Chef Careers – Featuring Ruth Hansom winner of the Million Pound Menu and Head Chef of Pomona’s

Written by
Nick Clover - Director of Hospitality Jobs UK

19 Sep 2019

19 Sep 2019 • by Nick Clover - Director of Hospitality Jobs UK

Why Chef Jobs and Careers should be encouraged and celebrated.

As the UK public delights in the flavours from around the world and are entertained as our celebrity chefs take us through culinary journeys it baffles me why the UK isn’t more active in encouraging Hospitality Jobs and specifically Chef Jobs.

There are SO many success stories within the Hospitality Industry of young people who have gone from KP to Commis Chef to CDP, to Sous Chef, to Head Chef and to Exec Chef, literally climbing the ranks, working hard and gaining a culinary knowledge that they are able to train in and pass onto the future upcoming chef stars, repeating the cycle that happened with them. Life changing stuff and there’s nothing like it!

The abundance of world cuisine in the Hospitality Market in the UK is ever growing and customers have never had it so good. The basic economic model of supply and demand are not in balance when it comes to the customer offering vs the Chef workforce to provide the amazing experiences however due to a simple factor.

Young people are put off rather than encouraged into Chef Careers and led to believe that working conditions are appalling. Don’t get me wrong, any level of success is not achieved without hard work but the benefits outweigh the slog by a country mile when it comes to chef jobs at all levels.

At Hospitality Jobs UK, we started with the visibility of the Government and our pledge is to continue together to keep the pressure on through various channels in support of The Hospitality Industry as a supported part of the economy which we know is considerable. The two major changes that need to happen are to relieve the financial squeeze on your business and to encourage parents and teachers to encourage our young people into hospitality and specifically into chef jobs.

I’m not a chef but have certainly spent time in whites so why don’t I turn to someone who has hit the spotlight and enjoyed a great career already. Meet Ruth Hansom everyone, winner of the Million Pound Menu and Head Chef at the amazing Pomona’s Restaurant, who, I’m delighted, is happy to answer the following 3 questions.

Hi Ruth, so tell me:

When was the moment you decided to become a Chef?

‘I first decided I wanted to be a chef after competing in Springboard’s future chef competition for school children aged between 11-16. I got to the National final twice and was so inspired by the whole hospitality industry and the competition I realised I wanted to be a part of it.’

Who’s has been the biggest influence to your career?

‘My first two head chefs have really shaped me as a chef; Frederick Forster and John Williams ( in fact John Williams was Freddie’s head chef too years ago) 

They are both very different but have always pushed and supported me.’

What would you personally say to any young person thinking of pursuing a career as a Chef and why?

‘Advice I will give is that it’s not going to be easy to start out. It will be tough to get used to the routine (or lack of one), long days and inability to plan anything socially! But it is also so rewarding to stick it out! Getting great customer feedback is something that keeps me going and pushing for more. Don’t be afraid to ask too many questions! You don’t know if you don’t ask!’