A Day In The Life Of Joe Stevenson Chef De Partie At Oxford And Cambridge Club

What do you do, and how did you get here?

I am a Chef de Partie at the Oxford and Cambridge Club and I have worked here now for about 6 years. I trained to be a chef at Canterbury College for 3 years and then followed my training in France for an additional 6 months at a hotel. I started working with Oxford and Cambridge a month after I returned.

How do you spend your day?

My day starts at 9.30am where I currently work on the fish section. I run my own area, do menu prep, followed by a lunch and dinner service and any Club functions. Every day fresh fish arrives at around 9:30am. The menu changes every week and is passed on by our Head Chef. We work with a company that distributes fish but my personal favourite is Billingsgate Market. If you are looking to find some great product it’s definitely worth visiting, but beware it is for early risers!

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 09.42.31

Want to join the team at Oxford and Cambridge Club? Connect with them today.

What’s the best part of your job?

Working in a friendly team and being able to do what I love is what makes my job really enjoyable. It is very important to enjoy the kind of environment you are spending so much of your day. I always knew I wanted to pursue this career but it still has a certain stigma around it. I am happy to say I am working in a kitchen where people are very professional and bullying is not tolerated. In fact, my Head Chef is one of the most supportive members of the team.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

Not sampling everything in sight! As well as that, if you are an aspiring chef, you should keep in mind it requires a lot of dedication and commitment. You might not always have enough time to spend with your loved ones, at least compared to some other professions. Ultimately, this is an incredibly rewarding job and long hours aren’t an issue when you really love what you do.

What traits are ‘must haves’ to do your job well?

To be successful in this role you need to be organised and have good knowledge of food. It also boils down to having a good attitude and being willing to commit. You should be ambitious and comfortable working under pressure. As you can imagine you will usually need to work with a team, thus, good communication skills are key.

Any advice for people applying for a job like yours?

You can always tell a professional apart from a dilettante. If you want to be successful in your role work hard, be friendly and always give 100%. At Oxford and Cambridge we conduct a Trade Test before hiring someone. The candidate cooks a dish of their choice and that process shows us not just their skills but their self-organisation and their will to go the extra mile. The kitchen is an environment with healthy competition, thus it welcomes people who are self-driven and willing to constantly improve and develop.

What’s your ultimate goal in your career?

I would love to run my own catering business one day. I believe the overall atmosphere at any dining place is as important as the food served. And we certainly have a great atmosphere here at the Oxford and Cambridge Club!

How do you unwind after work?

Believe it or not I love cooking outside of work too! I usually do it for my friends and family. I enjoy cooking oriental Japanese dishes.

Tell us one quirky thing nobody would know about you.

I’m a killer on the karaoke!

Want to join the team at Oxford and Cambridge Club? Connect with them today.

Author Aoife Geary

Aoife Geary is the Content Editor at Jobbio specialising in the areas of Workplace Culture, Diversity, Startups and Digital Trends. She's partial to a burrito, a bad pun and living way beyond her means.

More posts by Aoife Geary

Leave a Reply