Steve Smith, Bohemia Restaurant

The Staff Canteen
Steve Smith

Steve Smith discusses his role as Head Chef at Bohemia Restaurant and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Steve Smith

Place of work: Bohemia Restaurant, Jersey

Role: Head Chef

Bio: Steve gained his first Michelin star at 24 as Head Chef of Gordleton Mill in Hampshire, having originally worked under Jean-Christophe Novelli. He then worked in various top restaurants around the UK and won two Hats (Michelin equivalent in Australia) while working in Melbourne. He then worked at Burlington Restaurant in Devonshire Country House Hotel, where he won a Michelin star and retained it until he left to start as head Chef at Bohemia.

Chef Skills

Steve Smith 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.

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

We have a rich and varied industry. It depends on which area of the industry you want to work in, but try to gain experience in establishments that you will enjoy, and establishments that spend time developing staff, that also have good reputations.

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

You need to accept that you will probably work 50-60 hours per week. If it’s not for you, do something else and don’t waste everybody’s time.

Give yourself every opportunity to succeed and remember that you are investing in your own future. The more you put in the more you get out.

 Your customers come first, not the guide books.

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

 Look locally at the better establishments as there are great places all over the country. Working in smaller establishments at the start of your career will get you better hands on experience.

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

I’m looking for someone that is keen, interested and wants to learn. Do they enjoy talking about food? Experience isn’t always needed, depending on the role they are looking for. On a work trial, we look for pride in the tasks they carry out. Do they listen? Do they communicate well? Are they tidy? Do they look interested?

Do they take notes? Do they try to be involved? Getting someone to chop a bunch of chives, tells us everything we need to know about how they can handle a knife.

What would be your main piece of advice to anybody entering the industry?

Persevere, and stick with it. It’s not going to happen overnight. Be honest with yourself.

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Editor 1st June 2017

Steve Smith, Bohemia Restaurant