Tom Doyle, Lecrivain Restaurant

The Staff Canteen
Tom Doyle

Tom Doyle discusses his role as Head Chef at Lecrivain Restaurant and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Tom Doyle

Place of Work: Lecrivain Restaurant, Dublin

Role: Head Chef

Follow Tom on Twitter here: @doyleChef

Chef Skills

Tom Doyle 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 worked there?

One year

What first attracted you to cooking?

I wasn't really attracted to it straight away. I had an interest in it without really knowing why and fell into it by accident. As a kid, I had a summer job in a local pub and spent a lot of time around the kitchen. I liked the fast pace and intensity of the service, how hard the guys worked more than anything else.

I had a summer job as a kitchen porter, a Chef left and I was dragged into the kitchen and never looked back.

What are your biggest culinary inspirations?

 Quality ingredients and meeting the people who produce them but inspiration can happen anytime.

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

 It's never going to be the same for everyone but stay the course despite the hard times - the rewards far outweigh the hardships. I'd say no less than 10 years hard graft in my opinion but that depends on someone's  skillset, some people just learn incredibly quicker than others.

What makes the difference between a good meal and a really excellent one?

When the Chefs considered all aspects of the meal: balance, seasonality, texture, flavour pairings and above all, consistently good food. It's very easy to go and buy all high-end ingredients and put them on a plate cooked very well. Thought in the dish needs to be there throughout textures, flavours, a balance between fats and acidity. Having a thread throughout the meal that leaves you feeling you've had something really special.

If you could give yourself any advice when you were first starting out what would it be?

Spend more time in pastry, the areas of the kitchen that were well out of your comfort zone and mightn't have been as attractive as the nicer side of it. All young guys when they start, they want to be over in what's perceived as the main area of the kitchen, which would be the main courses, the garnishes or the final part of the meal. I shied away a lot from pastry due to pure ignorance on my part.

What skills would you say are most important for someone in the industry regardless of the restaurant or the food?

People skills, it's the thing I had to learn fast when I became head Chef! You're only as good as your team and you need to be able to get the best out of people working for you.

The ability to take on board everything said to you, learn the techniques but at the same time, develop your own particular style.

What qualities do you think makes a successful candidate's CV stand out from other applicants?

 Honestly, I think a CV has no place in this industry, your reputation for being hard working, your commitment and work ethic should stand you in good stead. Chefs talk. It's very easy to find out how someone was in their previous job.

 If you turn up for work, walk in and you're determined to work as hard or  harder than anyone else and prove to the guys who are there that you're a  valuable asset, I think that'll help far more than a well-worded CV.

What would be your top 5 tips for someone hoping to begin a career in the industry?

1) Look past the long hours and working weekends.

2) Be hungry to learn about all kinds of food, different techniques and cooking methods (old and new).

3) Be willing to commit, it's more than just a career.

4) Forget the words: "I can't".

5) It won't be easy but the rewards are exceptional.

Find a Chef Job

Whether you're an aspiring Chef soon to be leaving education, or you are an established Chef looking for a new culinary challenge, we have a variety of Chef roles to suit you;
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Editor 18th May 2017

Tom Doyle, Lecrivain Restaurant