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Episode 56 Harry Lomas Head of Culinary Wembley Stadium


Welcome to the podcast wet together every Monday. We explore hospitality in. It's very broad sense from culture and cooking cocktails coffee. Nutrition and farming politics on Animal Welfare Organic and Sustainability Family and business entrepreneurship and much much more common than with me Mark Crib Crib. About where our food and that comes from and the businesses and more importantly the human beings thrive where we decide to spend our time and the money sign up to a weekly newsletter humans of Hospitality Cody UK and hit. Subscribe on your podcast player of choice. People often say off the cuff way. That something they organized was like a military operation. Well this week's guest Harry Lomas really does know what it's like to run a kitchen. As a huge well-oiled military machine hurry strategic skills have been honed by the thirty four years he spent with the British army. His amazing career included a stint with the royal household the position of Master Chef with the Parachute Regiment in Cyprus and to round off being responsible for feeding troops around the world including Afghanistan there he was involved in rebuilding the kitchen at camp bastion which had to serve served twenty five thousand troops at each sitting three times a day. The statistics become even more. I watering with Harry's next role overseeing the catering for the two thousand twelve Olympic and Paralympic Games in London as you'll hear the prospect of serving one hundred forty seven thousand thousand people a day. Never seem to don't Harry. That's probably why he's the perfect fit for the title. He now holds head of Culinary at Wembley Stadium Media at which point. I'll hand over to the great strategist himself. Only Harry can explain the complexities of cooking. Different meals for thousands of football fans and making shoulder back in their seats before kick-off Louis thank you so much spare time to be on the podcasts costs hugely appreciated people listening. Can you just explain. Where on planet Earth Are we? Please hurry because it's quite special place it is. It's where the National Stadium. This Wembley Stadium in London and is the home of the FA amazing. I'm I'm staggered. I've been researching you before I came and the scale and the variety royalty of some of the stuff you've done over your career literally made my eyes water when I was reading about the number of people that you can serve in a day so very much looking forward to going on a journey around your career and your life in kitchens and hospitality. But we'll start with with Wembley if you don't mind can you just give a sense of the scale of the operation here. How many restaurants here who were they aimed at how does it work? Yeah Yeah it's it's an outstanding venue and pretty much the peak of my career To be working in Wembley we've got about one hundred kitchens throughout the whole of the stadium. Hoffa doesn't restaurants. An each of the restaurants are quite unique to the the different members of the very members that That we have a starting off the top. We've got the Wong. Twenty which offers outstanding fine dining five calls also male five choice meal alicarte in in about a three hour window a not K.. To about four hundred fifty Eh. That's quite unique in trying to get your meal in in time Before the football off on time otherwise otherwise They ain't going to hold the kick off for me so I've got to get the food out so that same quite high end. Lots of work going on. We are engaged ways both members and the FAA in choosing their menus. What going NASA lot work goes into that The next one down again hospitality plated tood is three choice three course menu in our Bobby Moore restaurant. That's about nine hundred thousand people we get in there and again the same three hour window to get people through tables of To Up to tables of ten coming through that lots of corporate hospitality Detaille and lots of members in there but a new restaurant that's opened up as our new atrium which is called our number nine. We just want to make life more difficult to do. You think the other restaurants you had enough and you just needed one more. What was the motivation for Wayne? Number nine yeah. That's really interesting. I've been here about about two years. I thought it was easy. Fading Football Funds then I found out does different SOSA football funds. And you know I mean food is always on on the move. People are always looking for something different. They're always looking for innovation yet. You're only as good as your last meal. And everybody's always looking for something different and the uniqueness of the number nine line which was just a buffet. Restaurant is is still a buffet restaurant. But he's a high end buffet restaurant and that's been fully decked-out fully refurbished great furnishings in there. And therefore we've got the food to match it and we've gone down a bit of a theme of London markets so billions gate To the face shunned the topology area. we've got the Smithfield for me the roast we've got Brick Lane For Careers and the Oriental so the idea is on each much we try and just switched the food ground. Try and put a not to ever were playing against against so whatever. The opposing team is coming in. We have a little bit of food pass around food which gives a bit of a not to ever the the opposing team Seifert other Germany. Coming in we'd have some little bits going around German bites going round just so they're included in the overall food in the experience appearance. Look when people come to family stadium the coming to see what's on the football field or not lohman coming to see me and the food. What my job beige? And what are likely to be is I want to be part of it and I WANNA make the Food Paul to their journey so it great coming here. They spent all that money on a ticket. Take what I've yet but I'm in the middle before they get there and my job is to just make them feel that the whole experience comes together. I have the opportunity to go and an chat to them when the dining find out what they like what they don't like look. I got it right every time I would be enough somebody else here. But it's go to have the the challenges that it brings with all the preferences and allergens and various things. It gives me the opportunity to go on table touch. Find out what makes people take find out what they want to have an hence that leads to a little bit of this Newnham Nine restaurant where people do like to graze you. I mean not. Everybody's interests formal dining sitting down played being served. There is absolutely requirement for that without shadow of a doubt. And that's that's always going to be a couple of thousand four hours On a football match but more and more as of the grazing buffy From the number nine Another restaurant opened up which is descended circle and Acetates on the other side of the stadium right on the halfway line so they seating for the the members arrived on the halfway line they can see the royal box can see the football us coming out the tunnel you canola. Whatever happens on the football? They got all excited about it. They'll offering as a street food Very same place home Eh. Hours before they stalled members in there is about five hundred members in there and it gives them the opportunity to Have some of the street food weather is a I pull poll Bob. Winter Sakaba fishing shapes whether it's Korean rice Spaghetti as what. We have a a Yorkshire Pudding. Wraps also things all little bates and they come round two or three times and drinks palm also the package lavish of lunch or be starving. Harry the older these these just matchdays. These are open all of these restaurants so these are matchdays. Only whilst downtime downtime from matchdays the IT's a venue for hire Wembley so we have Hospitality throughout Some of the areas when line. There's no macho. Yeah so if you have a big kind of giggle something going on here is all of the restaurants. They're all opened matched. They all open any other time or would not be unlikely base. That would be very very unlikely. Spice goes coming up. You don't necessarily open every single Null show when we say bowl event so that could be saas the football. I thought I knew football. Then this This EFL does the FAA. Then there's the RFL which is Rabih. Then there's the NFL NFL. Which is American football attorney? A- An echo us when you think gates all finished bringing the spice girls and all the rest of them they all come in and then there's other eagles and Bieber and everybody else they they're all coming so when they're on when there's a bowl event on everything's open okay well an actual nine years. That Roy is wow now. That's a very interesting statement. Because when they asked me to come and do this job I think they said to me we only have about nine matches a year. What they meant to tell me is there's nine main matches but I think we do about twenty five? Okay I mean it's an last year I think we did. One hundred and twenty-five it seemed to be on every other day but as long as aggressive growing out there the the plane. For Ball's idea that's that was the so we add Tottenham Hotspur's here for the first part of the year and then everything else came in the second of the amazing okay so real range from top end fine dining to casual and this is this is members only base. You can't just walk up. Come in Harry's lunch there is an uh-huh particularly for some On the day when you come in. I'm so we do have some of the restaurants where we allow people in the can pay on the day which is a similar offering But predominantly eights its members. Only of course we've got the new three lions pub and the lioness pub think they're the biggest pubs in Europe So tell me on debt now offers burgers fishing shapes pizzas and whatever paw group to come in. So that's a walk in offer for the you can come into as well and of course not sold on the the corporate membership side. Both mean three quarters of the stadium all general public general admission responsible the food the food as So we've got about twenty thousand plated meals going going out roundabout then the rest of it. It's a ninety thousand stadium and the rest are on levels one and level five and the overhaul of the stadium is on level. Five forty five thousand one level five and not a offers burgers hot dogs fishing shapes a Lot sort of grabbing goal. None about source that all comes under all comes comes old All all through here again. again part of of my roommate and wildlife the job as I WanNa make an impact on. Somebody's journey through Wembley whether it is the fish and tapes whether it's the Bagel or whether it's the fine dining in the one twenty debut no mean somewhere along the line were involved in food and we WANNA make sure is the best. Yes we can do. I'm exhausted just listening. Thought before trying to feed three hours before we start You know I've got a restaurant where we try and serve to people on a Saturday night. Maybe one hundred people in the bar and my team in kits mental so. I'm going to play this back to them and say imagine ninety thousand people to serve. Well I think an important part Atlanta. I don't do this on my own money as good as my pain and I've got an outstanding team. I've got four. Oh Hi checks A good admin support good bucket how support A Not really a AH is the nucleus of our oil comes together on the day of got up to two hundred and fifty chefs and kitchen assistance around the whole of the stadium so obviously about out four days out assault to prep an extra ten guys in extra forty guys in the next day hikes for fifty guys on the next day and on the game day we got about two hundred fifty in and around so I was trying to my brother and a couple of days ago also working in catering and he's been trying to recruit one chef for about the last two months of which I think about eighty percent of the people who say they're gonNA come in for trial shift. I broke up and he was going to like. How do you find two hundred and fifty people to turn up for it? Because these aren't presumably they don't all work ready for you is agencies Ziesel nope there's a combination of variables staff that worked for for Our Team Delaware north throughout London and open down the country and then Overhaul come from agencies but we have a very good liaison with our agencies and we're known as a sort of a no nonsense approach but you know many of you come in here. They they know what they know. What is required on I think they enjoyed when they come under the idea. If you make work from you domain I think they'll come. They don't come to watch the football match boat. They come fall the experience and it's a real bus when as much on here you know I mean everybody's behind it GonNa make it happen. You know main The end of the game fifty percents of the stadium. And I'm going to be happy. Somebody's GonNa lost or whatever the case may be so so I like the thing that we've helped them through their journey with the food if they're going home talking about the food and it's good about the food I'm delighted it makes sense so two hundred and fifty people on a match day you mentioned just now about the fact you can kind of orientate the food a little bit around who's playing any particular countries that have come. Where you've gone on to the Scandinavian Scandinavians? That funny little fish isn't it because of the countries where you go yes I love their food and other countries where you well interesting. I think you know in Britain. I mean we're we're so collected in our food. Anyway you know I mean. There's no way you can go around the world where you can have as many flavors in Asia in London you can just so. I don't really have to go very fall. I just put a bit of a twist to it and sometimes we were looking for some Croatian dishes and again you got to you know mean the help of Google and Internet whatever and Believe in our toll around the kitchen to Croatian chefs have got. We've got. They're working so they came up with a bit vis. Joe Joe and A dish that we use a halt Baltin. I mean it's amazing. He's round uneasily knows. You don't realize the skill set you've got if you've got two hundred fifty shafts that come into work here. The chances are you've covered nearly every of the food Varieties there is. They've all eaten something somewhere. True London is a great city for that and then your role is as the head up. All of this. Your certainly dressed as a chef. I can't imagine how you can Do that I suppose and not end up being sat behind a desk. What what is your role? What actually in town are you in the kitchens? How many cases do you say you had? Yeah about a dozen kitchens. We saw Live kitchens they. There's about one hundred. H One the boxers does a hundred sixty boxes all kitchen and there's old black kitchens prep kitchens. We've got about a dozen twelve about doesn't live. Kitchens ends McGoldrick kitchens in the chaos. So Yeah so you'll roll clearly is not sat behind a laptop to make this happen. And what are you actually realistically. Is it in the services it menu prep is it. Recruitment is all of the above. All of the above main. I am I refer to myself. I'm just cook at Wembley. Yeah not comes off the line from the Steven Seagal in In that film he's just the Cook on the shape us right and that's a bit what I am. I've we've got fingers in all pies and whatever we make go he still got to cook. I get involved. I get told off on many occasions. Because that's why I've got all the. Hf's that's why. I've got people to do it so I'm a bit light. The conductor in the orchestra I just Ryan bring things together. I do the fighting. I do the liaison. I just make. Sure the checks checks and balances of dawn. And I'm very much about bringing on the next generation of chefs. So I'm out there. Just watching what. You're doing my head chefs. I'm very indicate to bring them on if I'm doing it all the time then. They're not learning so I draw a doing it so they're doing the ordering of course his checks and balances. I'm sat right next to them. I'll see what's coming in. And they're learning 'cause they're all the head chest will all be Executive stadiums warm day and they need to be able to feel it so swap the main responsibilities round of one looking after the The restaurants one looking after the concessions another looking after the ancillaries is an old the the football team itself and the back of house an H.. H match they switch around and they try and learn a little bit Something something else on the outside trying to bring the The Stolz in all the food in Making equipments right in the right place and working with my back of of House. I tend to be more of that and make sure they've got everything they require to be able to deliver the job and then on the day once we got everything set up. I get get round and visit table coaches much as I can. I love chatting to guess I try and get all the restaurants and if we got a complaint some somewhere on we'll have a complaint somewhere I go and find out what's going wrong. How can make your life better my jobs here to make your life A May your experience as best we can and if we haven't donate what do we do wrong and can I do to make it right and I find that if you you get straight onto it. I'm not shy. I'm quite happy if you get straight onto it and getting sold out the The guests and the members are really good. They're really early on the stand and actually I get on with them very well to the extent one or two of our dishes in three or four of our dishes of come from members of say or do you think we could have that. And I'd like to see this. We have an event called changing room. Dinner where they get forty members over four nights needs to come into the changing rooms and we set up a restaurant. I is one of the perks of being the members they come in there and we do a menu of something that we're going served on the next next game so they've got first taste tendency. What's going on? I suppose I gave it to him to try it out. I don't get any complaints lanes on. I've got away with it if if the turned the nose. Republican officer changed around a little bit. So they're my guinea pigs but it gives them an opportunity to I have a An inside what's going on. I got the chance to talk to them. Find out what the during what they lie. Which is the best restaurant wise at work in? This isn't working at the only conversation we don't discuss these football Because they're gonNA get forty minutes. Whatever it is out there quite soon? Yeah Yeah and you're much more comfortable talking about food anyway so absolutely well avoided. Can you cook on that level of skeletal people would presume that took at that level. You've got. Compromise is on the sustainability food. I suppose the sourcing of food that how much prep you can do in house and how much is is kind of impressed. Can you still follow the seasons and buy from kind of circle suppliers. Yes is the answer I think you've got to go with with what you can get so when and you're looking for I don't know we're doing lamb racks and I'm doing two thousand lamb racks. That's a lot to ask from BOCCIA round the corner who hunt feeds is lungs and I mean is the best ethical Lami Gate and is Britain. You mean breast milk in it so of You know in the top of the trade well ECON provide meet up so I've got to go a little bit wide up so rather than an evening to to a county. A county called do that now. So those numbers. Now we're talking about English lamb and in fact. I think this year is going to be even harder. We're going to have to talk about British lamb now which delighted with anything British Great British. I'm delighted that's what I want to deliver it here. Simple food cooked well. And if he's British ah even the better On the season from I think the stroll risen example. Hang we have strawberries on on every menu on whether it's winter spring summer autumn because we can get them and people see that as as so an opulent part of their meal if they can have strawberries and cream. They'll be services a guard natio- STROZ drink some well on the line so we can get strawberries all all year round. I do try but maybe more so comfort food. Warm food towards the end of the a year when it's colder Nemo Lighter Spring Food Alva- asparagus an example to use asparagus. When he say ah top of the tree and affordable so yes when we can and we can get it then we'll use it and we've got all my suppliers are outstanding? They all they do understand the the depth on the detail. The I need to go into and I have a conversation before every game with HMO supplies saying This is how we do. Go out to suppliers applies. Who will prepare some of my tureens unpartisan? Things are that because the amount I need and as you know yourself with the hassle up and with the health and safety of the whole lot a just ties you into a lot of you trying to produce in. Keep all the paperwork in in a straight line so by going out to the suppliers they the supplies coming in that somebody would with way swap recipes. They a little bit of there will be a mine lying and we've come to a compromise. Can you do me these. Can you do me. You know main two thousand McCain Pat all the same size all the same and so yeah I think working with the suppliers making insurance as ethical as as ECON Babe. I'm the first to jump up and down. It doesn't look right and doesn't smell like I don't want Tanabe chickens. I won't British chicken and I know the difference and the supplies. No I know so an fruit and veggies I feel for the fruit and vegetable. AH SUPPLIERS GOES. The weather is not been kind to a toll in the fruit and vegetable department so we sometimes after go further afield. Yeah I mean some peppers and things like that to get from Spain and Italy just just not happening over this neck of the woods. I'm so yeah I think there's a there's a a passion and drive to use a local use traceable food and Unethical food I think that's alive to do on also helps a story The one I'm talking to our guests and now At members when the here I want to talk about what lambs come from mates. Nice salt marsh lamb as the SOLTA comes off the onto the grass and on their eight. Nate you just makes that damn the difference in that lamb and easy to coke. He's better to present and it's just so succulent when the reading it and it's nice to know about story of how it all comes together. Yeah it's nice to know that can be done at scale I was with Do you know who got there yet. Because I was with Becker early China from from hawks more and he was the even at their level. The scale that they've got to he'd phone his local butcher because he tries to buy as much as possible direct from the farms but even his level when he founds ends up in the east. I know we can't do it. We're not interested in. I can imagine if you say how. It's Harry for Wembley Stadium and I've got. I need a couple of bits for Saturday that they must please the supply. You Yup Yup okay fine so Anita two thousand Salaam racks obvious frozen and cannot stop giving you six months out. Yeah no that's not what again about so all the supplies out that first. First of all a cabinet suppliers straightway. Start to narrow it down to what you can do and but yeah I like a story behind food well. We'll come back to that again because I'm interested from from the military perspective in this way because getting food to Wembley Stadium must be a challenge. But how you get food to attend in Afghanistan. There's another story but we'll give that some context in a minute so your career to you know to be able to achieve the numbers that you talk about and yet just at at that level of complexity. I suppose I've spoken to Alexander Michelin Star Chef and one of the things that really appealed to him about the kitchen. From being Soviet young lad was is that what he referred to as that military style management indication because it needed to have any kind of hierarchy and it need everything is so time specific vacant kitchen and I think there's often a very different management style front of House than there is in the kitchen because because of those timings your career did actually start that way so so you can. You can genuine answer. That question is is a kitchen in Jemele even in civilian world similar to a military kitchen. And can you just explain a little bit about the star of your career and the military background as to questions. Yes okay I think that indicate chain I mean we we of the team of chefs and we call him a brigade of sheriff's. Nothing not any self tells you that really. It's built on a military organization station. That's why we have the exact chef the head chef sous-chef CDP's Demis commies assistance distance. So there's your pecking order in the in in the kitchen itself and actually I think it's it's what's fascinating about our trade. You know main there isn't many of the careers way. Got About a dozen steps to get help to And you can see each one as you're moving up and then you go all the Disa- so different disciplines whether it's stadia fine dining restaurant school meals prison service I mean there's all those different areas of serving food and yet the opportunities to To get to a stage and then get promoted to move on and the different Paul to vacate Jane although the area so from a professional point of view of a promotion The kitchen is a is the best place is built on the likes of the military. So you start off on the military as a young private soldier an I joined the army. Nineteen seventy-four full a young sixteen year. Old How did I get involved in catering on used to work with? My moment will always know you'll know what will was is but it's It was a shop that sold Penney. It wasn't too long ago that it disappeared was as the three four years ago. Now maybe it's time flies Niagara My My I used to go up there and help him coke some of the stuff males Got Myself a little job in a pub where I used to do all the washing up one day. The Sheriff said to me. I need some carrots. Peeling and Saw was better than watching not carrots and carrots and he was so complimentary commentary. How appeal these carrots? He asked me to them as well. the I didn't shopping as well as he wanted him. But I still had all my digits on the end of my arm so i. I felt that I'd done very well. And he said to me you would make a very good chef. Thought really just carrots just from my carrots and It was an opportunity that I come from the backstreets of Burnley Lancashire Lot. I knew the policemen on a first name terms and I thought the time I didn't want them to know any more about may so an opportunity came up to join the services. I did go from Burnley up to Preston with my Three piece suite on tie minimum address meal to go and join the Royal Navy and when they got their twelve o'clock I knocked on the door and looked in the window and there was nobody in that and so awesome hanging around outside A message from the gods comes in. They said what you have to you. Mom said Oh. I've come to join the navy. He said L. The in the moment it was a tri service where the Army Navy Airforce USA same office so it says no and if you want to sit down and wait for him on I mean there of course big areas the the Goldsman so you what you wanted to do in the navy at all I want to be a coke. The coke is in the army. You don't WanNa mess around with the Navy so an hour later signed open. The I got back home. Mother's side to make you went out this morning to join the navy and you've now joined the army said whether we're close. Yeah so but the navy is all the services is a fund up all brilliant at doing what they do and do each slightly different so I joined Aldershot 970 full as an apprentice an idea a three year apprenticeship to get my city and Gilles And then soon got posted out to I went to Catholic straight away and then we're out to Cyprus for two years to go and work at the end of the Yoka the the Cypress troubles that were out that I was at Wayne waned right at the very end when they're still feeding some of the refugees so era's a young so of Just eighteen hang on just being seventeen scene. Three quarters feeding refugees as scarred my life you know many of the refugees or as far as the I can see and you feed him some soup and some bread because that's the allegation was on a is absolutely hall shattering for these people to come up with a Hans coped asking. Can you have a little bit more bread. News to whittle bits of stone and wood and bring up. Can I give you this. Just I have some more bread unethical. She couldn't give anybody any mole than you are told to give an ad guys out of the side and made the wells goals with time and the To make sure that nobody you turned the tables over in whatever but Assad state of affairs Nicole's assault moved through my army career. I've seen lots of refugees and lots of people props less as fortunate and ourselves and as so terrible that people. When you've got nothing and I mean nothing very terrible and you are the man or the person and who's delivering? What can have these aid agencies? It must be a nightmare for them to do that fulltime. But that taught me for six six months and then Pretty much Let through my career. Different kitchens with the Welsh goal to signals the hospitals in the Mechanics the all different infantry. Eventually into the sergeants mess becoming master chef. So this is when you're in charge of your own tatum. of shafts on always the shafts are soldiers. I on chef seconds. So you've got to be able to shoot a rifle and run and do whatever you need to do but The teams that have done of were with have been brilliant all through my career. What what's the time frame from starting to be in in the sergeants mess I would say about Eight years ten years. I on my journey to the sergeants mess and to Being a warrant officer I came out of catering for about three years to go and train the next generate generation of recruits. So I became a sergeant major so all screaming me shouting recruits not. Not Chef agrees Jeffrey criminals so so on teaching them military aspect of the Korea. So the idea they're going to learn how to be soldier and then they go into the kitchen and somebody else will the teaching them how to be a chef. Lots of our chef. Instructors are all from the civilian world anyway so teaching. What we've learned in the military shopping is from the civilian world so I'm the guy that so teaches them out to march and make sure the Lockers are all plane and puts them into jail and shouts and screams they Two hundred recruits. I used to have in my company. And they they nickname in may be Harry. The busted not went down very well because I was to make sure I was local parental care. Ha these youngsters you know what I mean. There's a sixteen to seventeen year old and they come from all over the world and my job is to make sure to bring them together teamwork and get him jell together to post now to Cyprus some column island wherever they were going to go did they tend to be mainly interested in cooking was the kind of military a surprise not surprised but not necessarily the bit they wanted to do. Did they mainly want to cook rather than hiding now. I'm imagining getting showered at Ah Four. Am told to jump out. You bump go run around a forest or something when we wanted to do is make benedikt. Yes absolutely they all knew when they came the military trey was part and parcel of it soldier chef and actually the reason they enjoyed is they don't get bored in the kitchen all the time. Element won't keeping the fitness hope. And it's about being. I mean you know I mean Oprah standing good human being and looking after yourself and cooking wishy trade so all the good bits about being in the military on time clean. Cleanliness is all boss of that and of course not made them fit for being a cope with already got trained disciplined wise. An an as you mentioned earlier on discipline in the kitchen is what we need so we're actually In the background slowly making them right discipline and and teaching them and ready for when they're going to be a chef And then they go to the key chains and then get there sitting ills. They'd be you know mean a two year apprenticeship shaped do and then move on with s setting ills okay. I'm not still the same so that route incidentally trail Simla but it's national vocational qualifications and and Also things now vocational qualifications absolutely brilliant for chefs and the only way you can give them a qualified. The need to coke. You can't sit behind a desk and learn how to be a chef. You need to have your fingers in the pastry to be able to do it. And that's what's good as why envy cues for Chaffetz a gold So after then eventually they they They decide to commission me. I was as surprised as them but than being the the all down on my first job after being commissioned was being personnel office On the families officer to the regiment so sorry for the excuse. My naivety not being commissioned what does that mean being commissioned. So that's going from sergeant major to a captain okay A Goal Sake Sam takes the rank of your own puts on your shoulder. Ota I'll become a commissioned officer so I was commissioned as a captain as a post office to transport regimen looking after the Gorkha soldiers so completely different but of course eight. Watts makes Hewlett better. I've just done twenty three years cooking. Now I'm I'm I'm doing management and I'm now into logistics and this is why this fits me well for something like Wembley because this is more about logistics than is about cooking getting the right place the right stuff in the right place at the wrong time the right cost with people that's not becomes Having having done that very very good an interesting point whilst working with the GIRKA soldiers. I was Paul responsible all to help them bring their families from the poll that didn't happen and At the end of that very loosely majesty Awarded medium. Be Full for doing that. So that was a nice sort of surprise having done not project and not work and it goes now all ago. 'CAUSE is the here working with us. I was Paul von early An early part of being together. And then I go belong to do The ceremony state and ceremonial in London. Working for Queen Doing Ola Food related the two things outside the booking policy. Whatever she's eating around were involved in making sure that all worked at a small team there And just a dot involved making sure that the contractors were working in the right place making sure the food that was delivered so just bringing together not physically putting the beans on the toll system but making sure that we've got enough beans and enough bread to deliver. This is big state events by this is take state and ceremonial big. Things this is. What the government's all around the beach trait? They stay on a parliament funerals own all you know I mean anything anything like any big. And if the Queen's visit in somewhere in somewhere around one of the regiments and whatever you're just making sure that you're on side making sure that The protocol so of course her majesty just making sure that that she's looked after The protocol a food and feeding as as What it should be and whilst most people know what needs to be done? It's just making sure that the things I've done and needs done in accordance of affect how the British army want to do it any particularly memorable events that you did in that song all of them all memorable And I remember on one event we did A curry lunch in middle of City Hall in the The Square City Hall lab and so just put up a tent and Just fade a couple of thousand people curry. What they wanted to do is they wanted to? You have the world's biggest curry so they came and said to me hurricane. You Arrange for the Guinness Book Records. The word feed the world's biggest curry so again massacre. I thought well let's get on the Internet and look and see what goes on on there and to find. The world's biggest curry was outain. outain India surprise surprise and of course fed twenty thousand. People didn't have too many issues out. Laugh yeah that was my challenge because whilst the my best friends Google very closely together. I felt that I couldn't do the world's biggest curry but what we could do is the world's biggest dispersed corey. And what that meant is that we would have faced a couple of thousand in in London. which is what I was doing? But on the same day each of the regiments around the world with all due that Curry's in their regiments so overall all. We did well to get the world's biggest curry. The factory was dispersed career. Birthday have a world military curry week now on the back of and I remember having this role to go and do and those people who were involved in it will know all the challenges that we had and there were a few the first US challenges as we're putting up the tents as the vicar comes out of the church around the corner praised and says my dear gentlemen. It is five o'clock clock in the morning. What is all the noise I goes? I've a lunch together. For twelve o'clock I need some cover. Now he said well. Could you just do it with with no noise and I looked today. We got on with your choice. Words have lunch No but I've seen him on two occasions I but I didn't know he lived in the church. which is unusual? Many lives in the church lives at the back of the church something and it was just so funny here. We are doing charitable events On a charitable piece of ground for all the right reasons and yet. The person to put pooh-poohed ah the priest out and what is what life as how many people are thousand people but globally when he's must be nice things about orchestrate to go. Roy older the Richmond's around the globe. We're going to do this on the same. Yeah so they. They reckoned they've done about thirty thousand on a day. I think the still in the process of trying trying to calibrate. I think more term. The Guinness Book of Records Wanted. They wanted some facts and some they needed. If there were doing it in a hundred places they I need a hundred people to be out there. There are still a lot so thing. So it's one of the things that you just on the dream and as many numbers as you want now so so nobody ever really knows. But as far as we're concerned we did the world's biggest Disperse Curry and when you say they wanted against Buca records. Is this the queen. No I've always wanted to the records. No surprise I would imagine she would. I would imagine she well. She's the longest reigning monarch Mullick. So she must be in for that but no This was I think they all benevolent fund wanted to raise some funds. Goals Have Majesty in fact on that Particular Day Prince Charles was representative of emergency And and again he was very well on a T.. Knew what was going on. We had the opportunity to have a little bit of a laugh about the whole thing and I I remember he wanted we. Hadi's GIN and tonic. Coal ready to go and he came at love a cup of tea on ecoles away. We we got cups and soul says in the middle of a ten in a A new one of my boys down to Costa run down there to cup of tea for him and he was reading about the capacity of up the road and of course if cost knew that he was going absolutely swap mates. Well again everything I do. I've been very blessed teamwork nick teamwork together. Everybody achieves more absolutely nuts. Why Wembley is what Wembley is? It's a team. They may play together on football. Bowl failed we reflect that back of House and what we do. I'm only as good as my guys putting together in the way when when you're doing things again triggering events. Do you have the flexibility of menu choice for those kind of things to you. Is this just as Elizabeth say. I really fancy tuna melt. Sorry yeah if only I would be would be wrong for me to say that. She That she does not get involved because she he does but to be quite on the Machine Soul Well oiled that we all know what's required in ways required and h in the household and I worked together is a toll rehearsed is prepared. Does no last minute. Dot Com ninety nine percent scientist everything we do. We've rehearsed wave procedures in place and they all comes together eight military training all coming together. Everybody from the the Policy Self James's from the military from the foreign off from wherever from whatever's working we just come together to make it work and we all know what we're doing doing long long long before the day and Do I have a choice in changing menus and unless there is a real reason to change it then there's no point change in a fascinating insight. Did you pinch yourself as a lad from Lancashire who who was very well known locally to To be serving lunch for the Queen. Yeah I do I do still to this day. I have a board a piece of paper off a big board what the newspapers used to put a outside the shops that says local boy cooks for Queen and my moment got a picture of something and give it a Nicole. When I got home I was a local? You know may not live in a village that is is a couple straight through it and whatever we gotta post office and a pub and so everyone I go home. Everybody comes to Luke me and they don't come to see me to come to luke me and and they still come in the house get a showgirl walkout. And it's not so thing so for me to be down here doing it during the business and local here. Ed Stadium headed culinary here. You don't get any better than that amazing exciting so as well as those wells one of the things things that jumped out you did active service as well you were in Afghanistan was combustion at one point combustion until I would like to say that I was Paulie involved in rebuilding the kitchen in combustion so after I finish doing the Serramonte all went to the headquarters of the Ming and my job was to go out to Soap so my job then is head of catering for the British army both at home under an operation thus also an awesome job descriptions. It is a brilliant job description. And that's what made milder jobs again when you're writing your CV and you put it out to you know monop- first liner in need to get a line on there that jump Savia Via why is why they're going to ask you to see the need to get it in the first couple lines. A little get bored. I thought that would do anything to work. I'm so yeah. I operated outbreak out of and over. Again it's a team effort So making a joke chefs out there making sure the food goes out again. There's a whole organization. The brings a food. A lot of it comes out of the way and it sets off on a A wagons on a train of wagons going out there. I'm content hoped to six to eight weeks to go out there. Depending on what Rudy goes out there to get into Afghanistan but inside self from Winchester Cross over the on the ferry over into France and the note through Germany over over into the statins down into Afghanistan and depending on the route and the security of how. It's going to go into that. I know the route was full. Longstanding things was a shape Would take the food round and open into into Pakistan and up the the route into Afghanistan onto the border through there and of course there's the so that's by land by say a goals by through Military aircraft and civilian aircraft craft drop food in a story of that On one of the journey of the train of vehicles going out there just before Christmas. The Tally Ali bound managed to blow it up so roundabout the Tolbert. We're trying to get now our Christmas fare over there for all all the boys and girls over there. You can imagine the kitchen that we were Tanis feeding about twenty five thousand people per meal And the idea of that is making sure that you've got Older Turkey older means pies everything you need for for Christmas Day. You know I mean that would be a food in the military is very much bow Morale Foods not go to morale goes down. Morale goes down. They operationally affected invest us as broken. And so we all very very much part of the operational modus operandi of how the military work and football is out there if I don't get the food into them right and he's wrong they won't be doing as well. I'm not responsible for every time they lose. I'm responsible for every every time they win But again food is so important food. You all what you eat and to be able to do that and get the food aid and so when they shot up the train moment's notice we need to get a plane out. Then I remember talking to my colleague say no how. We're going to get the food outlet. I need to play. It says not a problem. Also you play now And we got some big play. Nate was One of the big Russian Antonoff. You know it's as big as the stadium these things and whatever and we need to fill it with you know media doesn't contain as whatever you just go out there Turkeys Nicole Costa. We've got the anti Israel member Shane. Right we've got the Antonoff the Promo Avi as gain pilots. I guess what you've got a plane. No pilot has the main soil serving twenty five thousand people three times a day but of course halted with the aspects and whatever you can fly in commercial pilots and whatever. Anyway I'm sure should they got a couple of guys who was quite happy for a couple of bulb and Casa million-pound or something to take the plane over. They're drop the food so good day's work. You know me net but It's just an experience of making that happen annoying that the troops got Christmas was was a real relief. You've been on the eight sort of a an accomplishment to know that you've just brought out all together and it was may or may own. There was loads of people. Make It happen and I'm just at the end just annoying away. You know making things happen for me is a still operational capacity combustion as still operational but in a completely completely different eastern by contract as opposed to the military solas a contractors that are out that the delivering. It's a different regime. That's out there. The moments more of a monitoring as opposed to an offensive foul on the twenty five thousand British troops base there. No no no no sell. The amount of troops over overall was perhaps a little bit more than not what we were. Feeding income by. Stan was twenty five thousand and that was a mixture of Braids Canadians Estonians Americans and the Afghan police the Afghan all me And I know that we used to talk cooking. The Rice A. H.. Block in the morning for the evening meal. How much rice we needed to get Fees people and this is a tented kitchen in the desert. This was is at so my role was to move this from tented that it walls into a semi permanent kitchen. So the the prefab kitchen to bring this together so I was there in the transition of feel kitching to moving into a little bit more of a strategic Jake so of mobile kitchen okay and nutrition wise. We've mentioned the contrast footballers to army recruits is the army Uh into nutrition now from a perspective of. What's good for you? How many calories do you needed? I'm thinking kind of ration packs back in the day have have they followed a similar thing to sport and kind of this season and took perform at this level. This is what we need to feed people or is it if you don't give them a steak and kidney pie they're just going to be really unhappy happy. Yeah no we are the front end. Think in the military we have all the Russian. Pike's our state into the all Russian pox and in fact there's a commercial organization that makes them for the military and when you buy them out of the green package. Hey Jane the awful mountaineers for extreme sportsman they all the same pike For All these people doing In high endurance things yes So it's the same food that for the The calories The wallner in football people and as much as football and needs what he needs needs is called his Vitamins and proteins and all this sort of thing while the military exact the same on very much you know main lean say Napoleon said soldier martyred on his stomach and he says true today as he's ever been And they're there A really civilian life is pretty much you all. What you you can see that? People'll marching on the stomachs and the people need to do a bit more work. But you all what you off off on medical reasons round some of the other bates but pretty much What you put in that needs to go somewhere and if you're not doing enough energy and enough Bits move around. Then you need to know about it for me. I would say I'm well-built. And you would never trust skinny chef. And I'd like to promote the I am a healthy eater. And a good advocate of my food. Yeah no perfect. All come away from Afghanistan about as well Local fruits and vegetables. You talk about so shipping stuff out and huge containers and trains and stuff. Is there a local market. Can you buy any little literally. Does everything go from the UK. No the fruit veg came from Dubai predominantly And the team in UK. That were sourcing this have. I've got markets around the world as you can imagine for any conflicts and they would no way they could buy this from so stuff that came from the UK was the meet the frozen meats and the the packaging the dry goods a fruit veg predominantly. I think onions and potatoes Malcolm from the UK Both pretty much the fresh fruit and VEG strawberries. Lots of came from Dubai over that side and then budget wise. Are you talking like an amount per per head is that how is calculated always. I'm just trying to think again of the sort of vast okay so we work it out. I mean pretty much power about fifty two fee soldier per day and Because it is a lot of money good good value to feed my kids for one pound fifty. But when you're feeding in that sort of bulk Eight works out very well. So so of course the Our our we told them together because he's on a budget our operational budget of course. No one's looking at the I've got enough money for this. Newly comes on an operational budget and of course the operations bought the Amodeo. You pay your taxes. You'RE GONNA make sure that your tax money is being paid eight and a and an used properly and for my job was to make sure we're spending it correctly so yes I'm accountable. Anaya people above may who will be checking the books have people out there who are doing the accounts and there is a full open Volk accounting procedure and you can see exactly how many people we fed on which it cost where he worked and where it didn't I and from that we love from different TAT tat. Different operations high works. Why we've got a into such a good position? Now must be interesting dichotomy. I remember interviewing Nick Leach. Who Done Donald Sorts of super high end private chef stuff but then ended up trying to run? Don't try and he did Iran Hospital for a number of years and the irony. I suppose of the Super Tight budgets that you've got aw to try and feed human being every day in hospital but the fact that actually you you're trying to make them better so serving cheap food or poor quality. Food is contradictory victory. Because you've just gotTa make them there longer and it's the same army. I guess you won't peak performance. You want people who can operate at this the extremes of human capabilities but in obviously you've go do that on a budget so it must be challenged. Yeah it's not easy but the good fun it's what you train for the idea. Starting at Fourteen fifteen years as of age They didn't get the job that will take you know everything that you do. So I was a chef in cross. McLean I was on the stove. I was working Northern Ireland. I was doing on the streets at night time. It was in the kitchen during the daytime about was them forwards. I was a war officer master chef in Northern Iowa the Parachute Regiment Regiment I was the second battalion the Parachute Regiment's muster chef so looking after the Perez. Now there's another you know. Main another story needs self I mean they are at the peak of physical fitness You know main. They need all the calories. They they come to the dining room with plates. It's bigger than but he. Bedpans need feeding. And of course they burn off the energy but they won't. I'm a great believer. There is fresh good. Good food Then it's then it's brilliant if you you can't really feed people with crop And so of a I mentioned earlier novel chickens filled with water and all this other stuff. It's just not cost effective. You May as well buy goodbye ones and bite right. I agree and that's how I work here. I can't be doing with another delivery of the deliveries coming on match day. I mean just for bread rolls alone I have to partake of bread rolls. You know we need three thousand bread rolls coming in just to dispatch bread rolls when they arrive here as as nearly half a day's work that's bread rolls around all the concession doing that yourself again. There's a team my job just a week is the bills round. That's a lot of work but thought bread isn't fresh baked in the morning here. Eighteen the concessions in afternoon it was baked ready for our our customers. Those also go to Burger going out. The Burger is our bespoke Boga and the bread rolls around again is our bespoke bread. That we the The with with all the compliments is my my last question but do you get a bigger budget for the guy with the plate side of the bed and to the parachute regiment. Get more money than your era. You one pound fifty or not There is The the the difference in food The the Perez will have. They're quite happy to have stews meats that sort of thing where in Afghanistan. I was certain philly steak Not say they have top quality food. I have to make sure that they would at the peak of that fitness. And that's what they enjoyed because when you're out for six months you can't be in the same food all the time where when you're embarrassing. UK or in Northern Ireland. And what you might go to me. Won't two meals a day because of everything else what's happening. Then you've got that makes with any operational Russians and then you've got time off you do your own thing so I suppose when you're out on operations ends you've got a captive audience when you're embarrassed you've got a little bit more of a sway so you don't there's a couple of enhancements that you get to make to feed the Perez then you do those guys and Operations Mason so Four years of that. And then you think right. I'm GONNA leave and you end up with the Olympics. How how does that? What what? Why did you leave? Why did I leave? That's what the general me when I said I was resigning There was a couple of reasons. One is that this was an opportunity that I so so many knocked on my door and said Oh we need someone to run the the To work on the Olympics so I Interesting doesn't happen every day doesn't Olympics again. I I thought first of all they were GonNa ask me to do the hundred meters which I felt I wouldn't be able to do and not in the time that they had anyway so Also well first of all. It was very nice from to automate the team. That was being put together. I knew two of the team and I knew the will go to operate as these on non-military military people Home has an opportunity for me to see what's going on. I suppose after thirty four years in the army and I was at talk I got the top job in the top military cater in the army. And you know been doing that for about three four years and you know what The it was a moment in my life I was coming back from Afghanistan on the airplane. I was coming back ways. They were some coffins and I'm wondering coffins was a friend a friend not a close friend but a friend. I'm starting now with these coffins in front and it was a time in my life. I I thought to myself hurry. I think you've done your stint. There are lots of other people who want to do this. I'm really you're getting too old and wait slow and the catching these people will be catching near so we'll under umbrellas Norton. It was a moment in buying life of just to say thank thank you so when I came back and the things in the military are changing for the better everything changes on. I think I need to come out. Let the next generation takeover a moving forward. I felt I'd done my bit. I'd thoroughly enjoyed it. So there's an opportunity to come out and get a job Somebody looking for me. Somebody wanted me. I was very good at me now. I wouldn't have to run around trying to find a job I would have been coming out. They all meet in the next couple of years. Anyway so overrode lead to roll. I asked the general can leave a told him. I says I accept and I joined Lok and working with John Matthews and the team doing up man. I thought I was going to be again doing some contract work and some Freedom work. I went to first of all take on the London. Stadium Dot was seen the time There's only about sixteen days of the Olympics where anything goes on in the Olympic Stadium Ball from the opening closing ceremony so John full-time. MG would utilize my skills elsewhere. And I went over to xl The Exhibition Santa where we had Five Olympic Arenas in there for both the powers of abilty Olympics Paralympics. And we're talking over footfall in their of one hundred forty seven thousand people per day so again it all woke she just again. It's a teamwork. I the The volunteers working with me the full team in their disappoint from Jonah. On another team and Again you train for it. You've got everything together. The contractor was Compass working with us. The whole lot just worked together and and I think we produced a very good Olympics I was very proud to be bombed balls. Love it and then tools into that. Somebody said Do I want to go and work in a hotel. We come to the purchase before you do one hundred forty seven thousand mind-blowing is this is this is this the public. Is The athletes fleet. This corporate events is at all of the above again is yes. This is an excellent body. But he's not beanie Wembley from the the the athletes from the judges the coaches The general public the officials our own staff local staff all on the policing staff staff. I've got a battalion there of all me. Doing the security of course took the last minute before they came into the end. So real real collecting mix and I was doing something I mean not. That was an experience but at the end of it they asked me. Would I go off and do the The Game Jumping Glasgow. I was quite happy to say no. I was doing something like sixteen hours. Seventeen hours a day for nearly six months Squat Squat reassuring to the normal probably tonight. It is possible to break you Harry and that maybe one hundred fifty thousand people eating every day but it was you you you run on your Adrenalin There was a bit of a adept from the Olympics. There's a big gap between that and then the pilot but but what was good for me I I. In hindsight I actually enjoyed the paralympics more than the Olympics. Not just because it was quite a a little bit but not much quieter but to see what those most people do. It's incredible and a call. Eight brought a different. A broad Different I guess coming in Again and people who've got wheelchairs and various other things a lot more to soar see what was going on and again we had to make sure that all our counters where the right level make shogo accessibility wherever it was a lot more for the paralympics animals for the judges and everybody else old also eight was a different a different sort of makes it was a lot more friendly and make sake eight worked very good whether we'd have the practice of the Olympics to do it But I thoroughly enjoyed. I finished on a high with the parliament. I thought it might have been a doubt square but it wasn't. I wouldn't write the last day with the parliament. Picks on all the staff again. It's a teamwork. You can't do this on we can do on your own and everybody from around the world old who comes to help us out on these things. Brennan he just works. I think as a country we had a very good reputation for delivering. They're doing compared to historically when Harry speed. It's a big Saturday outside. So you think you'll go for rest and you guys are one of the biggest star hotels. Is that right for a little little lie down a friend of mine mindset to me. Do you want to the looking for someone to be an exact chef. So you'll know yourself that. The industry of restaurants is one The Industry Hotels Twenty four seven hotels. You know it doesn't sleep and I went to look at the girl I don't know the girl don't Don't know nothing about Wofford and whatever what was what for gap so. I'll wait out on a Sunday morning to go and have a look at the place. So it's a stunning place Gulf coast. It's a again another location division. Sort of Five stall spall. I'm the whole result and I have I have a nanny mcphee momento collate. I say a When you need male stay But when you know need a need just want me. Then I'm going and it's a bit like the army they. They didn't need me now. Donate they wanted me to stay but didn't eat me so away ago. I suppose the Olympics was slightly different as the it it finished so they did need me walk me. They didn't need me certain and they They they won't admit to go and do deliver something else but no thank you. I've I've done a so when I went to the the Grove. I could see eight was. This is a niche. Where could work back? They wanted a team builder. They wanted some late to bring this together. Sows ninety nine hundred chefs and they were about four or five down and operate in when on various various agencies and the The cost for manpower was not good and food. Costs were not good and the team was not not good and lots of reasons. have this agong. They'd been a change of management changes. Not Neil there okay. So there was an opportunity Well I'd never run a hotel as such so. Lots of areas of hotels stay learning but very much what they wanted is they wanted someone to bring it together. It was about the cohesion building them. Break so I pretty much got myself involved. We started our own apprenticeship and it wasn't long before we were bringing in the I I still I believe this today. I mean we brought in Comas and apprentices and we made our old CDP's and believe it or not. The CDs were brilliant because they did exactly what we needed. We needed to do it. And actually wherever they go When they got to see DP they need to go on and go somewhere else the the world they need to go and find the rest of the world because they will all make master chefs head chest wherever they're gonna go but it was very nice that we was at the end? We nurtured them and got them going once. Going goodness bread goodness mm-hmm and every time the local colleges I would go out to the colleges and ongoing recruit a handful each time idea opportunity to do some of their synoptic testing. So was I was going around doing that. Testing found any good ones. His my cod If you're looking for a job I'm happy to take and of course made life a little bit easier and the headshots that I had with the that were there. Were Brilliant They could all take their own kitchens and they breed their own. They just needed the bodies to come in with. Find it hard to find the people But once go running running at full capacity for a long time and we moved the business quite forward and that's where again monotony Murphy. He came in after five and a half years Oh hurry I mean we like to say I know but you don't need anymore. This is running brilliantly and your next generation you need he to bring in with the next generation of key people went and the You know I mean the balanced changes people. Ask me how. How do I like? I've only ever lived in change. Change if you stand still you go backwards so you need to be embracing and you need to be able to know just when to stay off to allow the next generation so my mantra mantra is about training the next generation they can have all my recipes are going to have anything I've got I'm co op to teach him. I'll spend as much time with them as they want. And why do to a lot of competition work now judy on the panels and whatever. I'm happy to talk to him and tell him the reason you didn't get gold is because a lot more and try and explain because the idea of competitions it gives them the confidence and I had my own team from the grove entering the competitions. And we won't when endless metal as it was it was a real dream of a job. How long did it take from China when it was forty-five Jeff Shaw and chaos to kind of go in there there we go? That's now been I can enjoy it. At to be honest I bet it would have been two years. And how different was because I I'm guessing the Olympics was just a one else kind of you know weird thing but you fundamentally done for four years in the military and that's your first and a proper private experience was it was very different or actually was the transition quite easy. He's in my wife said to me. Oh it'll be a nightmare when he goes out anticipate straight because they won't know how to manage both. Won't that kitchen kitchen as the kitchen. Ethos that's move with me. I'm still inside the kitchen. Actually I haven't really gone absolutely must safe safe zone because I'm talking about things and I'm working. We things mean frightening egg in the military whether it's on the Olympics or the Grove. Oh He Believe it or not we all the same. So it's not so of ethos and the idea so you come here. I know nothing about football. Well actually the The FAA delighted. I know nothing about football. Because they haven't employed me have been Senate vote so let me crack on Nickelodeon. He'll he'll take a liberal. Yeah they asked me Iot name on something. Ought to name three footballers and I struggled tonight. Three that's how bad I am. Yeah but you could probably name one hundred different dishes. Take Iraq correct so now you kind of look in At what you do next. I don't mean change job wise but I mean I guess asked that mentor in that development of the next generation. That kind of person down the knowledge you worked with some school groups competitions in schools. Now what motivates you and get suicide apart from the day to day kind of delivery of the job. Is it really that mental ship knowledge-sharing. Yes is the answer. I Love Workman the next generation as nothing better than seeing one of the young couple of the young says. So I'm part of the wishes will come near folks who sponsored also schools Caracal the chefs again and then again with the competitions. I got the opportunity to say lots of the young says and I get involved. Say the judging on Damn to see that next next generation just coming together and if they're hungry for we there's a handful the we've had just recently and the so excited about cooking and I can remember. I think it's what I used used to be like I mean when they just mixing this round and doing something wrong. You know mutation tomato soup. You've made it. They didn't they only ever thought he came out. With Cam. mm-hmm they're amazed that they could make themselves and of course when you start putting together flour and some butter together to make Eru and you telling them out and then you get some carrots and some bacon beds for the For the tomato soup tomato soup. They can't see with us to motsepe coming from and when it comes together and they tasted. They can't believe that there is light help. Now that's the people who Who are going to be passionate in the next generation and I think that So often people say we'll also the chefs light nowadays. Better any worse than when you started. Well the real answer to that is the no better good to know worse but the all different and one of the big debates that I found when I was working at the Grove I went way down to the colleges I'll tell you a very quick story that went horribly wrong. I'd gone to a college over in Essex And this five hundred kids in the audience and There's about four or five people who are Are Coming in to give a careers brief and I was number two or three and I I said well how many people are interested in being a chef so I got about five hands up. I could see this was going to be a hard gig so rav in Sunday. The bucket of stage. I come down chatting to him Told them all about giving my presentation told him a little bit about what it was. I think pretty much part of it is as you know as a this is a bit more than a job. It's a lifestyle. It's a way of life at the end of it. I said okay. So how many people now. Aw interest in being a chef only one but around I realized why I'm not recruiting. You told him the truth. That was yeah. Well I did learn and again this is me learning how to work and iphone or something. I sat down. Last Guy came on. He was on a dressing right now and I sat down with a little bit disappointed with myself so I had the opportunity at the end to ask any questions. They Leila's didn't need it so I'd go. I said well I. I've got some questions for you what I want to know. What do I have to do to get you into catering if I want your mind? What is it I need to do? What is it that scaring away on the The first one says well. I don't like working weekends so I was about to to launch Ah Verbal address at them and I thought no. I'M GONNA take this out so I wrote it down working weekends what. Why don't you like about working? Why well I've got my own life to do this and I don't really like working weekends? I don't like working late night. 'CAUSE I need to be out with me maids walk. Aw Two teeth just keep right now okay anything else. You're not allowed to use your phones in the kitchens. No you don't use your phone but we want to use it. Okay I'll rotate now. They stunted address. You know main cooks whites on very very flattering. Well he's not fashion parade. I get it and everybody screams and shouts in the kitchen. So I took this away on. I reflected over the weekend trying to my wife and my two of my daughters who are in recruiting as well and on the Monday Tuesday. I went to the all the grove on a solid something last week on nothing. We need to change. If I'm going to change how we get people in we need to change and we did. And that's what made the difference so the first thing we did as there was an opportunity to put Wifi and all the kitchens and that was all to do with the fridges. And we have it. Here The monitoring all the fridges. So it's we have a gentlemen's agreement. You can have your phones. You can use your phones and because I realized people on phones you could find recipes recipes. you can full you know your parents and at your wife is amazing. What the IPHONE does nowadays and it wasn't me just thinking they're talking to the Gulf and all the time they use it? Taking pictures is snap Benson snapchat. Whatever it's called only so things of snapchat is a very good idea idea for social channel for the So realize how important that wall so as I said I allowed to use it and believe it or not. Ah I did say if I call you misused. made the whole of the kitchen will lose it well to be honest. Everybody uses a property and now that the finding recipes the finding new ideas coming up with it. They've got land notes on that. It's amazing it's really working weekends and late nights. This was a bit more of a challenge but I did go out to a couple of of agencies round with an interesting enough I found people who want to just what we can. They were slightly the elder brethren Who got families and whatever? Yeah who props Paul time at being a chef props hut children and wanted to get back a little bit part time and what I've yet I I found that these were brilliant workforce. They could work on their own Onda during the sandwiches the afternoon teas and all this sort of thing fantastic working late at night again. It was a matter of this working coming in at seven and still work until eleven o'clock at night. I forgot there was halfway in the day so we did a sort of a split shift. I found people who were getting up in the morning. NFL PEOPLE WHO don't get it in the morning. Who are better at night so there was A? Ah just by moving a couple of people around. You saw two to accommodate what they wanted on. I remember having somebody who won't ever wants to do earliest police. NFL IF I saw you want to do I have a position for you do an alias and actually it was one of the best things everyday because having somebody who could do uh early and be reliable Rodney getting a phone call saying there's no one turned up for breakfast items brilliant so there was a handful of them. People emerged especially as whites lights. I go to better contract to Washington Iron and Loan to the coach wants to make them look better. We got them in Apron with the Grove. Von Eight. Allow them if they wanted to wear. Black trousers could web trousers if I was supplying him. Then they'd wear the checks but no climb trousers. Nothing like that At the end of the day anita smalt I the all caps and whatever and the all run on military grounds grounds often. People say this is not the main. No it's not the grove but I run it like the army so get over it so I think all of those things changed changed the way I did business so my last three years at the Grove was made a lot easier because I had learned to just give now exactly why I don't have a problem or too much of a problem here because I can accommodate people on where and what they are. You know somebody who works till four o'clock will if the events eight diplock night. I need somebody in three hours before a problem before we would look at them people so again just by being a bit more flexible shouting. I don't do any shouting the days. Shouting was in the military. I don't need to shout you either want to come to work. You won't get paid or you don't if you don't then the door swings both ways so feel free You know going. I only want you here if you want to be a specimen because that's been the biggest shift culturally in the last five years in the kitchen is probably probably Ramsey asks more than military because you didn't have a film crew following you around. Probably you know he mutters. He's phenomenal shaft and he demonstrates you you do need that discipline. Flynn in the kitchen. Probably put a lot of people offer people to work with them actually stayed for years and I'm sure he wasn't as bad but the TV persona of via via the kind of Sheltie chef put a lot of people and it's not unreasonable. As much as we may bemoan the demands. I guess of the younger generation actually probably teacher. I think having some time to spend with your friends with your family and having a bit equality life is clearly the right while the law kitchens now going down to four weeks admittedly long days but four on three offs. Yeah it's good to hear that it's happening a all levels I guess any advice specific advice centre. Anybody just join to a close does but there is a challenge. I think certainly in our part of the world I speak to allow people in in general probably you then there is a challenge around motivating people able to come into the kitchen. But still you know it's a fascinating career full of opportunity. It means you can travel anywhere in the world and there's lots of plus sides. Is there anything you say to young people apart from. You can now have your phone. Would you still advise. I didn't even you. Would you a career as a chef in the kitchen is still a good idea yes it inasmuch as h h still hard work and if you're prepared To if you want to work out you know I mean the rewards brilliant As I mentioned earlier I mean the promotion is a lot of a lot easily structured. Did you can see way your next step as you know what you need to do. I'm the so many disciplines in being a chef out there so Whether it's a it's a skill ticket train fine dining restaurants in the stadium whether it's casual and whether it's in the U. K.. Around the world you the main you are going to be in high demand for a long time. People are going to need to eat for a long long long time. And if you can be be involved in that and again you know I mean. There's nothing better than being at the topic of food everybody can talk about. Everybody's gotten opinion about food. But it's brilliant that you Paul Paul of everybody's life for me here at Wembley being into closed at Wembley everybody comes in yet. They walked through the door to look at the football. But if I engage they see me one wandering around the past. The time of day we have a chat Nothing about football. It's all about the food and again. Just bring it all together is. That's what the game's all of our love. It is exciting lighting. I'm passionate about it and getting the next generation involved. I think I'm happy to talk to anybody about it. And I'm happy At the stadium here to show anybody what we do way open and transparent. Yeah it's hard work and I'm always looking for volunteers. I'm always looking for table coming to work at Wembley perfect. Well thank you for sparing the time to chat but I think more importantly thank you feed in the military for thirty four years in various guises as you know on behalf of the British public. That's an awesome thing we've done with your life but also you know really excited to disappear retire and now that you will keep in Wembley Stadium which is another conic part of Britain guesses in it so I will put a link to the website for the various sort of memberships and access the restaurants here but thanks Harry. It's been fascinating fascinating chance you appreciate you spend the time thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this week's podcast cast and remember the on the website humans hospitality dot co two UK. Every week we put on some show notes and links through to the various websites or social chill media the mentioned and we will do a nice little breakdown of that week's conversations into specific topics. So you can jump through the podcast and just listen to some of the highlights if you wish if not done so already if you could leave us a review on items or one of the other podcast players of your choice that would be hugely really appreciate it. Thank you so much and we'll be out with another episode next Monday.

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