Richard Johns, Falcon Inn

The Staff Canteen
Richard Johns

Richard Johns discusses his role as Chef and joint owner at The Falcon Inn and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Richard Johns

Place of work: The Falcon Inn, Withernwick, East Yorkshire

Role: Chef and joint owner with my wife Lindsey

Bio: Before Richard and Lindsey took over the Falcon Inn, they ran Artisan Restaurant in Hessle, East Yorkshire, for nine years. Self-taught Richard and his wife won the restaurant a top 100 listing and North East restaurant of the year win in 2011. Which Good Food Guide before deciding to close and look for a new venture.

Chef Skills

Richard Johns 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?

7 months.

Why did you make the decision to go from owning a restaurant to owning a pub?

After owning and running Artisan restaurant for so long, it had reached the point whereby we could not take the restaurant any further. Despite gaining a host of accolades along the way, it had got to the stage that we could not progress any further. Possibly if we had been fortunate enough to have gained Michelin star recognition that may have helped take the business to the next level. But we shall never know! After taking some time out we wanted to get involved with a pub style operation but being able to employ our previous Artisan style of doing things, so being standard driven but at the same time being accessible to a wider audience.

We then took over the Inn last August after being approached to take the place on and give it a much needed new lease of life. It has been a challenging project which has meant starting from ground zero. The Inn was going nowhere fast but we believed that given some time, effort and investment we could make into a destination dining pub, which is now slowly starting to take shape. Certainly a work in progress!

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

The sad thing in life now seems to be the need for instant fame. This is really apparent in our industry. So many are not willing to put in the time and effort to learn their craft and feel they should be a head chef at 21  years old! Like anything, you have to do your time and pay your dues. I'm  completely self-taught and after 20 years I'm still learning. If you want to reach the top you have to be willing to start at the bottom and the rest is up to you. So much is made of ‘talent’ but attitude, commitment and application are very important attributes to process in order to make it to the top of your game. You need the willingness to go that extra mile.

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

My top five tips would be to stay grounded, look, listen & learn, do it for the right reasons, accept knock backs, eat out in places that interest you and ultimately enjoy it, as you will encounter every single emotion along the way.

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

I think the person need to decide where they want to go in the industry before deciding who and where to go to gain experience. The choices now are limitless in the UK. There are so many fantastic chefs and restaurants out there.

A lot of younger chefs still want to go to London because they think it’s the be all and end all. That's just not the case anymore. In my area alone there are six or seven high-quality establishments, all working to very high standards. The last thing you would want to be in this industry is a microwave or deep fat fryer warrior! Sadly there are still many such places.

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

Chef recruitment is getting increasingly difficult, so to actually get a CV is a bonus! All I really look for is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. The rest can be passed on.

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 27th April 2017

Richard Johns, Falcon Inn