steel pans hanging up in commercial kitchen

Ellie dishes up what it means to be a female Kitchen Manager

Ellie dishes up what it means to be a female Kitchen Manager

Nicki Hodson our consultant managing the role
Date posted: 18/08/2022

If you're familiar with the role of a Kitchen Manager, you'll know it's a job that requires a certain type of person. People like Ellie. But that's not to say she knew she was right for the job.

Ellie joined Mitchells & Butlers in 2018, starting behind the bar. Before she knew it, she was training in the kitchen, and it wasn't long until she realised that she'd found a new passion. She’s now the Kitchen Manager at O'Neill's in Kingston-upon-Thames.

We caught up with Ellie to hear how she came to be in this role and what it means to be a female working in a professional kitchen. So if you want a taste of what it's like to be a Kitchen Manager at M&B, you might be interested in Ellie's story.

What made you pursue a kitchen career?

"It was all by chance really. I was hired for a front-of-house job and was asked if I wanted to be cross-trained. I had never worked in a kitchen before, but I really enjoyed the new challenge and never went back to the bar. Four years later, I’ve worked my way up to Kitchen Team Leader and now Kitchen Manager. It’s been a challenging journey for sure, but I wouldn’t change any of it."

And it's not just Ellie who has smashed her career goals at M&B. Ben worked his way up from Apprentice to Kitchen Manager, and he's enjoyed every minute. It just shows that no matter what role you join the business in, whether it’s in a bar staff role or as an apprentice, you can cook up a career to be proud of.

What is the soundest thing about being a Kitchen Manager?

'Seeing my team grow and develop. I’ve recently had a few bar staff team members transfer to the kitchen, and seeing them thrive and show a passion for what they do is so rewarding.

Also, the opportunities are endless - there is always the support to develop even more and progress further.'

Unrivalled chef training programmes are just one of the highlights of a Kitchen Manager job at M&B. When talking about our KM induction programme, Kitchen Training & Development Manager Andy Foley said he's 'yet to see [it] bettered anywhere else'.

How are things changing for women in the kitchen?

'There’s definitely been more of a female presence within our kitchens over recent years. Firsthand, I’ve seen that everyone is welcome and included, regardless of gender. We are all able to go after the same opportunities.'

We're making it a top goal to become more diverse and inclusive across all our teams - from bar and waiting to kitchen, and from management to HQ.

Do you have any advice for other women considering a kitchen career?

'Go for it, especially if it's something you haven’t done before. From my experience, progression is offered equally, and female representation is on the rise.'

Are there any female chefs you look up to?

'I don't necessarily have any chefs that I look up to. But within our district, we have a lot of strong women in our sites, running our pubs and managing the kitchens.'

Fancy being a part of our diverse kitchen team?

If you think an M&B kitchen could be the place for you, well, you might just be right. Whatever your level of experience, we've got a whole menu of roles for you to tuck into. Just check out the latest kitchen jobs here and use our speedy application process to send over your details.

If you haven't got any experience working in a kitchen, but you're inspired by Ellie's story, not to worry. Enrol in our award-winning chef apprenticeship programme, and you'll get all the training you need to kickstart your kitchen career.

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