Head Chef of Nurture Catering at St George’s Crypt
What lead you to St George’s Crypt?
Six years ago I was working as a head chef of a busy hotel, working 80 hours a week. I was craving a quieter life and looking for a new challenge, so when I spotted the job going at St George’s Crypt as the head chef. It was like divine inspiration and I had to apply, never expecting that I would ever get the job. Six years on and I haven’t looked back – the rewards have been endless.
What does an average day look like for you?
As the Head Chef of Nurture Catering, a large part of my role is to help give visitors skills to move them back into sustainable careers. It’s not just about catering, it’s about building confidence for people who might be down on luck.
My day starts at 7am, when breakfast is served for the overnight guests. I have a chat with the volunteers and chef about the day ahead and check what food has been donated overnight from local restaurants and retailers. Lunch starts at midday and is opening to the public. We can receive up to 100 guests on any given day, so the kitchen is always incredibly busy. What’s the best part of your job?
Helping give people a sense of purpose and build up their confidence is such a rewarding thing. Instilling a sense of routine is very important, from making sure the visitors are showered and in their chefs whites by 9am to teaching them about the general running of a commercial kitchen. The visitors also open up and chat about their lives in the kitchen, so you get to build up a background about their lives and there is a lot of mutual respect.
Seeing people a year or two later who are back in the community and back with their family is definitely the best bit of the job.
What’s your most popular recipe?
The most popular dishes are the basics. Soup and stew are always very well received – everyone always has a family recipe for stew. Carrot and coriander soup is also a favourite. People come to us for flavoursome, nourishing and healthy meals and we try to change up the menu as much as possible.
What do you think about the Knorr Flavour For All project?
The Flavour For All project is a fantastic thing. Knorr offers standout products within the industry and having the support company like Knorr is an amazing opportunity for a small kitchen in Leeds. It will help us to carry on the great work we do and continue to provide people in need with flavoursome nutritious meals, as well as giving them vital skills to help them move forward in their lives.