Chef Works UK – May Barometer
YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT’S HOT
AND WHAT’S NOT THIS MONTH
The Indy Hipster Apron
The start of a new season provides the perfect opportunity to give your uniform style an upgrade and we’re calling the new Indy Hipster Apron as THE must-have accessory for front-of-house crews this summer. The Hipster Apron is the hospitality equivalent to the fashion pack’s bum bag, which has made a momentous comeback on catwalks. Think of it as a fully loaded belt that gives servers a place to house everything they need for a busy shift.
Available in five great colours and handily fits a tablet to take customer orders.
Following in the charitable footsteps of Jamie Oliver, a group of top restaurant chefs are hanging up their whites to help transform school dinners. Chefs in Schools is the brainchild of Nicole Pisani (Nopi restaurant), Henry Dimbleby (co-founder of Leon) and Louise Nichols (a Hackney headteacher). It launched in May and aims to place 100 professional, restaurant-trained chefs in 100 schools by 2023.
Interested? Get in touch via chefsinschools.org.uk
Tipped as the next big trend in the UK, high quality communal dining areas with several kitchens to eat from is about to seriously take off, with 16 in planning stages in London alone.
To get it right, follow the examples of Altrincham Market House (AMH), or further afield, the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv and Boston Public Market (where you will find the outstanding Union Donuts).
According to Tony Naylor in the latest issue of Restaurant magazine, rather than pop-ups and endless novelty, “quality, consistency and familiarity is key.”
Chefs are apparently banning swearing in the kitchen for fear of putting young people off joining the industry. Following reports of restaurants finding it harder to hire trainee staff, the era of the sweary chef is over according to Ryan Simpson, chef at Orwells.
“You don’t get the best out of your kitchen by shouting and swearing. If you cook, you cook for the love of it,” he explained to The Telegraph.
The robots are coming. A San Francisco start-up has designed a robot barista that can make up to 120 cups of coffee an hour, while chefs have been replaced by robotic woks in new restaurant Spyce, Boston USA.
A novel PR stunt or a glimpse into the future? We think it’ll be a while before we consider designing Chef Works robot uniforms.
Don’t struggle in silence, chefs
A chef spoke up during Mental Health Awareness Week to show others working in the hospitality industry that they’re not alone in struggling with anxiety and depression sometimes. Chef Andi Walker of the Riverside Inn, Chelmsford, wrote a candid social media post that went viral, and he’s now in talks with other chefs about an awareness campaign in the future.
He also praised the industry: “It gives me a sense of where I belong. I can hide from the world in my kitchen.”