Member of the Month May 2018: Gareth Jenkins

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st June 2018

Here at The Staff Canteen, we feature a different member every month who we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is Gareth Jenkins.

As a member who regularly contributes to our site via the app Chef+, Gareth will win a copy of Room for Dessert by Will Goldfarb, a selection of goodies from our app sponsors Essential Cuisine, and The Staff Canteen 10th Anniversary mug.

Rhubarb & Custard by chef Gareth Jenkins
Rhubarb & Custard

Current place of work, position and a brief overview of where you have worked before.

I’m currently head chef of a privately-owned hotel in the south east of England. I prefer to keep the details of my current place of work separate from my social media. There are a few reasons for this. I have often and will continue to post some highly controversial dishes. I always want to have the freedom to express myself, without my employers having to deal with the consequences. 

I started my career working in small local pubs. Then I worked at the Celtic Manor Resort for nine years, working events like the Ryder Cup, celebrity cups, Wales Open and the NATO conference. I worked in several of the outlets, mainly the Rosette restaurants. After that I worked for a year as an NVQ assessor, focusing on professional cookery. To be honest, I have no other skill sets!

What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?

My cooking style is heavily seasonal and based on quality produce. First and foremost, I like to take easily accessible ingredients and make the most out of them, presenting them in a fresh modern style. You won’t find random Asian ingredients no one has ever heard of on my menus, or fancy French words no one understands just to look posh! To be honest, if you can’t forage it, buy it from a farm or find it in a local supermarket, I’m not interested. I’m also all about finding quirky and unconventional ways to present food.

What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website?

I’m a big fan of The Staff Canteen. I love the fact that your location or your current level as a chef does not prevent you from having your work exposed to a wider audience here. I was blown away the first time that you guys shared my work. Not everyone has the option to work in top London kitchens and so your app and site offer people a chance to be noticed.

I think that this a very credible service to offer. It’s also a place where you can connect with and learn from other chefs. Plus, the competition element of your Instagram Top Ten encourages people to up their game - chasing after my first mug consumed me for ages!

Lamb, Spring Vegetables, Leek and Potato Sauce by chef Gareth Jenkins

Lamb, Spring Vegetables,

Leek and Potato Sauce

What is your favourite dish to cook?

I’m loving my current lamb, leek and potato combination. It’s such a solid dish. I’m a big fan of letting the ingredients speak for themselves and not over complicating the preparation process. Being Welsh, it also ticks all the boxes.

Guilty pleasure: list food item / dish / ingredient that aren’t considered ‘cheffy’ but you love to eat

My guilty pleasure dishes would have to be cheese chips and gravy, my Nan’s roast dinner, Nissan cup noodles and beef Space Raiders crisps.

What are your plans for the future?

My passion is restaurant food and I’m a strong believer in gaining the skills to be the best that you can be - the opportunities will always follow. If you work hard, you will see the results. I never chase positions, just perfection.

Do you want to be the next Member of the Month? Download the app now for free and start sharing your images, videos and recipes and interacting with other members to be in with a chance of winning!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st June 2018

Member of the Month May 2018: Gareth Jenkins