Member of the Month May 2018: Gareth Jenkins

The Staff Canteen

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!

>>> For Apple: Click here to redirect to the App Store

>>> For Android: Click here to redirect to Google Play

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 1st June 2018

Member of the Month May 2018: Gareth Jenkins