pans hanging up in an industrial kitchen

Louise explains why more women should pursue a kitchen career

Louise explains why more women should pursue a kitchen career

Scott Neilson our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 10/12/2021

Monica Galetti, Clare Smyth and Nadiya Hussain are just a few examples of female chefs who are at the top of their game and have shown that gender is no barrier to exceptional cooking.

We have many inspiring female chefs of our own at Mitchells & Butlers, one being Louise Wilson. Louise has had an interesting career with us, starting in a front of house job before switching over to the back of house team when a new opportunity cropped up at her pub.

We caught up with Louise to hear why she thinks more women should pursue a kitchen career and find out who her dream dinner guest would be.

When did you join M&B and why?

“I started my hospitality career with M&B 16 years ago after leaving a job with an independent business. My first role was an Assistant Manager job, but soon after, I made the switch over to Kitchen Manager. The business changed over to a Harvester, and we’d never had a Kitchen Manager on site. As I had kitchen experience, I took the role on and immediately enjoyed it. I stayed in this role for around three years before I became an Accredited Kitchen Manager , and I've been in the same role since.”

What’s the best part about working in a kitchen?

“The thing I enjoy most about being in the kitchen is the buzz of it. It can go from quiet to busy very quickly. When you get this big rush and you know you’ve absolutely smashed it, it feels amazing knowing your team has dealt with it so well!”

If you’re like Louise and find that you’re in your element when the pace picks up, a kitchen job could be perfect for you. As Louise will no doubt know, there are a few ways that Kitchen Managers can handle the heat in the kitchen. That said, having a great team is the key to keeping calm when you get a big rush of orders through.

Why do we need to encourage more women to pursue a kitchen career?

“I would say more women should pursue kitchen careers so we can break the stigma of it being a male-dominated workplace.”

We couldn’t agree more with Louise. After all, hospitality isn’t just a man’s business. Pubs, bars and restaurants thrive when they’re made up of diverse teams who all bring something different to the table, and we don’t mean the specials of the day, we're talking different experiences and skillsets.

What advice would you give to women thinking of a kitchen career?

“Don’t be scared to make the move! It is a predominantly male-dominated industry, but women bring something different to a kitchen team, and some of the most successful Kitchen Managers and kitchen team members are women.”

Having worked with many women throughout her kitchen career at M&B, Louise has seen first-hand the unique skills they contribute to a kitchen team, and she’s a prime example of this. Louise was the first woman to win the Harvester Kitchen Manager of the year, and we think she’s doing a great job of paving the way for many more ambitious female chefs at M&B.

Who would be your dream person to cook for?

“I would love to cook for Angela Hartnett. She was Gordon Ramsay’s first female protege and the first female that he made one of his head chefs! I would love to quiz her to find out what the experience of working with him was really like.”

Turn up the heat on your kitchen career development with M&B

If you have heaps of ambition and a good dose of passion for cooking, step right up to a kitchen career at M&B. We're always looking to welcome people from different backgrounds, and we believe there's a place for everyone in our kitchens.

Check out our kitchen jobs and take the first step towards becoming the newest member of the M&B family. Or, if you're looking for more stories like Louise's, explore our diversity content and hear how our unique mix of people makes our pubs, bars and kitchens great places to work.

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