s right for you. Don’t compare yourself to anyone and make sure you learn from everyone. Take your time, enjoy what you do, take advice from the right people, (people who have made it) and don’t suffer fools!

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

  1. Work as hard as you can for someone that always works harder and pushes and inspires you. Great Chefs are not easy to work for, but don’t work for someone who doesn’t care about you, good Chefs are hard on their team but look after them. Listen to them, learn everything you can from them, stay loyal, do a minimum of three years, when you think it time to leave ask them what they think, give good notice! Loyalty pays!
  2. Aim high and take yourself way out of your comfort zone. It’s not meant to be easy if it was everyone would do it. Learn to love the challenge. Going to work somewhere average will never prepare you for working somewhere great.  Don’t worry about not knowing, you’re not meant to, no habits are better than bad habits. Focus hard on learning the basics.
  3. Don’t wait for it to happen, go out and make it happen. Buy a copy of the Michelin guide, read up on restaurants, put on a suit and tie, polish your shoes and Credit to David Griffen go knock on doors, print off a few CVs, be confident but not cocky, then ask for the job you want.  I can almost guarantee you’ll get it. Although you may have to chase them up. Top tip and something to think about: Chefs work split shifts, don’t turn up a 4 pm, service is busy, don’t turn up at lunch, Monday and Sundays are common days off for head Chefs, I would go for Wednesday or Thursday.
  4. Money cannot buy experience, but experience tends to pay well. Ignore everyone and anyone that says you don’t have a good social life when you work in catering, you will meet great people who’ll play as hard as they work and have amazing energy for life. These are the people you want to be socialising with. Be honest, if going to the pub every Friday evening is important to you, a career in hospitality isn’t.
  5. Most importantly, live and love your job! Don’t take yourself too seriously and have a good hobby, it doesn’t matter what it is, but love it nearly as much as you job; life should be a  balance! Stay healthy and exercise lots!
Credit to David Griffen
  •  Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon,
  •  Andrew Fairlie, Restaurant  Andrew Fairlie, Glen Eagles, Scotland
  •  Gary Jones/Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir aux quat's ai sons, Oxford
  •  Philip Howards, The Square, London
  •  And of course me at The Bath Priory

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

Sam Moody main dish credit to David Griffen
  1. I like a CV to be clear, simple and on one page, as a young Chef a CV is just a piece of paper. That said, make it is as good as you can, I am really dyslexic so have always got my dad to help me write my CV, have it re-read, and only put the necessaries on there. Make sure your email address is correct, and the phone works. If you don’t get a response with a week, chase it up, and hassle them, show you really want to work with someone. Don’t go to an agency! If you get invited to interview, turn up early, work your heart out, stay to the very end and do the clean down with the team, Even if the Chef has said you can go, It is good for your karma!
  2. An interview with me is always done over one day. I need to see a young Chef wants to learn and wants to cook, and is really interested. All I’m really looking for is a great can do attitude, the rest we can teach.
  3. Don’t worry about it if you keep getting rejected, keep asking and never give up!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017

Sam Moody, the Bath Priory Hotel