Matt Pickop, Maze and Maze Grill

The Staff Canteen

Matt Pickop discusses his role as Executive Chef at Maze and Maze Grill and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Matt Pickop

Matt Pickop

Role: Executive Chef of Maze and Maze Grill

Bio: Matt Pickop worked his way up through the ranks of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants including Claridge’s, Verre and The Savoy Grill to become Executive Chef of maze and maze Grill.

Follow him on Twitter: @Mattpickop

Chef Skills

Matt Pickop 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.

What advice would you give to someone just entering into the industry?

Work hard and persevere, ask questions, and always go home thinking about what you’ve just learned. Write everything you learn down in a diary, whether it is a recipe, menu change, or prep list - always good to have something to refer back to. I still have my original diary from when I started through to current day diaries. Above all, have a plan. Know what you want to achieve, and work towards achieving it, and when that's done, set another goal.

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

Experience in this industry takes time and patience, but working hard to achieve your goals only makes you want to achieve more. A solid time within a great company like Gordon Ramsay Group has its rewards, but it doesn't come overnight.

Maze dish

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

  •  Research where you want to work - go on as many stages and trials as you can so you can see what you want from your career.
  •  Have a plan - start with a two-year plan, then a five-year plan, then a ten-year plan.
  •  Expect to work hard, and don't let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough - that's  your decision to make.
  •  Soak up every bit of knowledge you can, and make sure you have it written down to refer to in the future.
  •  Make mistakes, but don't be afraid to admit them, learn from them, and don't make the same mistake again.

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

 There is only one group of restaurants that I have in my mind! The Gordon Ramsay Group of course. Seriously though do your research and find out what you want out of your career first, then approach with a clear view in mind. The end result starts at the beginning.

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

When I look at CV's I have one thing in mind - where is this person going, and how can I help them get there. I look for passionate cooks, cooks who have a clear idea in mind.

There is nothing wrong with taking a step back to go up in the right direction. Mistakes happen, and bad choices can be made, but the interview tells me more than a CV. So a sharp interview will often tell me everything I need to know.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 5th January 2017

Matt Pickop, Maze and Maze Grill