chef plating hot food in restaurant kitchen

Cooking up a storm with Neil Patel

Cooking up a storm with Neil Patel

Emily Smith our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 20/08/2021

With over 1,600 businesses across the UK, you could say that we have quite a few culinary whizzes working with the M&B family.

Neil is one of our Kitchen Skills Trainers for All Bar One and Browns. What does this mean, you ask? Well, you see, it takes a lot of skill to develop new dishes, each one more creative than the last. Not only do Neil and his team make sure of this, but it’s up to them to show the kitchen teams how to prepare these delicious treats and execute them perfectly every time!

Are you interested in learning more about what it’s like to work in the kitchen at M&B?

“I joined M&B over a decade ago”

Neil isn’t the only person at M&B to celebrate their 10th work anniversary. Lots of our chefs start as kitchen assistants and work their way up to more senior roles. But for Neil, his story was a little different. Back in 2009, he was working as a Head Chef at a bar and grill restaurant, until the group was acquired by M&B.

At that time, Neil became a senior Sous Chef and developed in to a Head Chef for a brand called Village Pub and Kitchen based in a leafy part of the Cotswolds. He didn’t know exactly where this career move was going to take his career, but it’s safe to say he’s gone far in the last 10 years or so.

“I have developed my IT skills, presenting skills, culinary skills and communication skills”

When we asked Neil how he’s developed since joining M&B, he had quite the list of skills that he’s honed. You might think, of course, chefs will expand their culinary repertoire throughout their kitchen career, but how do they become better communicators? And surely they’re not mastering IT and presenting!

Neil’s experience just shows there is a lot more to a kitchen job than you might think. You’ll work with a whole host of people, from kitchen porters and kitchen assistants to kitchen managers and head chefs. By working closely with these people every day, you’ll learn the best way to communicate with them. And, if you’ve got your sights set on a job like Neil’s, you can help other ambitious chefs carve out a rewarding career.

“Generally, I have an early start, at around 5.30 am”

Before the crack of dawn, when the frost is still covering our lawns, you’ll find Neil springing out of bed, getting ready to start his day. Now, a part of his job as a Kitchen Skills Trainer is to travel around to various bars and brasserie’s and here he’ll spend time with the head chefs, kitchen teams and chef apprentices, providing tailored support and training.

This means that before any new dish is added to the menu - whether that’s the ‘build your tapas’ selection at All Bar One or our home-baked deserts at Browns – our kitchen staff are shown exactly what they need to do to bring the dishes to life.

“I would highly recommend joining the hospitality sector as is it very rewarding if you are passionate about food and drink”

The hospitality sector has had its fair share of challenges over the last year or so. But our teams’ upbeat attitude was a testament to the resilience and strength of the industry. They remained positive, and when it came time to return to work at the pub after lockdown, they were all happy to be back doing what they love with their favourite co-workers.

So, could you be a chef? Neil points out that you can build a successful career for yourself, but you’ve got to put the work in.

“My proudest moment was being awarded the Most Valuable Player in our support team”

We haven’t come to be known for our award-winning pubs, bars and restaurants just by luck. It’s the hard-working attitude and passion that our people bring to work every day that has earned us this recognition, and people like Neil know all about awards. Neil’s proudest moment at M&B has been so far was being recognised as the MVP by the Operations Directors, both at All Bar One and Browns. You go Neil!

“I love experimenting with Indian and Asian flavours”

When we asked Neil what his signature dish was, he couldn’t pin one down. For him, it’s the aromatic spices that you can incorporate into Indian and Asian dishes that brings out his passion for cooking. Who would he cook this for? Well, his dream dinner guest is Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge, so he’s picked himself a tough chef to impress.

Bring your chef career to Mitchells and Butlers

Whether you’re looking to take your hospitality career to the countryside or start a new chapter in the big city, we’ve got a chef job for you. Find out more about our kitchen careers and get your application started today.

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