What continues to attract chefs to the National Trust
After starting as a Sous Chef in Calke Abbey, Head Chef Steve tells us what continues to attract catering professionals like him to the Trust.
My advice to catering professionals considering the Trust? Throw out your preconceptions. It’s not a stuffy organisation that will look down its nose at you and it’s not a naive charity. It is a professional, switched on organisation that is working towards a really commendable goal.
Before joining the National Trust as a Sous Chef, I worked in AA Rosette awarded hotels and restaurants and headed up local pub kitchens. I felt disheartened by the catering industry and wanted to work with local produce to cook good wholesome food. After applying to join Calke Abbey as a Sous Chef, I met the team and their passion for producing great food really excited me, it was electrifying.
Three years on and the commitment to making everything from scratch and providing our visitors with a great catering experience at Calke Abbey has never been stronger. Our meat is a prime example, the venison, beef, lamb and pork I cook comes from the estate so the food miles are next to zero. My chef friends joked that I’d be making scones, cake and sandwiches, but that opinion is ill-informed. Food at the National Trust is so much more than that. We do make a fantastic scone and a damn good cake, but we also serve up hearty food to fuel your winter walk or a flavoursome salad to enjoy in some beautiful surroundings.
The Trust is a fantastic organisation to work for. The values run right through the organisation and are embedded into your working day. Every penny you earn in the kitchen helps ensure these wonderful places we’re lucky enough to work in survive for future generations. Plus, on a personal note, I’ve developed my management style with courses run by the National Trust and this has helped me to build a great kitchen team.
Thank you, Steve (Head Chef at Calke Abbey). Interesting in catering opportunities at the Trust? Search our latest vacancies in catering.