Out and About Friday 11th January

Nearly 2 weeks into January already and we have 31 relief chefs out working, this is up on last year by 6. This week we have 11 relief jobs confirmed so far.

There are lots of CV’s coming looking for work the up and coming season, if you are looking to join the relief circuit please get in touch, you can call 01683 222830 or email across your up dated CV to we require your CV to be up to date, 2 recent contactable work references, an up to date Hygiene Certificate and ideally we will arrange a meeting once we have chased references.

There are lots of permanent jobs coming in on a daily basis if you are looking for a new challenge please email over your up to date CV to and Jessica or Jade will get in touch to get you registered.

The 31 chefs currently out working are

Blair Mackay, Richard Clark, Michael George and Pawel Cimek are all working at the Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar.

Jonny Lewis is at Mackays Hotel in Wick.

Pawel Halicki is at Knockderry Hotel

David Ironside at The White Goose

Mike Scotford is at Burts Hotel

Kyle McGarry and Jason Keenan are at Buccleuch and Queensberry Hotel

Patrick Johnstone is at Ben Mhor Hotel

James Thomson is at The County Hotel

Peter Norrie is at Baxter’s in Fochabers

Bobby Ainsworth is at East Haugh House

Taylor Mcfarlane is at Fife Arms Braemar

Lillian Clarkson is at Grantown East

Douglas Gilles is at Fife Lodge in Banff

Scott Bolton is at Nethy Bridge Hotel

Glenn Richards and Ally Brown are at The Moorings Hotel

Phil Smith and Lisa Campbell are at The Eglinton Arms Hotel

Luke Webber and Sharon Shearer are at The Kitchen Brasserie

Stuart Agnew is at Ben Nevis Hotel

Bruce Robertson is at Alfred’s Bar and Bistro

Mick Kitson is at Trigony Hotel

Mark Wildman is at Skeabost hotel

Tom Smyth is at Alexandra Hotel

Jim Miller is at the Milton Inn

Leon Edgson is at The Mustard Seed

Thanks to you all for all your support and very hard work 😊

Availability of Chefs 10th January 2019

Head chefs

If paying good money and in a central location such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee, Aberdeen and Perth the availability of head chefs is very good, basically, the more central and the larger local population the better availability. Now is a good time in general to recruit for staff.
What is good money for a head chef? This can vary from a small pub to a large five star or 3AA Rosette Hotel and can be anything from £15-£17 per hour for a one-man job cooking simple food to £45,000 and upwards.
For a standard hotel job we would suggest in the region £32,000+ with overtime paid pro rata over 45 to 48 hours sanctioned by management.
Bonus schemes always help and can be based on getting a gross profit margin of over say 65 to 70% and it is always advisable stressing in advance how often the bonus is paid and what the exact criteria are. Other bonuses may be based on increase in sales. Keeping wages ratio down and helping to achieve certain net profits subject to maintaining quality of food, kitchen cleanliness and staff retention.
In more rural Scotland it is harder to get and retain chefs and often accommodation should be offered to attract suitable candidates.

Sous chefs
The availability of sous chefs in rural Scotland is good. Sometimes, a mature former head chef will be happy to take a step back to work alongside head chef.
In more central Scotland, there are candidates about if paying decent money (i.e. upwards of £26,000 or £12-15 per hour) and offering good working conditions there is no reason why you cannot keep a good sous chef with a stable track record.
In rural Scotland, there can be a need to think outside of the box to retain and attract good sous chef candidates. Its is almost essential that you will need to provide accommodation in rural areas.

Chef de parties
Availability is very good in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the central belt.
In rural Scotland with accommodation there are candidates and you will get applicants if wages are decent, suggesting £9.50 to £12 per hour or a salary of between £20,000 - £24,000. The more money you can pay the better the availability there is.

Commis chefs
There are usually a few candidates available centrally or further afield if offering accommodation.

Pastry Chefs: this is quite a specialist position and there can be a couple of specialised pastry chefs looking, not always though.

Enclosed link to minimum wages.

January 9th 2019

We have kicked off the office in full swing this new year with lots happening in the office including lots of permanent chefs being placed, CVs being sent out and new jobs being registered daily. It is very refreshing to be back into a routine as January can be a very busy time for us and very different to the months previous.

There is lots going on in the news with dry January, Veganuary and lots of new years resolutions. We set new targets in the office every month and keep statistics, so we have a record and can go back and look at over previous years which helps us gauge where we are headed. We are continually striving to improve on previous years.

I know vegan living is very popular just now and plant-based living is on the rise. Everywhere you look there is different vegan menus and recipes and ways to just eat meat free. I know this can be a controversial topic in the chef world so wanted to hear your thoughts on whether you also have a vegan menu in your current kitchen or vegan options at least. From a business point of view, it makes sense with such a huge movement on the rise to be able to cater for the masses. If you don’t have vegan options on your menu currently is this something you will look to do in the future?

Out and about 4th January 2019

The office was extremely busy yesterday with quite a few relief jobs being confirmed and lots of new jobs going live on our website. Johanna is back in the office from Monday and will be dealing with relief jobs and chefs as usual and I will return to focussing on head and sous chef recruitment. Jade was kept very busy yesterday with lots of good CVs coming in and is in the process of calling them and then chasing up references with the aim of getting lots of chefs placed in the coming weeks. We are expecting a busy 2019 and would like to take this time to say thank you to all our chefs for their hard work over the past year and especially the past few weeks when other professions would be closing for the festive period.

We currently have 33 chefs out working via which is similar with this time last year. Mark Shaw is up at the Nethybridge Hotel, Glyn Musker is back in Northumberland at The Black Bull for a second stint. Tom Smyth is working a few extra days in Fochabers at Baxter’s Highland Village working alongside Michael Njoroge. Bobby Ainsworth is up in Perthshire at East Haugh and Ian McColm is also in Perthshire at the Taybank.

Thank you once again for all your hard work and continued support.

Christmas night out

On Saturday 15th December, Chefs In Scotland had their Christmas night out at Brodie’s. Myself, Jessica, Johanna, Michael, Tom and Lindsey met in the gin bar before being shown to our table. We enjoyed some lovely gins in the cosy gin bar situated next to the restaurant. I had a candy floss prosecco, gin cocktail whilst everyone else enjoyed the popular gin and tonic. We were taken to our table in the restaurant where we had a private area situated next to the kitchen. Decorated with a lovely Christmas branch and baubles and of course, the traditional Christmas crackers. We had pre – ordered during the week so our food arrived promptly. Myself, Jessica and Lindsey had the Duck bon bons served with a spiced plum sauce and pickled blackberries, which I highly recommend. Johanna had sun dried tomato and basil arancini, Michael had the baked mushroom terrine served with celeriac remoulade and sourdough toast and Tom had the Tomato soup served with freshly baked bread.

Our main meals followed shortly after. Myself, Johanna and Lindsey had the Turkey Wellington with stuffing, accompanied by a caramelised onion, sautéed vegetables and gravy, I always enjoy a dash of cranberry sauce with my turkey. Jessica and Michael had the stuffed pheasant breast served alongside winter cabbage, lentils and bacon whilst Tom opted for the vegetarian option of a sweet potato and quinoa fritter served with guacamole and lime.

We were giving time to settle our stomachs before being served dessert. Myself and Johanna opted out of dessert whilst everyone else tucked in. Jessica and Tom had the hazelnut and chocolate torte served with Frangelico syrup; I must admit I had serious food envy! Lindsey and Michael enjoyed a traditional cheeseboard accompanied by homemade fruit chutney and crackers. Coffee and fresh mince pies were offered shortly after.

Brodie’s was certainly a good choice for our Christmas night out, from start to finish the service and food was excellent. The staff were very attentive and professional and we will definitely be back again.