Being a chef tends to come with a reputation. Whether you’re the heart-warming Jamie Oliver type or the brutally honest Gordon Ramsey type, surviving in the fast-paced world of steel-clad kitchens and endless dockets requires one thing – passion. Yet, with hours clocking upwards of 60-70 per week, we can all picture the cliché chef, looking a bit dishevelled, not to be messed with.
So, what do you do when you feel burnt out but can’t comprehend ever giving up your passion?
When it comes to our GIG Seeker of the Month, Rodolfo, the answer has been easy – seek variety. With a positive attitude, a lust for every nearly every type of cuisine and a pure joy in making people smile whenever they taste a new dish, Rodolfo probably falls into the Jamie Oliver category. However, his passion for food comes with a passion for learning, and a quest for variety in both what he cooks and where he cooks it.
Having been in the business for over 20 years, we sat down with Rodolfo to find out why he became a chef and why his passion for food is as important as his passion for flexibility.
Tell us a bit about who you are and why you decided to become a Chef?
I am a Spanish chef with more than 20 years’ experience. I decided to be a chef for a number of reasons, one of which is my love for food in general, but mainly because I love working with fresh products and watching people’s reactions when they eat something they like. If I can satisfy the customer, it makes me feel very good and I leave work feeling like I’ve really added to someone’s day.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a chef?
The industry is notorious for abrupt changes which can be very frustrating, but I think it’s easier to just accept the chaos and stay calm. It’s good to go with the flow of the work and stay concentrated on whatever has to be done in that moment – it’s an addictive feeling - the fast-paced nature of the job, I love it!
But the best part of my actual work is without doubt the creativity. I really love creating a new dish or putting a twist on an existing one. It’s an exciting process when you to mix different ingredients until you get the right combination that satisfies – it all comes back to seeing or hearing about the satisfaction of the customers.
This is a part of why I like finding variety, both in my dishes but also in where I work – it allows me to learn new skills and work with amazing people.
Surviving in the fast-paced world of steel-clad kitchens and endless dockets requires one thing – passion.
How has having a flexible service like GIG helped you?
Having flexibility in where and when I work has been a huge help. It’s allowed me to keep my skills up to scratch, as well as keeping my sanity.
I’ll tend to stay in a role for a good period of time but it’s really beneficial being able to work in new kitchens, with amazing chefs and kitchen staff. I can adapt my timetable to my needs and wants, which makes me more motivated to do a good job.
What made you choose GIG for work?
The convenience of the app, the relief in not worrying about my pay, taxation. Also not having to think about finding more work takes another weight off my shoulders. I get the variety and experience I like in a really direct way.
If you could work anywhere in the world, in any restaurant, where would you work?
Honestly, I would like to work with the great chefs that exist in my country, Spain. A restaurant in particular, ‘El Celler de Can Roca’. It’s located near my city of origin and is currently recognised as the best restaurant in the world, for its creativity and innovation.
But I would haven’t any problem working in any part of the world. You never finish learning in the kitchen and I would love to acquire new culinary skills from all the unique cultures around the world.
What do you plan to spend your Seeker of the Month voucher on?
I haven’t thought about it yet, probably help me to buy a new set of knives!
Looking for flexible shift work in some of London’s finest kitchens? Register now and join the GIG Community.