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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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  • Mise en Place

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

    chef, waiter
  • Mise en Place

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

    bar man

Posts Tagged ‘mise en place recruitment’

David Boycott

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

This week we speak with David Boycott. David left Oxford University last year after having fallen in love with cooking during my time there. He is currently working at the Opera Tavern restaurant in London. Next month he will be running a pop-up at The Endurance on Berwick St in Soho as part of Free Company (@freecompanyfc) , a team of chefs he set up with two others earlier this year. He is also project managing a new initiative called ‘A Work In Progress‘ (@saltyardawip) which is a monthly platform for culinary boundary pushing and a platform for young chefs to showcase their talent. HE also runs his own blog www.birdfoodblogging.wordpress.com, you can find him on twitter @birdfoodblog.

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?
The Kitchin up in Edinburgh whilst I was the the Fringe there. I was massively impressed, great technique and impeccable sourcing. It’s not often I struggle to pick what I want to eat but I spent a long time deciding up there.

What do you enjoy more, cooking or writing?
Cooking is my living, writing is more a derivative of that. It is nice when I can set aside time to write and organise the thoughts I have been having but it is the cooking that really keeps me going.
Which is your favourite local restaurant?

The Corner Room is just up the road from me and delivers incredible food for absurdly cheap prices. It is my go-to recommendation for anyone in London.

What is the most difficult part of your job?
A tricky one, I love what I do. For me it is probably the gap between where I am and where I want to be. I look at everything I do and almost immediately feel it should be about 100 times better. Sometimes I struggle to keep it in perspective, but I know this will only keep pushing me to get better and better.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?
Places which think having a great atmosphere can make up for lazy food.

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?
Dedication, attention to detail, a willingness to learn.

If you had to give one piece of advice to an up and coming chef, what would it be?
I’m not even close to being able to give anyone advice.

Has blogging changed your perception on food/restaurants in any way?
It provokes me to think in a bit more detail why I am doing something, what is the motivation, what am I trying to achieve. This is mirrored when I go somewhere else and write about it, what processes are they going through and why.

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?
I’ve learnt a great deal from my executive chef Ben Tish and my head chef Jamie Thickett at Opera Tavern. They have given me a great start to my career and are always keen to push me harder. Guys like Ben Spalding and Nuno Mendes in London are a great inspiration. They never stop pushing and trying to pursue their vision, their dedication to their craft is amazing.

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal for your customers (the last dish ever!) what would it be and why? I’d bake them bread and serve it with something homely and comforting, a roast shoulder of lamb maybe.

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Chef Hermes – Eat My Words

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Chef Hermes writes a blog from within the catering industry, after spending over 20 years cooking with the inspirational, the talented and the egomaniacs of the stoves. He now spends more time writing and sharing from the inside of the catering industry. You can find Chef Hermes at http://chefhermes.com/ on facebook here or on twitter @ChefHermes. We caught up this week for a quick chat about writing and eating! Enjoy.

You run the blog chefhermes.com. How has blogging/writing changed yo our view on the industry?

Writing the blog has broought me into contact with journalists & PR companies, which has been a bit of an eye opening experience. Some of the PRs I’ve met have grabbed the ‘new media’ with both hands & have been more than welcoming and helpful. Others not so, which is slightly disappointing & sometimes annoying. PRs are playing a larger part in promoting restaurants & chefs than ever before. Freebies & press junkets are contributing to the growing demand for popularity lists, reviews and general food related writing. Most of the higher rated Michelin chefs (with the possible exception of Andrew Fairlie) are or have engaged with the services of a PR company. I’d just like to point out that when I have a story which will possibly end up on the blog, I also make a point of trying to get in touch with the related PR or chef for their response & point of view.

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

Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon. I’ve been three times in the past 18 months and the food is cleaner, sharper & more focused. It’s probably closer to the elusive third star now than it’s ever been. It appeared on chefhermes.com

Which is your favourite local restaurant?

Living & working in South Devon I’m virtually inundated with lots of hiddden gems,  from my local pub to the recently Michelin starred Driftwood in Cornwall which holds great personal  memories.

What is the most difficult part of your job?

Trying to restrain myself. I’m on the social networks quite a lot and invariably there are people who’ll disagree with me, and that’s fine. But occasionally there are people who feel the need to provoke and causing a heated discussion. Fortunately having already had a scrape with the legal system concerning the blog, it tends to stop me going a touch too far.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?

How badly staff are generally treated relative to other industries. For example, lieu days are common place and are the biggest fallacy that employees endure. Poor wages, hours & the lack of training (as there is generally a cost attached to it) are all levelled at catering, & rightly so. Not everybody is so short sighted and it’s certainly better than it was when I first started over twenty years ago.

Who is your favourite food writer?

There are two writers which I admire. The newly appointed Guardian restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin & investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman. Both have a natural talent to draw you into their writing.

What’s harder, writing or cheffing?

Doing both at the same time is a double edged sword, it helps with inspiration & material, but restricts time spent actually writing & publishing. I’d say on the whole cheffing is harder, but both require some similar disciplines: focus; originality; research & technical ability. Although people say ‘build it & they will come’ which is all very well, but neither a blog or a restaurant will grow unless they meet & exceed their users/guests expectations and needs.

Thanks so much Chef

Posted by Mise En Place International Hospitality Recruitment

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Ben Spalding – Eat My Words

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

This week we catch up with a very talented and extremely hard working young chef, Ben Spalding (@Benspalding1). Ben has put in the hard yards at some of the best kitchens in the world, working under such household names as, Rhodes, Ramsay, Rogan, Keller to name a few! His accumulated experience is evident in the his unique food style and his recent stint as head chef of the London outpost of L’enclume (Roganic) proved. He has now taken a step in a different direction with Stripped Back @ The Broadway Market.. We are very excited to follow Ben’s career here at Mise and hope you enjoy the interview!

So firstly your latest venture is Stripped Back @ The Broadway Market, you are challenging the way people look at affordable street food. What made you decide to go in this direction?

It was discussed with my friend and someone who has been very supportive to my career Nuno Mendes. I need to make a special mention on what a great guy and visionary he is. I rate him very highly. We looked at doing something else together down Dalston way then we spoke about this. We both thought there was a huge potential for it. So I launched it. We are in our eighth week now and it has been a huge success growing every week. We are doing street feast in Dalston on Friday nights and Saturday’s at Broadway Market. I plan to carry it on for good even when John Salt opens. The concept is very strong.

Do you enjoy being right there in front of the customer and interacting with them as you plate up?

Yes very much. It is bloody hard work! All the washing up, cooking, serving, talking, relaying tables. Just 3 of us do that all for some 200-250 servings on a busy day. But very satisfying.

You have worked in amazing kitchens under some of the worlds great chefs (Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsay, Simon Rogan, Thomas Keller.. to name a few) does the pressure of the Michelin guide effect the the dynamic of the kitchen?

Maybe in some places. It wouldn’t for me.

It is a matter of life and death for me personally in my brain when sending food that has my name above it. I will not insult my training, my guests or the ingredients by sending food out that is not as good as it could be. I am not letting my life be ruled by a guidebook and the majority of the time an inspector who has a tenth of my knowledge & skill. But I would be a fool to say it doesn’t matter to worry about them because they are a massive thing to get recognised by and can do the business wonders.


The michelin guide doesn’t always get it right. But it is a benchmark. You walk into a 2 rosette kitchen and then a 2* kitchen the difference is huge. The passion, desire, commitment, skill, speed & work ethic is 10 times better.

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

The last restaurant I ate in was 28-50 marylebone. Where one of my beat mates Paul Walsh runs the kitchen. He is an unsung hero of the 28-50′s whose cooking is technically perfect. He was my sous chef at Royal Hospital Road and been a close friend. He gave me a very memorable meal recently with very humble food.

Which is your favourite local restaurant?
Haha I live in folkestone. Food isn’t a strong point of the community. Raj bari in Hythe does blinding curry’s.

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?

Two things;
1. Lazy young cooks & waiters- more so cooks who can namedrop until blue in the face & want the names on their cv’s from working at 1-3* restaurants but buckle under the pressures and last weeks sometimes just days. You will never get anywhere or most importantly the necessary discipline or training needed to cook properly unless you take some crap & work in these not always desirable environments.

2. This craze of opening hipster places that serve pretty mediocre food. What has happened to cooking your heart out? It appears to me it is more important to be somewhere cool rather than somewhere where the cooking is excellent and good value for money.

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?

For a good chef  too many to list: respect, humilty, integrity, passion, obsession, honesty, discipline, creativity, business sense, people & management skills, competence, drive, grit, relentless determination.
For a great chef double the list.

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

I consider myself an up and coming chef, so let’s say an chef starting out-
Everything in my answers for the last two questions covers it i think

What should a chef working for you, never do?

Lie, and immediately dismissed.
Impossible to work with that kind of person.

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?

So many. But two that stick out Brett Graham I admire immensely, having had the chance to work with him as his development chef for a temporary time recently. His respect, humilty & integrity to his restaurant & staff is astounding. Inspirational. And Grant Achatz for what he had to go through and what he has achieved shows superhuman character. Just incredible.

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal (the last dish ever for your customers!) what would it be and why?

Angus beef ragu with ras el hanout, minted sour cream, blowtorched lettuce & wraps.

A dish I recently cooked at stripped back, my market stall. Fajitas are my favourite thing to eat. Filling, quick and delicious.

Thanks so much Ben.

Posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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Matt Tomkinson- Eat My Words

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

This week we catch up with a very interesting chef Matt Tomkinson @MTomkinsonChef. He runs the Michelin Starred kitchen at  http://www.montaguarmshotel.co.uk/ but had built an impressive reputation for himself before his time at The Mantagu

After completing his hospitality management degree, Matthew went on to work at the Greenhouse vegetarian restaurant in Altrincham, he then moved through a variety of restaurants, including 4 years as chef de partie at Ockenden Manor, refining his skills along the way.

He then won the VERY prestigious roux scholarship after competing with 6 other chefs in front of a panel comprising Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein, Brian Turner, David Nicholls, Tamasin Day-Lewis and of course the Roux family. He then went on to win a Michelin star, one year afterwards as Head Chef at the Goose in Oxfordshire.

We caught up with Matt for a quick chat, enjoy!

Firstly, I know it is a few years back now but it must be something you will cherish forever. How important has winning (and particpating in) the Roux Scholarship been to your career?
Winning the scholarship is one of the proudest moments of my life, it changes the way you look at the industry and the way the industry looks at you. The association with all the other chefs involved is an amazing network of people to learn from and be inspired by.

Does the pressure of Michelin affect the way you run your kitchen?
No, we focus on our guests and work hard to exceed the standard they expect, if we are doing this the accolades will follow

Which is the last restaurant you visited and what were your thoughts?
One of the best meals I have had recently was at Tuddenham Mill where Paul Foster is the chef – a fantastic experience

Which is your favourite local restaurant?
Rivaaz on Lymington High Street

What is the most difficult part of your job?
Finding staff

What annoys you in the hospitality industry at the moment?
The idea that all chefs do is scream and shout at their staff

What personal attributes do you think make a good chef?
Willingness to work hard, eye for detail and good organisation

What should a chef working for you, never do?
Not care about the person eating the food or lie

Which Chef (Chefs) do you most admire?
Michel Roux, Nico Ladenis, Shaun Hill

People always ask chefs what their last meal on earth would be… Instead, if you had to cook one last meal (the last dish ever for a customer!) what would it be and why?
A simple piece of very fresh fish grilled and served with butter, lemon, new potatoes and Spinach

Photography davidgriffen.co.uk courtesy of greatbritishchefs.com

Posted by Mise En Place International Hospitality Recruitment

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Eat My Words – The Picky Glutton

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The Picky Glutton (TPG) is a man on a mission to make sure his followers never have a bad meal out you can find him at his blog http://pickyglutton.wordpress.com/ or on twitter @pickyglutton.  His attention to every detail and dedication to the full restaurant experience has acted as a culinary compass to his followers for years, we caught up with him to find out what it’s like eating and blogging in London….

What got you into food writing?

I’ve grown up around restaurants since my father worked in the restaurant trade in various jobs. I therefore grew up eating out frequently, a trend which continues to this day. As a result of this I’ve developed some opinionated views on dining out so friends, colleagues and acquaintances ask for my opinion whenever they need to choose a restaurant. Rather than repeating my recommendations endlessly, I decided to start my restaurant blog The Picky Glutton.

How do you choose a restaurant to review?

Numerous reasons – any buzz surrounding the place in question, the style of cuisine, the background of the chef, the mood I’m in, recommendations from trusted friends and other food writers I admire to name but a few. I’m also particularly interested in cuisines that are under-represented or poorly represented in London such as Vietnamese, Peruvian and American-style barbecue.

How many restaurants do you eat out in per month?

Before starting my blog, I would eat out on average two to three times a month. Although my frequency now greatly depends on my other commitments, I’d say an average of once or twice a week.

Who is your current favourite chef?

This may sound fickle, but I don’t have a single favourite chef. I’m keeping a keen eye on Tom Aiken, Jose Pizarro, Ollie Dabbous and Andrea Mantovani. Hugue Dufour, a native of Quebec currently working in New York the last time I checked, may be one to watch too.

What is your current favourite restaurant concept?

Any restaurant that doesn’t buy into silly, overwrought, ultimately nonsensical marketing/PR waffle like ‘concepts’. What is that word even supposed to mean in this context? I’ll stop now before I descend into a ranting tirade. (hrmmmm, actually we agree.. This is the answer we have been looking for and I don’t think we will be asking it again !!)

Most underated Local Restaurant? (and maybe most overrated!)

Almost any of the Turkish restaurants in Green Lanes that serve up food from the Gaziantep region of Turkey. Although there’s more to Turkish food than kebabs, they do kebabs especially well and this much-maligned food needs to be reclaimed from the drunken, late-night crowd. If I had to name one, I’d pick Yayla – hearty comfort food at ridiculously cheap prices.

How has blogging in general changed your outlook on food/restaurants?

It’s made me realise I need to exercise more often if I’m going to continue doing this. I’m putting on weight and it’s not pretty.


What’s the biggest mistake a restaurant can make in your opinion?

Forgetting that ultimately they would be nothing without their customers. Restaurants that underestimate or take their customers for granted do so at their peril.

What has been your all-time favourite restaurant experience to date?

That’s a toughie. I can’t pick just one – Tom Aikens Restaurant is fabulous, as is Terroirs but in different ways. La Tasquita de Enfrente in Madrid is great too. Hopefully, there’ll be even better ones to come.

Thanks so much for your time!

Posted by Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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5 ways to boost your LinkedIn Connections

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Social Networks have boomed in the last four years. Names like Twitter and facebook which were unheard of what seems like yesterday are now everyday utterances. Networking socially is by no means limited to personal lives on the web; business has picked up on social media in a huge way. Have a look at any large website today and you will find links to their social media sites. We are becoming more and more connected online in both our personal and business lives and here at Mise En Place we have already adopted Twitter, facebook and this blog to communicate with our candidates and clients alike. One social networking tool we had previously overlooked though was LinkedIn.

With over 85 million contacts LinkedIn is a network for professionals and businesses and focuses on linking people with contacts they know and trust within business (connections). Building connections is what we do at Mise En Place so LinkedIn seems perfect for us to not only find high calibre candidates but also connecting with clients So how did we go about setting up out LinkedIn account to maximise its cast network of connections?

Building a carefully crafted profile is the foundation of your Linkedin account. Your profile acts as your face to the Linkedin community so make sure that you pay special attention to your Headline, Summary Statement and Specialities sections, also include a link to your business website and/or personal blogs or portfolio sites. Upload an up to date CV/resume. Use a professional photo which best represents you. Proofread your profile, and make sure you have included all your relevant skills, positions and employment/education history in detail. If a potential employer finds your profile you don’t want a simple typo or grammatical error to lose you an opportunity!

5 ways to kick-start your LinkedIn account

1: Join Groups:

You’ll get more traffic to your profile if the community knows you exist. One of the best ways to maintain a highly visible presence on LinkedIn is to join groups and take part in their discussions. You can join groups in you chosen field and participate in the discussions that are taking place. By frequently adding replies to questions and discussions within the groups you will build connections with people in your same industry and could even be noticed by industry leaders. Here is a great link to a list of groups within the hospitality industry hosted by Gary Mcgill http://www.garymcgill.co.uk/Networking/LinkedIn/index.html.

2: Get Connected

Once you have started interacting with people in your industry or who share similar interests you will find that start building ‘connections’. Connections are to LinkedIn what Friends are to Facebook and Followers are to Twitter. By building a network within your industry’s LinkedIn community you will make yourself seen. You do not need to wait for others to connect with you either, you can send out invitations to connect with people you feel will be of mutual benefit to you. A major advantage of being connected to someone is that you can message them for free instead of having to pay for an upgrade.

3: Take Part in the Q&A.

Another great way to get seen and make connections similar to joining group discussions is taking part in the Linkedin Q&A section. Here you can ask the whole LinkedIn community questions on almost anything, and can place your questions within categories to pinpoint the right people to answer your query. Maybe more importantly is answering questions; this is a great way of drawing attention to your profile. It also is a way of showcasing the skills and knowledge you have outlined in your profile.

4: Recommendations

There is the facility on LinkedIn for your connections to post a small recommendation about you (similar to a reference on a CV). This feature can be used for a previous employer or co-worker to share their thoughts on you. For example. ‘Mr Jobseeker and I worked together on several high end projects during 2007 at ABC Company. I found him to be reliable, quick witted and have a great deal of skill in etc’. There are two ways to get recommendations, you can write one for someone else and it will then ask them if they want to reply or you can just invite people to recommend you. Don’t be shy, you are trying to build a three dimensional picture of you on your Linkedin profile.

5: Be Active

As with facebook and Twitter you can post status updates which let people know what you are up to. Make sure you keep these fresh and even link them to your twitter and facebook accounts to keep your latest information flowing freely. You can also link a blog you may have to a group you have made, every member of that group will then receive the headlines from the latest blog posts.

These are just a few tips to getting yourself started on Linkedin, we are still in the process of building connections ourselves so please feel free to connect with us or if you are looking for a job within the hospitality industry please visit us at Mise En Place Hospitality Recruitment

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