Social Impact / Better Bristol

Bristol24/7s Young Chefs get industry advice to kickstart their career

By lowie trevena, Friday Nov 15, 2019

Young Chefs on the How To Be A Chef course recently received expert advice on breaking into the food and drink industry.

The young people on the course, run by the Square Food Foundation in partnership with Bristol24/7, cooked a lunch for the industry professionals, including the head chef at The Ox and Alistair McVicar of Jekka’s Herb Farm.

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After preparing a collection of dishes, including beetroot bread, vegan tagine and polenta slices, Bristol24/7 joined the Young Chefs, staff at the Square Food Foundation and the industry guests for a feast and a question and answer session.

The Young Chefs cooked a feast for their guests

“How do chef interviews work?” asked Diccon, one of the young people. “Do they have to cook in the interview or something?”

Jo Clerc, recruitment manager at Hyde & Co had helpful advice for the trainee chefs: “There’s no cooking in the initial interview! For us, it’s important to have a chat and we actually find out what they want to cook. There’s no point putting a vegan chef in The Ox, for example.

“My job is looking for chefs and putting them in the right venue. That’s why courses like Square Food Foundation are so important. They teach the basic skills you need to be a chef and teach you what you might want to cook.”

Jo explained that after an initial interview, chefs are often invited for a trial shift to see if they are suitable for the restaurant’s kitchen. Hyde & Co manage seven different restaurants, including the Milk Thistle and Bambalan, so they can offer a range of careers for chef talent.

Lowie from Bristol24/7 (top right) speaks to Diccon (centre back), one of the Young Chefs. Photo by Jo Clerc

The Young Chefs, who range from a vegan trainee who hopes to work in vegan catering to a wannabe barista, gained plenty of information from their guests.

From tips on plant-based cooking to learning how to work in a community cafe, the seven young people learnt some important tips to get into the industry  following the end of the 12-week course.

Read more: In the kitchen with Bristol24/7’s new cohort of Young Chefs

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