Chef Fight Night, it sounds a very scary title, but it’s all in good fun.
After all bartlett mitchell’s tag line is ‘Fundamentally Food’ so the Fun is baked in! Of course, like any business founders (or Mother as I see bmFamily💜💚 as my family). I definitely think my team is the best, and I know our chefs are not only the most talented , but also the most fun.
My lasting memory of lockdown 2020 will be the laughter in my garden when I was having small groups of bartlett mitchell team members to my house, so they could socialise safely and reconnect. The chef groups (who were left to BBQ on their own, no way I was doing anything!) were the outstanding groups that generated the most heart lifting sound as they bantered, laughed and jostled.
Camaraderie and Joy
I so wish I could have bottled that sense of camaraderie and joy. I remember just standing there, out of sight, and listening to it and thinking, this makes it all worthwhile.
It is this spirit that makes Monday fortnightly chef virtual competition sessions such a success, with two chefs battling out against each other. They have to produce a dish, on camera, to a live audience, who then, at the end of cooking time, cast their vote as to the winner. There is always a theme for the evening such as pasta, fish or rice – the chef decides on the recipe, but focuses on the theme for the evening. It is without doubt my favourite hour of the week.
The #bmFamily💜💚 has exceptionally talented chefs amongst its amazing teams and I know they have missed the camaraderie in the kitchen, the ability of theatre to show off their skills to an audience and of course the praise of a dish that has tickled the taste buds to ecstasy and pleases the eye, to a state of joy. Chefs are like actors – it’s the pure appreciation of a job well done that drives them to do better each time.
What it has achieved for our wider team is make sure that food has remained at the forefront of bartlett mitchell. It is after all key in the FOODIES values, and even if we are in a pandemic, it doesn’t mean you should stop living your values. In fact your values are more important to help you get through the journey together.
The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the change in circumstances for our teams. Where pre-pandemic you belonged to a tight team, suddenly you lost that tight circle to defend for yourself, so for us it was vital that we made sure that circle stayed whole, tight and inclusive. There is no better way to do that than food and, all be it remotely, breaking bread around the table. It is the very best way to create interaction, socialising and a sense of belonging
What is also important is that this is not just about the ‘managers or senior teams’. Teams are about everyone and to build a family it does need everyone to be equal so we make sure it’s as inclusive as possible.
We have many events in #bmFamily💜💚 for all of us to stay connected. Weekly ‘cup of tea’ training, regular 6 weekly business updates, quiz nights, craft sessions, cooking events, and the successful meet an entrepreneur series. BUT it is the chef fight night that stands out as the winner – and that’s all down to the foodie passion of the team. We may have less people out there cooking at the moment but we have not lost the passion for food.
What an amazing bunch, and long may it continue
You can catch all the action from our chef fight night here