Ever wondered what it would be like to be a Chef for a day? Mat Kelly, Senior Sous Chef at Hawksmoor Spitalfields tells us all about it below. If you or you know anyone who you think would like to join our team, we have multiple chef vacancies across all our restaurants from CDP roles, Kitchen Porters, Grill Chefs, Sous Chefs and more. See here.
How long have you worked at Hawksmoor and what is your role?
I started at Hawksmoor Guildhall almost 4 years ago as a CDP, I had been running pubs for the previous 7 years and found myself being drawn back into the kitchen more and more. I wanted to go somewhere with a good reputation for food and somewhere known for developing and treating its staff well, there was only really one option! Had my interview and trial with Phil Branch, the now group head chef and luckily enough I got the job! Now I am currently working as a Senior Sous at Hawksmoor Spitalfields for the last 2 years.
What does your typical day look like at Hawksmoor?
The first part of my day is checking deliveries and sections to make sure we are stocked and ready to prep for service, and filling out my kitchen diary. I check the handover notes and action anything that needs to be done urgently. Then depending on the day its fish and meat orders for the next day, these need to be done early as they come in fresh every day.
I normally spend the rest of my morning organising meat prep, checking sections and sorting out staff food for the team. This takes me through till around 2/3pm and I have an hour or so of admin after that, delivering in orders on our procurement systems and placing them for the next day, updating rotas, maintenance, etc. I then take a break and sit down for some food with the team. Around 4.30pm will go round the sections, tasting to make sure everything is up to scratch, and nothing is wrong or needs attention.
Then comes my favourite bit – service! Depending on the day we can have anywhere between a 100 and 250 covers a service. I love the buzz of the restaurant when it’s busy and I am really proud of the food I put out! We finish up, clean down and write a handover and that’s my day done!
What do you enjoy about working at Hawksmoor?
Hawksmoor itself – It’s the opportunity to develop and better myself with their training programmes, the flexibility they have and the fact they are willing to invest in people. Work hard and be nice to people is a mantra we all live by, and it really works!
Spitalfields – The kitchen and restaurant team are my family (not literally!). we look after each other’s wellbeing whether that be physically or mentally. We make an effort to make sure everyone is okay and if not, we get them the help they need and they do the same! I think having a job that you enjoy, with people that make you feel at home is important and we have that more so than anywhere else I have worked.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about coming to work as a chef at Hawksmoor?
You’ll be coming to a place that allows you to grow and develop, with people that genuinely care!