Jack Stein, The Seafood Restaurant

The Staff Canteen
Jack Stein

Jack Stein discusses his role as Executive Chef at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Jack Stein 

Place of work: The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow

Role: Executive Chef

Bio: Jack Stein, the middle son of three boys to the celebrated Chef Rick Stein OBE, is Executive Chef at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow. Like father, like son, Jack Stein is Executive Chef of Stein Restaurants, all five of them as well as overseeing the Padstow Seafood School. Jack not only is one of the golden generation that is shaking up the restaurant work, he completed a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Ancient History at Cardiff University.

Follow Jack on Twitter here: @JackStein

Chef Skills

Jack Stein 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? 

Over a year.

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

I would say that you would need to be working in a kitchen for at least 8 years to become a Head Chef. You need to have worked every section of the kitchen and have made it to Sous Chef before you can reach the top. Head Chefs need to be good managers, well-organised and committed and much of this comes from experience.

Padstow-chilli-crab - credit to David Griffen

 There’s definitely more opportunity to progress faster because of the information available to  Chefs now, but the experience is key, no amount of reading can teach you the same as getting hands on in the kitchen.

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

 1. Have clear expectations of the work patterns and hours that you will work. Chefs work long,  unsociable hours so you need to be passionate about what you do.

 2. Research the type of cuisine you would like to cook and eat out at as many restaurants you can afford.

 3. When looking for a restaurant to work in, pick a restaurant that will give you a broad range of skills.

4. Take all the knowledge you can from the first people who teach you, it’s your foundation in cooking so absorb as much as you can.

5. There is more to working in a kitchen than the food going out of the door so keep your head up and try to observe anything extra. Try your hand at baking and patisserie, go on supplier visits and learn about the financials of food.

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

Look for restaurants that offer apprenticeships, it’s a great way to enter a kitchen. You will gain qualifications and experience whilst on the job, which is why we offer them at The Seafood Restaurant.

Pan-fried-herring - Jack Stein

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

Someone with good past experience, a Chef that will push on (work hard in kitchen speak!) and someone who is willing to work in a busy kitchen located outside of London. It can be quite an adjustment to move from a big city to a small working harbor by the coast but it’s very rewarding.

View Feature posts about Jack Stein

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Editor 6th October 2016

Jack Stein, The Seafood Restaurant