Bobby Saunders, Koffman’s, the Berkeley

The Staff Canteen

Bobby Saunders discusses his role as Commis Chef at Koffman’s, the Berkeley and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Bobby Saunders

Bobby Saunders

Role: Commis Chef at Koffman’s in the Berkeley Hotel

Bio: Bobby studied two years at Westminster Kingsway College before securing work experience at Koffman’s, he decided not to return for a third year at college after being called back to the Berkeley to work full time.

Follow Bobby on Twitter: @MrBobSaun

How are you finding your role at the Berkeley?

It is fantastic the things you learn in a place like this you get hands-on experience, you wouldn’t get an experience like this anywhere else and get taught by Pierre Koffman himself, it is really a dream come true.

What are some of the difficulties you face in your position?

The challenges I face in my day-to-day life are anything from doing 60 covers to 100 covers. You always have to stay on the point under the intensity and pressure, but it is so rewarding at the end of the day when you have served 100 or 200 customers. Looking at the staff you work with, you all feel so exhausted but you are all with each other and are doing the job you love. That is the sheer passion that we have for the job. It’s an amazing place to work.

Is there enough being done for aspiring Chefs?

 To be honest young people like me don’t get the opportunities to do what  I’m doing but for me, I believed and I knew I had a passion for it so nothing could’ve stopped me. When I was at college the lecturers had a favorite and I didn’t really fit into that spectrum of what they wanted. But I always believed in myself and I thought to myself, one day I want to have three  Michelin stars and I want to have my own restaurant, nothing is going to stop me from getting this, it's what I love doing.  

How difficult was it obtain your job?

 To find the job that I work in I did work experience and you just have to take these opportunities as they come. When I was there I showed enthusiasm and that I loved what I was doing, I was always there, even though I wasn’t getting paid, from eight in the morning till 11 at night. The Chef called me and offered me a position and from then I knuckled down and got on with it. To get a job like I’m doing you’ve got to show passion because it's early days.

What was work experience at Koffman’s like?

It was an eye-opener such a different spectrum from the college work to the everyday life of a Chef. Just to pick up the techniques and little tricks from a real Chef like Pierre, was a big eye-opener. I look up to every Chef in this industry and I wanted to be like them one day. To work with one of them, a Chef like Pierre, it’s a dream come true.

What advice would you give to people trying to make it in the industry?

Believe in yourself, don’t let anyone knock you down and always give it 110%! You need to show character, only the characters do well in this business. For you to put your food on a plate and say it’s your food takes guts, it takes a real passion for doing that. Only the best survive in this business and they do it by being who they are.

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The Staff Canteen

Editor 7th July 2016

Bobby Saunders, Koffman’s, the Berkeley