Steven Smith, Freemasons at Wiswell

The Staff Canteen
Steven Smith

Steven Smith discusses his role as Chef Patron at Freemasons at Wiswell and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Steven Smith

Place of work: Freemasons at Wiswell

Role: Chef/Patron

Follow Steven on Twitter here: @wiswellChef

Bio: Steven Smith is Chef patron of the multi award winning Freemasons at Wiswell. Born near Blackburn, Steven learned his trade in some of the North’s top establishments before going solo in this quaint Lancashire village and creating a true gastronomic experience in a stylish yet homely pub setting.

Chef Skills

Steven 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.

How long have you been in this role? 

Nearly five years.

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

This is such a difficult question to answer because as is the case in any industry, people develop at different rates. If I had to give an approximate figure, and judging by my own experiences alongside other top Chefs, I would advise they would need ten year’s experience to reach the top level.

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

  • You need to have or adopt a good attitude; this is the most important tip I could possibly give. If you have a bad attitude this simply won’t be acceptable in the kitchen. Discipline is key in this industry.
  • Level headed. You need to be able to remain level headed and calm if you wish to pursue a career as a Chef.
  • Always listen and soak up information. If somebody is trying to teach you something, listen – make the most of your time there.
  • Be respectful, respect your Head Chef, colleagues and anyone you meet in the industry, first impressions stick.
  • Always look for reasons to excel your skill set and to inspire your learning process. Visit as many restaurants as you can, that way you’ll learn faster what you’re aiming for and what style of Chef you’d like to be.

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

 I would recommend looking into traditional establishments, hotels are a  great place to start such as The Savoy or even Gordon Ramsay’s  restaurants.

 The problem is with some of the newer, unique restaurants; it’s much harder to learn the basics as they often have their own very distinctive style of cooking.

 It can also be very difficult to move on from these establishments, as you’ve learned a particular style rather than versatility and grounded skills.

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

Pure and simple, I’m looking for their attitude. Especially for work experience, at that stage, I don’t care if they can’t cook at all. I can teach them everything else. And in terms of CV’s, I don’t read them, I judge a candidate purely by manner and enthusiasm during an interview.

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Editor 18th May 2017

Steven Smith, Freemasons at Wiswell