Bullying in the kitchen

This week the news broke that there had been a serious incident that took place at Calcot Manor, a high-end hotel in the Cotswolds. A young chef aged 22 had boiling hot butter poured down his trousers resulting in a chef being sacked. Nathan Williams had severe burns and revealed that this was one of many bullying incidents including eating raw meat, being punched and other burns.

It was horrifying to read the way this chef has been treated and very brave of him to bring it to light. Bullying is terrible and no one should have to suffer this daily in their place of work. It is well known throughout the industry that it can be common to play pranks and games on novices but where do you draw the line?

I think gone are the days where it is acceptable for senior chefs to shout, swear and throw pots and pans around the kitchen, no one learns that way, no one learns through fear. I do hope that the young chef involved does go on in the industry and this doesn’t put him off from his chef career. Equally I hope that young chefs reading this story don’t also get put off from this already hard industry which is lacking in young talent. It is quite important I think to distinguish the difference between a joke and bullying and make sure these two things don’t amalgamate. Its also important to make sure that this doesn’t become the norm.

Have you ever felt that you have been on the receiving end of bullying and if you have been how did you deal with it?

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