Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin

The Staff Canteen
Tom Kitchen

Tom Kitchin discusses his role as Owner of The Kitchin and his own inspirations with regards to pursuing a career as a Chef.

Name: Tom Kitchin

Place of work: The Kitchin

Position: Owner

Chef Skills

Tom Kitchin 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.

When did your passion for cooking start?

I was 13 and washing the dishes in a local pub to earn some pocket money. I just loved the adrenaline and the excitement. At that time there were no aspirations to become a restaurateur, I just loved the excitement and the team camaraderie spirit. It’s like playing in a sports team, you’re all there for each other and you’re going into battle! I just thought that was amazing.

Do you think you received enough advice when you were starting your career?

I was very lucky when I was younger. I met the right people who helped to mentor me at different stages of my career. But for someone who doesn’t have that kind of connection, and they are determined to become a Chef, then they have got to find the love and the passion in what we do, because it’s a really grilling industry. I really hope that people try to get into the best establishment that they possibly can. It doesn’t matter what it is; from a coffee shop to a Michelin starred restaurant, what matters is that they are doing the best they possibly can. I really get frustrated that people want to be Head Chefs and Sous Chefs by the time they are 21, I think you should really take your time. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint, so really take your time to learn from people who are good teachers and then one day all of your dreams will come true.

If you were looking out for something on a CV, what would that be?

I would like to see someone that has stayed in one job for a decent amount of time. With CVs I will always invite people for a stage if I  think the CV warrants it, or if they are young and don’t have anything on their CV then I will always invite them to a stage. That is when I  don’t care where you come from, what you’ve done, your background or your history. I just want to see that glint in your eye. I want to see you well presented, and I want to see you wanting to be there and wanting to work hard. So if I say sweep the floor, then you sweep the floor to the best of your ability. If I say ‘today I will teach you how to open scallops’ then you have to really embrace that – that is what I am looking for.

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

Every day will be a rollercoaster of emotions. That’s what life is. Any Chef who has reached the top would be lying if they said there hasn’t been any moments where they have thought ‘you know what, bugger this. I’m finished. I want an easier life than this’. And those moments there, where you have those decisions to make, where you think ‘this is too tough’… those are the moments that will make you, in the future, become the person you want to be. You have got to fight those moments, because around the corner will be a good moment.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 25th May 2017

Tom Kitchin, The Kitchin