June 2003 – Joined Tinto Lounge as Kitchen Porter, helped with salads, sandwiches and desserts. Spent time helping out at The Lounge which originally was very small, therefore just a single chef and kitchen porter, so became much more hands on. Huge aspirations to become a head chef.
2004 – Based at The Lounge mainly as kitchen porter to start, but more and more opportunities to cook with the site getting busier and the Head Chef giving me the chance on weekends to run cold side.
October 2004 – Went with the Head Chef from The Lounge to open Porto Lounge. Again, working on the cold side but soon moved over to supervise hot side shifts and then opportunities to run the kitchen on Head Chef’s days off.
March 2005 – Returned to The Lounge, running shifts and ordering. Worked under the former Sous Chef who was now the Head Chef. The Lounge had an extension into the next shop, so became twice the size.
September 2005 – Went to college to do NVQ Level 2 which was funded by Loungers. Had the chance to move to Deco Lounge. The Executive Chef was also Head Chef at this site so was not always based here. Had good opportunities to help with the running of the site and putting specials on the menu.
May 2006 – Returned to Tinto Lounge as Sous Chef, and in sole charge of kitchen over Christmas with no Head Chef. Also attended college to complete NVQ Level 3, again funded by Loungers.
March 2007 – Moved back to The Lounge as Sous Chef, as this was the busiest site in Bristol.
2007-2013 Head Chef Tinto Lounge, Head Chef Lounge, Helped with Trago Lounge opening and held site for 3 months. Helped with the openings of Arco and Ludo Lounges. Helped at Seco Lounge due to its massive success. Moved across to work for Cosy Club. Held Taunton site for 3 months whilst waiting for the Bath site to open and training new head chef.
June 2011 – Opened Cosy Club Bath. Helped open Brasco and Grupo Lounge.
May 2013 – Promoted to Area Chef for the Cosy Clubs. After nearly 10 years there has to be more highs than lows or I wouldn’t still be here! The hardest part so far of my career was the transition from a Lounge head chef to a Cosy Club head chef. Working with a team of 5 chefs and 2 Kp’s on the busiest shifts really did test my management skills.
I finally realised that that if I wanted to progress to be head chef then I would have to regularly work the busiest shifts. It’s tough, but it’s great fun! The great thing about being Head Chef here, is that you are given a real sense of ownership of your kitchen. The food is something that all the chefs from commis to head can be proud of.