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    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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  • Mise en Place

    Specialist recruiter to the Catering and Hospitality Industry. Our values: Professionalism, Integrity, Flexibility, Partnership

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Archive for the ‘Excecutive Chef Recruitment’ Category

International Recruitment

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Dreaming of relocating to somewhere warm and travelling the world? Well, a job overseas might just be what you’re after. A new perspective can be a great move for your career, not to mention the new cultures and sights you’ll see.

If you’re feeling a bit reluctant or nervous then remember, moving to another country can give you lots of opportunities including building new skills, developing your international business links and can also give you that much needed career and confidence boost.

Here at Mise En Place we pride ourselves at recruiting talent from all across the world. We have some fantastic international job opportunities available at the moment including a number of amazing roles in Portugal, Dubai and Ibiza. Fancy a change? What’s stopping you!

To apply and for more information email Jacqui - jsterry@miseenplace.co.uk

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Eat My Words – Executive Chef Rob Shipman

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Last summer an exciting opportunity arose for an Executive Chef in a top dining establishment in Casablanca, Morocco.  Mise en Place matched the role with the very talented foodie Rob Shipman over 18 months ago now.

Rob is all too familiar with high-spec food ideas and creations, having cooked for a number of celebrities.  He’s recently started his own blog ‘The Food Guy’ , sharing food inspiration, recipe ideas and tips alongside some beautiful snaps of his latest creations.

Here, we talk to Rob about his experiences in the cheffing world, where he likes to eat and what it takes to work in the kitchen.

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?

Last night I went to a sushi restaurant in Casablanca call ILOLI.  There are many places doing sushi over here but this is the only place I’ve found so far that’s worth trying.  It seems that Morrocan’s are quite fond on deep fried sushi rolls with cream cheese.  This is what I’m trying to avoid.  The chef/owner of ILOLI has become a friend of mine now, he comes from Tokyo, the food is great and I can sit at the sushi bar and chat in Japanese all evening; it’s the only chance I get these days to speak Japanese.

Which is your favourite restaurant?

This is a very difficult question for me….! One of my favourites is perhaps Michele Bras in Hokkaido.  I’m still a big fan of Nobu and Zuma also.

What is the most important attribute for a chef to have, working in your kitchen?

That’s easy….honesty….if people are not honest with themselves, ultimately they are not being honest to the guest and this becomes a quality issue.  In my kitchen dishonest people are out!

If you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming chef, what would it be?

Work hard…..always do your best and never make excuses….(that’s three pieces of advise as I’m not sure if one piece of advice will ever be enough!)

What would you choose for your last meal?

Veal carpaccio with loads of shaved white truffles and a bottle of vintage Montrachet.

Who would be your ideal dinner companion?

My wife.

Which chef(s) do you most admire?

Nobu, Ferran Adria, Tom Aikins.

What is your signature dish of the moment?

Nigiri sushi of tuna and salmon with white truffle oil, fleur de sel and lime juice.

What do you cook at home on your day off?

It’ll normally be a BBQ or a Moroccan tajine.

Have you had any recent food discoveries?

Yes – spaghetti with jumbo prawns and Moroccan chermoula sauce.  I made it at home recently and it tastes amazing!

What is your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?

My honyaki sashimi knife….it’s worth about $2,500 and was given to me as a gift by the owner of SUISIN knife factory in Osaka

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We asked Rob for feedback on his experience of working with Mise en Place in looking for and securing a new position; here’s what he had to say:

“I highly recommend Mise en Place, Very professional, well connected and able to find great opportunities for talented people in the hospitality industry. I have first hand experience with this recruitment agency and I do recommend to job seekers and to employers.”

Follow Rob’s latest recipes, ideas and creations on his blog.

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If you are looking for a new challenge or role in a top end hospitality and catering role, register on the Mise en Place website here to find out about the latest available roles.  

You can also submit your CV directly to our website, enabling us to identify the role(s) for you.

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Eat My Words – Chef Chris Cunningham

Monday, September 29th, 2014

This week we talk with Chef Chris Cunningham who has been a Private Chef for most of his career, working for 4 wealthy families over the years and still works with one and has done so for the past 16 years. Chris is also writing a book about his Private Chef experiences and enjoys sharing the joy of his work with others in the industry. We ask Chris about his work and what it takes to be a happily employed Private Chef.

Chris your work experience and qualifications make you a sought after Private Chef world wide. Not only do you have a Grande Diplome De Cuisine Et De Patisserie but you hold a B.A. in legal studies from the University of Pittsburgh. What prompted the change from legal studies into being a Chef?

Actually, I have always been into cooking. I started baking cakes and selling them when I was twelve years old and even catered in college.  I was interested in law, but after a trip to Europe, specifically France, I fell in love with cooking all over again. I decided that if I was going to cook for a living, I was going to learn in France. 

You also mention that you not only worked for one Billionaire, but you actually have worked for four! Do you still continue to work for them in any capacity or others as a Private Chef?

Yes, I still work for the same family and have for 16 years. I began when their children were 3 an 4. I just sent the youngest off to college. Yes, they are still Billionaires, but don’t act like it. We are very close. I have worked for three other families, all of whom are so called  ”Billionaires”. I don’t think about that very much, I have a job to do and can’t get caught up in the hype.

What is the most amazing/interesting or just plain weird experience you have had with a client when cooking for them?

When I began in private service, I was the Chef for the President of American University in Washington D.C. During graduation, the daughter of King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordon was graduating. The king was not supposed to attend, but decided to come at the last minute. I had prepared a private reception lunch for the royal family in the President’s office. The King decided to hunch down behind the door and jump out and surprise his daughter when she arrived. She was thrilled and tears flowed everywhere. 

What would be your most difficult part of the day when working for a wealthy family?

The constant interruptions make the day difficult. There are a lot of people, working and maintaining a 40,000 sq food home and property. My kitchen is located right in the middle of the main house. Workers, deliveries and other staff are always around. It just slows down my job, even though there is no way around it.

What is the most unusual dish you have had to prepare for a family you’ve worked for?

My boss is of Lebanese descent and her parents owned a number of restaurants while she was growing up. A dish of lentils and rice called Mujadara is one of the families favorite side dishes. The recipe consists of a small list of simple ingredients. Perfecting it the way they wanted took me almost a year. One of the most difficult tasks of being a private chef is making the families traditional foods taste like they are used to. 

Who in the industry is your favourite Chef?

Thomas Keller is my favorite chef in the industry. His meals are perfection and creative. His restaurants are amazing, especially his organization in the kitchen.

What’s one piece of advice you valued receiving in your career?

The owner of the yacht I spent five years working on was a very successful businessman. When he hired me, he didn’t offer me a starting salary. He asked me what I wanted to be paid. He explained that the hours are long, the job is demanding and he wanted to hire the best person. His advice is hire the best people and pay them what they think they deserve. Then he gave me more than I asked for anyway. He explained, people generally know what they are worth, but will often sell themselves short. It was a great lesson for me.

What tip/s would you give to those who are looking to be a Private or Personal Chef?

It’s personality, not necessarily the food. Succeeding in a private chef position is 90% personality and 10% skill. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be a good cook, but if you work everyday inside someone’s home, they had better like you, If you screw up a sauce, you can’t swear and throw the pot at the dishwasher, when your boss is twenty feet from you playing with her five year old.  Don’t miss out on a great career, just because you think you are not a good enough chef. Wealthy employers are looking for more.

Do you train or coach other up and coming chefs in the industry? If so what is the most valuable piece of advice would you give?

I do work with other chefs in the industry. Travel, travel, travel! As a chef, you will learn so much from other cultures and cuisines, but you must go there. Also, work in as many venues as you can. All chefs have something to teach you. Don’t discount the other cooks around you either, many have a wealth of experience but don’t necessarily want to deal with the management side of the industry.

What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

I wouldn’t say I have three favorite dishes to prepare, but I do love putting together speciality events. I then can research many different dishes to prepare. Everything from breaking the fast on Ramadan, to preparing a Passover Seder dinner, to having a memorial Japanese dinner for the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian. Ok, I love making beans and greens, cassoulet, and a really good homemade Reuben.

If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

I would like to prepare a full course meal for both sets of my grandparents. I didn’t know them very well and my paternal grandfather died before I was born.

You are currently writing a book about your experiences working as a Private Chef, when are you planning to publish it?

Writing the book has been an on going project for five years now. I have recently changed literary agents, but I hope the book will come out sometime late next year. 

Are there any projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with our audience?

The book and related articles are pretty much taking up most of my time. I have two more articles coming out in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, one on my days in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu and the other about working on a private island. 

Thank you Chris for sharing a great insight into your experiences as a Private Chef. Best wishes for your book and we look forward to reading it when it is published!

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Eat my Words – Chef Kayne Raymond

Monday, September 29th, 2014

This week we talk with Chef and adventurer Kayne Raymond. Chef Kayne commenced his passion with food very early on in his life and has travelled the world as a  Private Chef. He has also appeared on the US TV network BBC America in an adventure cooking show called No Kitchen Required.

Kayne you developed an early passion for cooking from your Mother. What is a fun or special moment you shared with her when learning to cook as a child/teen?  

I have quite a few good stories about food and growing up in the Raymond household.

I think I will share these two goodies…

My mum is a great cook! As a child I remember vividly my love for her pikelets. Most weekends started with warm pikelets, strawberry jam and whipped cream for breakfast.

I would constantly harass her to make pikelets at any opportunity! So one day after obviously having enough of me asking she told me to go ahead and make them myself.

I had the recipe and knew how it went as I’d watched her make them numerous times. I made the batter carefully adding everything and continued to cook the batch of pikelets.

They looked awesome. My brother and mum tucked into them and spat them out instantly. The recipe was completely correct except for the fact that that I had added salt instead of sugar to the recipe. I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Mum stepped in and remade the pikelets and all was good. I have never done that again!

Something we laugh a lot about these days also is how when I was a kid I would smell all my food! I still do whether Iʼm at home or a restaurant. I have always leant down and taken a good whiff! I would do it at the dinner table as a kid and it would drive my mum crazy! She would yell at me how that was terribly bad mannered and not to do it. There were a few occasions where there was a clip to the ear. 38 years down the track and I’m still smelling my food but she understands that it was those smells that drove me to follow my scent into a career as a chef. I haven’t been yelled at or had my ear clipped for a loooooooong time. Love you Mum!

When did you know you wanted to be a Chef professionally? At what age or particular moment in your life?

I started working in kitchens probably when I was 16 years old. Doing dishes and food preparation. I was the bloody fastest, most thorough dishwasher ever. I think I always pushed hard to be the best at whatever I did. I think that has something to do with being the middle child also. I remember working at a restaurant “Cin Cin” on quay in Auckland and I remember watching the chefs in awe. I felt that if I busted my ass doing the dishes and doing a good job with the food preparation they would notice me and give me a chance on the line. That didn’t happen but it really was that moment, at that restaurant that ultimately led me to want to be a chef.

You’re based in New Zealand and have travelled around the world working with many Chefs and have also worked as a Private Chef for the rich and famous. What would be one (or a few) tip/s you would give to those Chefs looking to work for wealthy clients on a one-on-one basis?

I think the most important tip I could give a chef wanting to get into a personal chef career is to be themselves, be personable and really make an effort to read and understand your client’s needs. Very Important!

Yes, you have to be a great chef but you also want the clients to feel comfortable and at ease around you. Your clients may have children, there are guests and friends that drop in etc. Its important that they trust you and feel safe. I treat my clients as I would treat anyone that was a close friend or family member. For me it has created great trust with my clients that gives them the freedom to be who they are around me. Its important not to pretend to be someone who you aren’t, to just please the client. I can’t express that enough, to just be yourself.

On another note I think a great tip is to broaden your repertoire of food. If you can cook Italian one night, Japanese the next, French, Indian etc it keeps the clients and yourself interested, excited and employed longer. Bonus!

Aside from excellent knowledge of food preparation, what are the soft skills that you think are needed for upcoming Chefs to have when looking to enter the Private/Personal Chef arena?

I think when entering the private chef arena you need to have a balance of several things. You need to know your profession well obviously, but private chef work is a lot more than just the food. You are sometimes working closely with wealthy high end clients from all nationalities and backgrounds who at times can be very demanding. I think you need to love food no 1 but also get on well with people, have strong social skills, honesty, integrity, patience and flexibility. This helps to navigate the demanding schedules that can occur not just from a “food” perspective but from a mental perspective. You have to be able to think on your feet and adjust at a moment’s notice.

What is one thing that you’ve learnt from your mentor/s that you still do to this very day?

My mentor always would say to me “life’s short, cook hard” I do this to this day and have never forgotten this!

It’s also a bad ass saying. Give it your best or go home.

Who in the industry is your favourite Chef or is there anyone in the industry you would like to cook with?

I don’t really have a favourite chef as such. There are so many chefs that are incredible in their styles and techniques that it’s impossible to choose. If I had to pick one I would feel I let down another. That being said, one of my most memorable meals was at a restaurant named “Sant Pau” many years ago in Spain. The chefs name is Carme Ruscalleda. It was one of those life long memories that I will cherish. From the train ride north of Spain along the coast (stopping outside the restaurant) to Carme cooking the most incredible dinner ever then coming out to our table and taking me for a tour of the kitchen, it just went on and on. It was awesome. Not many people I knew had known anything about her. She is a self taught Michelin star award chef, which at the time really inspired me to go there instead of El Bulli. She had the goods and it was one of my favourite food memories to date. I’m sure many people know who she is now.

What is the strangest/quirkiest request you’ve had from one of your Private clients?

Wow there has been many crazy things I have seen in the last 7 years of private chef work. Here is a G rated one for you.

One of the strangest or ridiculous things that happened was one Christmas when the client brought their 235 foot Mega Yacht to San Francisco and moored it down by the ferry building. I was to cook an elaborate dinner for 100 guests on the yacht.

I employed a team of chefs to assist me in preparing an enormous Christmas banquet, appetizers, midnight snack menu, etc. It turned out that all the food was for the clients and a couple of friends. I think 7 people showed up. My pastry chef was making bonbons and needed to run them to the freezer on another other level of the boat and had to have a security escort. It was a bloody waste of time, money and food. It was a total self indulgent waste of Christmas cheer.

What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

My three favourite places or dishes to eat are dim sum. I love soup dumpling, shumai, congee and make congee often. My favourite is Dungeness crab, pork and green onion.

Anything from New Zealand that has green lipped mussels in it. In particular I make a killer green lipped mussel fritter. It goes great with a little shaved beet, fennel and arugula salad.

I also think one of my favourite things to make is risotto! The fact that you have to “nurse” the risotto throughout the cooking process and stay with it from start to finish, from pan to plate I love. It a very versatile dish that lends to many types and styles. This is a dish I like to cook for friends.

I definitely cannot forget the Kiwi BBQ!!!!! I’m a GRILL-IN VILLAIN

If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Probably the All Blacks rugby team (and I’d ask pro surfer Kelly Slater to turn up also)

If you don’t know who the All Blacks are you better act like ya know :-)

Do you have plans that you can share with our readers about your future projects or aspirations?

Right now I’m heading to NYC for another TV show test and working hard on some adventure cooking television shows.

I have been working on a nutritional juice company for the last seven months and hope to get that off the ground early 2014. Hopefully that will pan out. If not I will just hang out with my beautiful family and keep living the dream surfing cooking and paying the bills.

Life’s short cook hard!!!

Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers? 

Polynesian Halibut Ceviche serves 6-8

  • 1.5 lbs halibut diced in half-inch cubes
  • 5 lemons juiced (enough to cover fish)
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • ¼ c fine diced red onion
  • ¼ c sliced green onion, green parts only
  • 1 large celery stick finely diced (about half a cup)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed ginger juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ c chopped cilantro

-Dice halibut and cover in lemon juice
-Marinade at least 5 hrs, no more than 10
-Add remaining ingredients and mix
NB: Do not use bottled lemon or ginger juice for this recipe.
To make ginger juice, simply grate fresh ginger (skin and all)
and squeeze juice through cheesecloth, paper towel or your
hands!

Many thanks Kayne for sharing your love of food and of your professional experiences as a Private Chef. For our readers who would like to follow Kayne’s activities, visite his website at: www.kayneraymond.com , follow him on Twitter @kayneRaymond and his Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/CHEF.KAYNE.RAYMOND Thanks Kayne and we look forward to seeing you do more adventurous cooking!

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Hire A Private Chef – London – U.K – International

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Are you looking for a Private or Personal Chef?

Mise en Place has secured a reputation as one of the leading recruitment agencies placing Private Chefs within households and family organisation environments within London, the U.K and internationally.

We offer a fully customised service for our clients and believe that our initial consultations are most important in establishing a close working  relationship with you. We can ascertain exactly what you require from a Private or Personal chef and match the perfect Private Chef candidate to your needs.

Mise En Place has an extensive database of Private and Personal Chefs registered. At Mise en Place we personally interview and screen only the most suitable candidates who we believe have the necessary skill set to make a successful transition into private service. We are not only looking for a particularly high level of chef skills but also place particular emphasis on personality and character type in order to guarantee a suitable match for both client and candidates alike.

This ensures that our chefs are of a an extremely high calibre, many having held senior positions within award winning restaurants and hotels as well as experienced Private Chef’s who are looking to move into new and exciting roles.

Our Private Chef’s have a wide range of experience across many cuisines and disciplines. We can cater for speciality diets and food preparations which include: Macrobiotic, Low Sodium, Pritikin Diet, Low protein, Low Carb, Modern European, Asian, French, Diabetic and Wheat free, Kosher and Halal food preparation.

Perhaps you are looking for a Private Chef to cater a private event in your home, we can provide Personal Chefs for dinners, functions, charity events or a full time position within your family home or organisation.

Seeking a Private Chef through word of mouth or employment ads is dangerous at best. Mise en Place offers pre-screening for both employers and applicants, ensuring an appropriate match between chef and employer.

If you are in London, the UK or even international and are interested in hiring a Private or Personal Chef get in touch with us today and we will find you the perfect chef for your needs!

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Eat My Words – Terri Moser

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

If you think you could never do a career change, then you will enjoy our interview this week from Terri Moser, who runs her own In-Home Custom Catering service in Baltimore &  Harford areas in the state of Maryland the USA. Terri had a career of nearly 27 years in public health before retiring and starting Terri’s Table, a personal chef company.

1. What do you love in particular about being a Private/Personal Chef?

My favorite part of being a personal chef is the cooking! I love being able to provide healthy, home cooked meals for busy families. I grew up with that tradition in my parents’ family, and made sure that my kids grew up with home cooked meals. The slow food movement and the other efforts in this country to direct kids to healthy, whole foods rather than fast food is the way I grew up and the way I believe kids should eat.

2. Who in the industry is your favourite Chef or is there anyone in the industry you would like to cook with?

In terms of celebrity chefs, I use many of Giada DeLaurentis’s recipes in both my personal and professional meals. I love how she combines simple ingredients in healthy combinations, and I’m a big fan of the Mediterranean style of eating. I would love to cook with Ann Burrell because I love her attitude and passion. Alton Brown appeals to the scientist side of me. On the non-celebrity side, we have a wonderful local restaurant called Pairings in Bel Air, Maryland, and I would love to cook with their chefs and learn how they make their killer butternut squash soup! 

3. What’s one piece of advice you valued receiving in your career?

Another personal chef told me, after I confessed to feeling uncomfortable with “Chef” in my title (since I am not professionally trained), that the definition of a chef is someone who cooks professionally for other people. As I gained more experience and saw how my meals were valued by my clients, I realized that she was right. 

4. What tip/s would you give to those who are looking to be a Private or Personal Chef?

I would tell people to jump in and do it. I began by cooking for friends and neighbors for free – they paid me for groceries, but my labor was free. This allowed me to get my timing down (important when making 20 meals by yourself!), figure out the most efficient way to tackle recipes, get my “gear” pared down to the essentials, etc. It also allowed me to get those all-important references for future clients. 

5. You also say on your website that you look forward to continuing your education through culinary classes and experimenting with new flavours and dishes. How regularly would you do extra classes to skill up further on your craft?

Although I’ve not had the opportunity to take formal classes, I continue to experiment with new recipes and foods – pomegranate molasses is my current favorite new ingredient! I’ve also attended a great annual event in Baltimore for the past few years – “The Foodie Experience.” It’s a symposium/tasting event that involves many great local restaurants, and includes a keynote address by a celebrity chef. My favorite was Alton Brown. 

6. What is the strangest request you’ve had from one of your Private clients?

The strangest request was to provide all of my grocery receipts so that my client could verify that I was really purchasing organic ingredients! 

7. When preparing for a client’s menu, what would be something that you need to be aware of or prepare for that you would never need to consider in a typical restaurant setting as a Chef?

If you will be preparing more than, say 3 meals, you need to ensure that your recipes will retain quality after freezing. You always need to be mindful of how reheating will affect the food quality and cook the food accordingly.

8. What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

I love to do risotto in my pressure cooker – the other day, I did a chicken and asparagus risotto that was awesome. I love Vietnamese food, although I don’t commonly cook that for clients. I love a good grilled salmon – I lived for a time in the Pacific Northwest and wild salmon can’t be beat. 

9. If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

I would prepare salmon for my son, Casey. We lost him 6 months ago and it would be wonderful to prepare him a meal he loved. 

10. Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers? 

Absolutely! Every summer, I plant several pots of basil. In addition to using it fresh, I make many batches of pesto for the freezer. There’s nothing better than that taste of summer on some pasta in the dead of winter!

Pesto
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 C olive oil
1 C firmly packed basil leaves
1/2 C freshly grated parm
2 T pine nuts
1/2 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground pepper

Heat garlic gently in the oil for a few minutes – don’t brown.
Cool oil for a few minutes.
Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor with metal blade.
Pulse several times to chop, then process while slowly drizzling oil/garlic mixture into the processor.
Process to a paste like consistency.

Freeze in zip-top freezer bags.

Personal cheffing is a great career! I get to do what I love while making my own schedule. And I get to make people happy, which is always a good thing!

Many thanks Terri for your inspiring story and for your Pesto recipe! For more info about Terri and great tips, visit her website at www.chefterristable.com

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Eat my Words – Chef Ben Quinn

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Introducing Chef Ben Quinn, Dad, husband, surfer and private chef in Cornwall. Ben has a career that spans the UK and Australia as well as a coveted role as a Trainer at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in 2009. He went out on his own offering Private Chef services in 2010 and provides them in a non-traditional setting which would be considered a ‘food experience’ rather than just a meal. Read more about Ben’s style and approach towards being a Private Chef.

Ben after many years cooking commercially and then as a trainer for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, you then went out on your own to provide true food experiences for people as a Private Chef. What was your main motivation to take that direction?

My main motivation was to give a service that I felt was going to be true to what I love about cooking. Private chefing is for me that great balance of service, food and experience that I craved to get right in a restaurant setting.

Your services include ‘Catch & Cook’ where you take clients out to fish for their food, do you do other non water based food activities also?

I also offer a ‘cook together, eat together’ service. This is a crossover of teaching and eating. A typical day might involve buying fish at market, learning how to clean and prepare the fish, then cooking it to perfection and finishing it off with a meal for us all to enjoy.

What is the most amazing/interesting or just plain weird experience you have had with a client when cooking for them?

Offers of marriage!  For me, as a chef, it always amazes me how interesting guests find tasks we do every day in kitchens around the world! One particular client couldn’t get enough of rolling pasta! To this day I still receive updates as to how they are getting on with different filled pastas.

Who in the industry is your favourite Chef?

I look up to chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi. My aspiration for my food is to cook simply with confidence in my ability and produce.

What’s one piece of advice you valued receiving in your career?

Love what you do because if you are going to plough 60 hours a week plus into it otherwise it would be a waste of a life!

What tip/s would you give to those who are looking to be a Private or Personal Chef?

Be sure you can cook and enjoy serving your guests, lots of chefs are fantastic at the stove, but no good front of house!

Do you still train or coach other up and coming chefs in the industry? If so what is the most valuable piece of advice would you give?

I often help friends out in restaurants and love working with ‘green’ chefs. I love to ask them what they eat at home. Passing on the importance of being passionate about food is the best advice I can give them.

Where was the last place you dined out and what did you have?

Porthmeor Beach Café. Black Rice. Cameron Jennings the Head Chef is an amazing chef and it’s a great location.

What is your favourite Local Restaurant?

No.4 in St Agnes in Cornwall. Nola and Adam are running a fun restaurant based on their passion. You can eat well year round in Cornwall, which is brilliant.

What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

  1. Sunday breakfast with my wife Sammy and my daughter Evie.  We do it together and anything they make tastes brilliant
  2. Preparing food with a pint of cider at home, in Somerset, with my brothers
  3. Sunday roast.  We are about to start a Sunday roast club at my friend’s restaurant.  To start with we’ll be serving local smoked salmon, soda bread and salty butter – just perfect!

If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

All my friends. That’s what cooking is about for me now. Get a good group of mates together, feed them, water them and you’ll have a memory that’ll last a lifetime.

Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers?

I was shown this salad at the beginning of the summer in Greece. A massive perk of the job is getting to cook in amazing locations with interesting people.
An old lady made this for me all in her hands with no chopping boards.  It was a refreshing salad with loads of depth. I can’t get enough of it!

Salted Cucumber and torn fish salad serves 2 well!

1 cucumber cut into chunks,
Good pinch of salt
100 g cooked white fish (such as bream or bass)

30 g feta
Mint. (1 handful ripped up)
Olive oil splash
1 lemon

Salt the cucumber and leave to stand for 5 minutes
Tear the fish into bite size chunks and mix with crumbled feta, mint and a dress with a splash of olive oil.   Divide the cucumber onto two plates, pile fish mix on top and serve with lemons to squeeze fresh.

Thanks for your time. I would be interested to see how many chefs out there would want to be a private chef they can always get in touch with me.

Thanks to Ben for sharing with our readers his experiences as a Private Chef and a delicious recipe! Ben can be contacted via Twitter @chefbenquinn or via his website: benedictquinn.co.uk

Photo courtesy of Fieldgrazer Productions

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Thinking about Hiring a Personal Chef? It may not be as expensive as you think!

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There can be many reasons why families may hire a Personal Chef and although it is generally seen as a service that only wealthy families secure, surprisingly enough it is now a service being considered by many families of various income levels.

In this day of busy lifestyles, many families are time poor and although eating out does have its benefits, it is not only the cost of the meal but associated costs of transport, child care, entertainment that all add up to a hefty bill at the end of the night.

Many Personal Chef Services are now becoming available where you can organise for the Chef to cook a number of meals for you and the family per week where they pre-cook a few meals for you to heat up later. You could also save more on costs by asking other family and friends if they want to share the cost with you so that the Chef can keep their fees down for you overall.

From discussing the types of meals and food that you like according to your diet requirements, the Personal Chef will usually not only prepare the meals but also do all the shopping of the food for you too!  The meals can work out to a similar price to a good restaurant dish of between £5 to £20 and if you share the meals with other friends or family the price will be at the lower end. This saves you a whole lot of time which you can ultimately use as quality family time while eating delicious and nutritious meals.

Another situation where families can consider the services of a Personal or Private Chef is during a family holiday where you are staying in a self contained room or apartment. The time spent cooking while on holiday is not that appealing for many and you’ll ensure the whole family enjoy a well deserved break without having to spend up big by eating out every day and night.

The benefits of hiring a Personal or Private Chef don’t stop there. You can also:

  • Lose weight by enjoying quality balanced food portions
  • Broaden your tastes
  • Learn to appreciate different meal combinations
  • Gain quality time as well as saving you money in the long term

Some tips for finding a Personal or Private Chef are:

  • Do you have a friend who cooks for a living? They may be interested in earning some extra money on the side.
  • Do you know a mom or someone who is in between jobs who loves to cook? They may be happy to earn some money doing what they love.
  • Think about the food you and the family like and what rules you would like your Chef to stick to. If you have some favourite recipes, make sure you share them with the Chef so they know your tastes.
  • Of course last but not least at Mise En Place we pride ourselves on obtaining the best talent for your requirements long term or short term. Contact us on +44 (0)20 7430 9811 or email us at: info@miseenplace.co.uk and we’ll be happy to assist you with your Private or Personal Chef needs.
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Preparing for an Interview Part 5 of 5 – Notes, Achievements & Follow Up

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

This is the last post of our 5-part series, ‘Preparing for an Interview’. As we mentioned in Parts 1-4, we’re covering all the aspects of applying for and attending a job interview in the hospitality industry. This post will cover some more tips to give you the edge when going for the job of your dreams.

The suggested stages of preparation are:

  1. Pre-Application – part 1
  2. Curriculum Vitae – part 2
  3. Research – part 3
  4. Presentation – part 3
  5. Interview – part 4
  6. Notes/Achievements – part 5
  7. Follow up – part 5

Feel free to review the Pre-Application, CV, Research & Presentation & Interview  posts before reading on.

This post covers 3 tips that applicants should be diligent with and to ensure that the cycle of the interview process is not only complete but that all parties involved are left with a positive impression.

  1. Notes

Many people make the assumption that when you go to an interview, it is like a real exam and that you can’t take notes with you. This is incorrect! You don’t have to remember everything. If you have worked with a few different employers where you have gained valuable experiences, ensure that you write down the particular achievements, learnings and situations that are worth sharing with your interviewers. The main ones would definitely be those that you may have referred to in your job application letter/selection criteria. In saying that, it will always present better if you can recall your major events & achievements or example situations quickly however have your notes handy if you need to refer to more detail about those situations.

Your notes should not only list your achievements but also the challenging situations where you can demonstrate the actions you took to ensure the desired outcome. Although many may be hesitant to list failures, it is good to refer to if you can show that you learnt from that experience and/or show that you achieved a positive result the 2nd time around. This highlights your maturity, professionalism and adaptability in challenging circumstances.

By all means, practise answering questions about particular situations or achievements beforehand but to help ease your mind leading up to the interview, write/type them down and bring them with you, which will help as a handy reference in case you need a moment to compose your answer. Have your notes open in front of you so that you present as an interested and engaged interviewee. It is important however to use them in moderation; don’t rely on them for every question but use only as a reference a couple of times throughout the interview.
As part of your notes, think about the relevance of achievement for you but also the result and/or impact on the business/organisation. There must be a balance there as the interviewers will look for your understanding and consideration of business needs in conjunction with your skills and ability to cope confidently. You should also be able to talk about your team and how you brought the team together, considered quality and costs as well as producing a creative outcome. Bring any proof that you can without divulging confidential information of your current or past employers.

2. Achievements

Many people find it hard to promote themselves as they may think they are showing off or bragging about themselves too much. In the case of an interview this is the time and place where you can share your achievements with pride.

A good tip is to not just say for example that you ‘achieved a dinner of 100 each night’ but take the interviewers through the logical steps you took in order to achieve that result. In this way you are showcasing not only that you can achieve the desired result for the customers but you also considered the business needs (and whether you kept it within budget) and, that you managed it accordingly. Also remember to share any challenges you faced within that example and what you did to rectify it.

3. Follow Up

Once the Interview is over it is a relief however there is another step in the process that must be managed professionally.

If you feel that after the interview you did not want to pursue the job further, we recommend you call us immediately to discuss (or the potential employer if you went direct) to let them know as soon as possible. Explain your reasons in a polite and respectful way and thank them for the opportunity to apply.

If it is a job you wish to pursue, ask them before you leave the interview when you should expect to hear if you’re successful. They will usually give you an indication of timeframe. We will always keep you updated once we hear back if we are acting on your behalf. If you are going direct with an employer, if you don’t hear back from them within the time-frame they have stated, it is ok for you to call them, but only call once.

If you don’t get the job it is a hard piece of news for many, however how you handle this is also important. Know that although you may feel that you should have got the job, the employer felt someone else may have been a better fit for whatever reason.  Understand what it may have been that may have contributed towards their decision such as how you presented, if you were nervous or whether your experience was sufficient.

We will always give you feedback so that you can use it to improve for your next interview. It is disappointing to receive this news but remember, we all have received this type of news and try not to take it too personally.

Most of all we’re here to help you through the process so feel free to meet with us for an appointment. You can contact us via email at info@miseenplace.co.uk or phone: in UK 020 7430 9811 or outside UK 0044 20 7430 9811.

Good luck in the search for your dream job!

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21 Tips for Private or Personal Chefs

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

For those who are considering being a Personal or Private Chef, there are many considerations to take into account. Below are a few tips to help you on your way.

  1. Know your client, build relationships and trust.
  2. Learn your client’s needs for privacy and the balance between being there for them but not being in the way.
  3. Research, research, research your intended client/s and food options in that area. They may have specific food needs, so its important to ensure you are completely aware of what you can and can’t make for them.
  4. 20% of being a Personal Chef will be about food and the other 80% is about running a successful business.
  5. Invest in yourself, as much as possible, keep learning new techniques, trends and go to short courses when you can.
  6. Be the ‘real’ you in person & across any public forum or platform such as your website, Facebook, Twitter and Social Media overall.
  7. Reliably deliver what matters: an experience that serves your client’s needs.
  8. Blow them away with your food. Be creative and think outside the box. Be the expert.
  9. Love people and this is often hard work, so you have to love what you do.
  10. Stretch your body regularly, wear good shoes, get roller bins for your pots and pans, eat a good breakfast.
  11. Wear your chef’s coat when you go grocery shopping; even if you are shopping for yourself. People get curious and it will make for good conversation!
  12. Work on yourself every day even if it is just something small. Always give a little bit more than expected.
  13. Enjoy what you do and protect your passion.
  14. Believe in yourself and your ability to constantly deliver top quality. This will show through to your clients and they will believe in you.
  15. How you present yourself and your business is very important, first impressions do mean a lot. Respect your clients and their homes and most important pass on your passion for food.
  16. Make sure you join at least one Professional Association so that you are in touch with the latest trends as well as network with other professionals who do similar work as you.
  17. Know that as a Private or Personal Chef you are working in the client’s personal home, this means respect of privacy and the highest integrity.
  18. You may be asked to do tasks beyond the call of duty, think about how you would handle this and discuss this with your client.
  19. Always keep cleanliness and sanitisation at the top of your priority.
  20. Consider and respect your own personal time, ensure you discuss this with your client so that you also have a work/life balance.
  21. Never, never give up!

For Personal or Private Chef services or if you are looking for work in this area please contact our office (in UK) 020 7430 9811 or (outside UK) 0044 20 7430 9811. Or email us at: info@miseenplace.co.uk

 

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