Pip Lacey, Murano

The Staff Canteen

Pip Lacey discusses his role as Head Chef at Murano and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Pip Lacey

Place of work: Murano

Role: Head Chef

Bio: Pip is Head Chef at Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Murano in London. She is also co-founder of the new pop up dining experience in London called The London Gap. Pip relocated to London when she was 19 in pursuit of a profession in graphic design but, at age 27, she ventured into the catering industry. Her first catering position was at York and Albany in Camden under Angela Harnett, Executive Chef and proprietor of Murano. Pip joined the Murano team in 2011 and was promoted from senior Sous Chef to Head Chef in 2014, after succeeding Diego Cardoso.

Follow Pip on Twitter: @PipLacey

Chef Skills

Sarah Hartnett takes us through her 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? 

5 years.

How did you get into cooking?

I was born into a food loving family, so I have always had a great fondness of eating and cooking. My first few jobs as a teenager were within the hospitality industry - I initially worked as a porter in my local pub at 16, and went on to manage a restaurant in the Alps during a ski season after I left school. After graduating from University, I began a career in graphic design after studying for a degree in the subject, but at 27 I realised that I wanted to return to what I loved and forge a career as a Chef. After convincing the team at York and Albany to take me on as a Commis Chef, I’ve never looked back and I’m so happy to be where I am today in an industry that I have always cared for.

Do you think there was enough advice available when you were starting out?

 When I started out I was offered some really good advice which I try to make sure I pass on to those starting out in the industry today.

 The main points that stuck with me and that I think are most important are to learn quickly, try not to make the same mistake twice and don’t explain why something went wrong, just do it again! 

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

My top five tips for people starting a career in hospitality would be: 

  1. Make sure you are the first at work each day
  2. Open your eyes and ears to everything
  3. Learn from your mistakes
  4. You're going to feel exhausted but keep going....it will get better
  5. Laugh...a lot!

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

I have never been a fan of CV’s. People learn quickest and produce their best work when they are in a happy environment. My main focus when employing someone is whether they will fit in with the team, so I like to make sure that I meet applicants in person rather than form a judgment from their CV. It is all about employing a personality for me, you can teach skills.

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

One piece of advice that I would tell my younger self is that anything is possible if you put the hard work in. It’s all about making it happen for yourself.

How would you describe your experience on Great British Menu?

Great British Menu was a great experience…more so looking back. At the time it was a mental week but when you come through the other side of such a testing time it always feels good. I met some wicked people and managed to do pretty well. I’m just gutted that my rabbit dish didn't get me through to the banquet. I did get over my camera fear though which is another great bonus. Overall it was a positive and happy experience.

View Feature posts about Pip Lacey

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd February 2017

Pip Lacey, Murano