A life-long fascination with all-things food led Megan to embark on an apprenticeship in the kitchen at The Wolseley. A year in, Megan reflects on her experience so far, from the culture in the kitchen to the benefits of learning on the job…
What attracted you to the hospitality industry and why did you choose to begin your career with an apprenticeship?
I have always had a natural love of cooking. Growing up, I baked cakes with my mum and helped my aunt and uncle with roast dinners. I remember going to Borough Market and being really taken by the quality and beauty of all the fresh produce; I was fascinated with how they could all be put together to make a meal.
After my first year at college my teachers recommended that I do an apprenticeship, suggesting that the best way to learn is to get out into the thick of the industry. They were completely right, what I learn in a single day in the kitchen at The Wolseley doesn’t even compare to sitting in a classroom, for any amount of time.
What have you enjoyed most about working at The Wolseley?
The people. As early as my trail shift, I knew I’d love working here. I know it sounds cliché, but it really is like a family here. I felt like part of the team so quickly because everyone is treated the same here, no matter their experience, age, or otherwise. I know everyone has my best interests at heart and wants to help me succeed, which is an amazing environment to learn in.
Other than that, the best thing about my apprenticeship is undoubtedly the invaluable experience I have gained. I truly believe that The Wolseley has been the best possible place for me to start my career as a young chef, because I have learnt the basics, and I have learnt them well. I get the chance to learn from chefs on every section of the kitchen, which is so interesting – I never know what the day will hold! Most importantly, the team put the time in to ensure that I am gaining the right skills from the very start.
What would you say is the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
I will now always have David Stevens’ (Group Executive Chef) voice in the back of my head saying ‘push, push, push!’. David has helped me become a more efficient by showing me how to manage doing multiple things at once (which is very important for a chef!). I am always pushed to work hard, but feel very well supported, too.
If you could only eat one thing from the menu at Wolseley for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s so hard to choose. The menu is created by some incredibly talented chefs, and I know first-hand that all the dishes are thought out to perfection. Having said that, I’d have to choose the Lemon Sole ‘Grenobloise’. It’s such a classic dish and so full of flavor. That’s my favorite thing about The Wolseley, they do elegant dishes whilst still bringing interesting and exciting flavors.
What would you say to anyone who is considering doing an apprenticeship in this industry?
You must make sure that you are passionate about what you are doing – it’s such an intense environment sometimes so you must make sure that you’re dedicated to the job. If you put in the work to succeed, you will learn so much. I learn new things every day from some incredibly inspiring chefs…and get paid for it!