What does your job typically entail
My job has so many elements to it that to put it down in words would probably cover at least two sides of A4 paper! I spend a lot of time visiting customers to discuss their dilemmas, reviewing them and developing solutions and recipes in response. On top of this, I also assist with training for customers, on everything from the latest trends to cost saving and reformulating dishes to make them healthier.
We as a company focus heavily on nutrition, health and wellness, and with around two in five adults consuming meals outside the home on a weekly basis, we have a responsibility and a role to play in helping people to be healthier.
How did you get into the OOH industry?
My father was a baker when I was younger so maybe that had an influence on me. I have always enjoyed cooking and baking for my family. Then when I was choosing my options at school I decided I would work them around becoming a chef. I completed my training at college and started working in London with some great chefs who really pushed me and brought out the best in me.
What’s your favourite part of your working day?
Just knowing that every day is different and that you can be as creative as you like. I take real pride in knowing that some of my recipes are being used and eaten by the public.
And your least favourite?
I’m not one for sitting still, so having to spend time at a computer is hard for me!
What’s your favourite food and beverage?
I love anything that’s done well, and that can range from the finest Michelin starred meal to a simple, humble sandwich. It’s really dependant on my mood and the weather. I do have a soft spot for simple sharing and eating outdoors. Foods that are meant to be eaten with your hands win every day. Drinks-wise it has to be an ice cold cider or a cup of tea.
And your least favourite?
Anything over complicated. Keep it clean and simple and ensure the flavours complement each other. Definitely don’t put them together because it looks pretty and sounds amazing!
What is the biggest factor currently affecting the OOH industry?
In my opinion, the biggest factor is the one that is affecting that current person or project at that precise moment. This could be costs, produce or the skills shortage.
One of the most exciting parts of my job is the role I play in the Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or competition for students and apprentices. Celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, it provides real life challenges that inform, test and push competitors in the most exciting ways.
What one piece of advice would you offer someone working in the OOH industry?
Listen and take onboard any advice you are given. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for it as well.