Alex Piludu, Jamie Oliver's Fifteen

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st July 2017

Alex Piludu discusses his role as Senior Sous Chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

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Alex Piludu and Iole Sulis

from Jamie Oliver's Fifteen

Name: Alex Piludu

Place of work: Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen

Role: Senior sous chef

Bio: Alex Piludu is senior sous chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Westland Place, London. Having worked at Fifteen for 12 years, the Italian chef worked his way up the ranks from chef de partie to his current position. With restaurant experience in both Italy and the UK, Alex has worked in a variety of hotels and restaurants including the Royal Garden Hotel and The Tenth Restaurant in Kensington.

Chef Skills

Alex Piludu 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?

I’ve been Senior Sous Chef at Fifteen for 3 years.

How did you get into cooking?

It comes from when I was little. I come from a family where good food has always been very important.

I started to work back in Italy. My mom’s cousin used to own a very big restaurant, so I started working at that restaurant as a summer job when I was 13. I started on the floor, front of house, as a commis waiter. I then worked my way up to head waiter and then went into the kitchen, as there were shortages of chefs one year, so I gave it a go and I actually really enjoyed it so I decided to take it further.

20170203 012416

Beetroot, goats cheese and pickled blackberries. 

Made by Alex Piludu for

Virgin's website for Valentines day

What made you want to work in a restaurant?

Food in general. I adore good food, it’s something I grew up with. I started to get really passionate about food so I wanted to have a job that was involved with food.

Do you think there was enough advice available when you started out?

Yes. The job I had in Italy was only a summer job while I was studying electronics at college, so I graduated college in Italy but I didn’t study catering.

I then moved to England and that’s when I decided that I wanted qualifications in cooking. So I started in this country and I was very lucky to have great tutors that gave me plenty of advice.

What are your top five tips for someone looking to start a career in cooking?

1. Choose a type of cuisine you want to do.

2. Never choose a place for money. Never look at the wages first, look at what the restaurant or hotel can offer you knowledge-wise. That would give you the opportunity to make more money in the future. The more knowledge you have, the better position you can get and the better places you’ll be able to work for.

3. Never cut corners.

4. Don’t try to jump positions too quickly. Go up slowly, don’t try to become head chef in a year.

5. Commitment. You have to be committed to your job and your place. The more committed you are; the more people will invest in you.

 pea risotto

Pea risotto with goat’s cheese,

tropea onion and mint.

What would you look for in a CV for someone applying for a position such as yours?

1. Good food knowledge.

2. Experience should be on your resume. How many places and how long at each place.

3. Regarding personal details, someone who is organised. For someone in my position, they need to be really well organised.

4. Be good at delegating.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?

Never go somewhere for money, that was a mistake I made myself at the beginning of my career, and at some point I had to go back a position to gain knowledge and experience.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st July 2017

Alex Piludu, Jamie Oliver's Fifteen