Why did you join St Monica Trust?
I joined St Monica Trust as I heard that it was a great company to work for, which allows people with potential to grow. I had an interest in catering and thought it was a great place to start.
What do you get up to on a typical day?
My job in the kitchen is very versatile. I am either cooking the lunch, preparing dishes for the days ahead or going to finishing kitchens to cook for the residents at other parts of the site. We have a four-week menu cycle so you’re never cooking the same thing!
What is the best or most rewarding thing about your role?
Providing great food for residents as it makes their day, working with lovely motivated people and the freedom to express myself through my cooking.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge with cooking is sometimes not learning how to cook. Anyone can follow a recipe but the knowledge of cooking without a recipe and the confidence to say “that’s done” is something I have been able to achieve.
What's it really like to work here?
It’s amazing! The people here are truly brilliant. Everyone in Oatley House kitchen really brought me out of myself and gave me the confidence to be myself in the work environment.
Tell us about the training and development...
If you are passionate about what you do it’s a great place to work. They develop you into a real asset for the Trust. For example, I started work on the bank in 2011, I then did a full time NVQ2 in Professional Cookery. I then felt I needed to be cooking all the time in order to develop further. I had the opportunity to work on different sites of the Trust, then in November 2013, I got the job of Commis Chef at Oatley House kitchen (Cote Lane) and never looked back since and I’m about to finish my NVQ3 in Professional Cookery.
What's been your biggest achievement?
I think it’s writing some of the function menus. I feel the residents experience classic foods every day, which are great. However, with the functions I feel like I can bring food to the modern era. For example, for our next function we’re doing a six course taster menu.
What do you think makes someone successful at St Monica Trust?
I think you have to have the enthusiasm, motivation and drive to provide well-being for our residents and by having that you will succeed.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying?
I think if you’re motivated, enjoy what you’re applying for and have a great attitude towards work, then go for it!