One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is being able to introduce chefs to new experiences through supplier visits and days away from the kitchen. Within the last year or so we have completed a 2 day trip, incorporating a Michelin masterclass in Yorkshire with a farm visit in the Lake District, knife making, cheese making, brewery visits, vegetable producer tours, lunches to showcase supplier products, e.g. Belazu and of course, everyone’s favourite, a day out at Borough Market. These days are not only educational and beneficial to our chefs and the company as a whole, but also a great way to say thank you for everyone’s commitment and hard work.
What we get out of it.
When arranging a tour or visit, I have to think about what we want to get out of it and who it will benefit the most from the experiences. For example, the knife making has been one on the radar for a while. Our knives are one of our most important tools so it makes sense that we should have a better understanding of how they are made and the amount of work that goes in to them. With this course, in particular, we wanted to make sure we took people who are always generous with their time and give others the opportunity to learn, sometimes sacrificing their own places on other days out. It was incredibly valuable and one we are definitely looking to do this again later in the year, this time maybe with some of our future stars.
Supplier visits, such as Watts Farm and Maida Vale, Buchanans are great as they give less experienced chefs an insight into where their ingredients are coming from and help them understand the process and seasonality. They are also a good opportunity for head chefs to build a relationship with the supplier as well as learning about the produce.
The days out at Borough Market are always popular, with lots of samples and goodies throughout the day, ranging from oysters to sausage rolls and doughnuts. These are open to anyone across the company, not just chefs, you just have to like food!
Researching New Trends
Another day out we do is where we research new trends or visit a selection of the current popular cafes, restaurants, bakeries etc to see how they are displaying or marketing their products and see what ideas we can use to take back to our units.
We have many more exciting experiences lined up and, as well as the more educational events, these can also just be a lunch or dinner or a sporting event. It is great when we have a good mixture of people at these events as it means that more of the #bmFamily💜💚 are getting to know each other.