Sunday, 23 September 2018

People who do things | #7 Chef

I am an avid watcher of many baking and cooking shows so I like to think I've now picked up a few cooking terms which means I'm basically a trained Chef erherm veloute sauce,  I know, pretty impressive. Well today on People Who Do Things we have Josh who's a Chef at The Balcon and he'll be sharing a few of his favourite dishes and how he finds his job....

So as a Chef I can imagine you have some very early and late shifts, what does a typical day look like for you? If I do a double which is 14 hours I start at 9:30am and end at 11:00pm. An early shift, where I'd prep all the meat and fish and make any sauces I need is 8am-4pm and a late is 3pm-11pm.

What training have you done to get to this role? I spent 2 and a half years as an apprentice at the OXO Tower on the South Bank where I worked for 4 days and then went to Westminster Kingsway College for 1 day.

When did you know that you wanted to be a Chef? I did food tech at school and just enjoyed it, in the end though I really just fell into this career when it came to choosing what to do.

Cured and water bathed trout with Lemon Purée, a wasabi Beurre Blanc and nettle  crisps.

What's your career path been so far and where's your favourite job been? It's been an interesting journey, I've maintained a good level and met some, should we say, 'characters' over the last 8 years. The best place was probably Marcus Wareing second restaurant The Gilbery Scott in the Renaissance Hotel Kings Cross.

What advice do you have for others considering this as their profession? It's not an easy career by any stretch of the imagination. It's hard work, grueling hours and the money isn't great. So, honestly I would recommend to only do it if you absolutely love it or looking at doing something outside of the kitchen or doing it as a hobby!

Oh no, If you could pick anyone to have dinner with who would it be? and what would you cook for them? I would have loved to have had the chance to cook for my Grandma to show her what I've learnt. I'd probably cook something sweet, everyone loves chocolate right?!

Is there a chef you aspire to? I take inspiration from lots of different chefs and places, so no not one particular Chef.

Maple glazed quail with a sweet corn relish and Pancetta

If you weren't a Chef what would you be? Single haha

What is your side hustle? I go to watch West Ham a lot as I'm clearly glutton for punishment! I like to entertain and walk my dog when I'm around.

What are the perks of the job? You get to know lots of people from different countries and as you meet lots of people they recommend you to jobs and you get looked after really well.

A massive thank you to Josh for taking the time to share his job as a Chef, I hope you found this interesting and keep tuned for a lot more interviews, I shall be posting a new 'people who do things' every other Sunday, So your next one will be up on Sunday 7th October.

If you're in a job that you love make sure to DM me on Instagram @greatestformofflatteryblog and I can feature you!


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Lifestyle | When I became a grown-up ~ 1/4 life crisis

There are many milestones in your life that are meant to make you 'grow up' and become an adult. Going through puberty as a teenager, at the tender age of 16 you can get married and join the armed forces, when you're 17 you can risk your life and the lives of others by driving, at 18 you can change the future of your country by voting and at 21 you can adopt a child! But what really makes you a 'grown up'?!

I've always been quite naive and young, I think mostly because I look incredibly young so people automatically talk to me like I am a child and I mirror them with my answers. However, in the last 6 months I have felt myself change and grow as I've come to realise what is important to me in life and they are all very different to what was important to me when I was 18 and deciding how to go about my future.

When I was 18
  • Get into my university of choice to study Costume Making
  • Become a costume maker for Theatre/Film
  • Have a role which sounds impressive when talking about it in conversation
  • Make lots of friends
  • Make my family proud

Now I am 23
  • Re-train in Digital Marketing 
  • Gain a role that can support me financially
  • Save to buy a house
  • I want to get married and have children (another reason to save & gain a well paid job)
  • Be happy
  • Make my family proud

When I had finished my GCSE's my first thought was I guess I'll be doing A Levels as that's what my best friend was doing and I enjoyed going to school with her! However, my mum explained to me how I'd do so much better if I did a BTEC, as exams weren't something I succeeded in. So thankfully I listened to her and I moved to a college in central London to do a BTEC National Diploma in Fashion Design. It was a subject I had a huge interest in, most of my lessons were practical, it was entirely coursework based and it was a much needed stepping stone from being at school to going to University. I decided that I loved the sewing and construction of clothes a lot more than the design side and I was always more interested in Haute Couture methods, so I applied to study Costume Design and Interpretation at University. I thoroughly enjoyed my first year but by the end of second year I knew that I wasn't interested in perusing a career in the costume world. I wasn't finding the projects overly exciting and I didn't enjoy any of the work placements I did. I finished my course with a 2:1 so technically I knew I was able to do the job so I then went on to do a few more interns. Again, I could keep up with the work but I just didn't enjoy being there, it didn't make me smile and I wasn't excited about going in each day.

It was about this time that my anxiety kicked in and I started to feel incredibly down, as if my friends didn't already have a job they seemed very sure of what they wanted to do. A year after graduating I got myself a job in retail, which I am still in, and I do really enjoy it! I have a knack for selling things and as someone who spent their childhood playing shops I feel very comfortable in a retail environment. However, I know in the long run I want to be in a more creative role with more sociable working hours!

I have always been interested in digital marketing, I just find it fascinating how brands are having to constantly evolve to keep up on to date with social platforms, whilst simultaneously maintaining their relationship with their original customers who probably aren't online. One of the reasons I run my blog and the social sites that come with it is so that I can learn more about social media and I just really enjoy it! So in hinde-sight I should have made the sewing my hobby and focused on social media for my career but it's not too late for me! I decided that I wanted to retrain and give myself the best shot in having a successful career, so I am doing a Level 4 course in Digital Marketing which promises to get you ready for an entry level role. The course sounds like all my dreams have come true and I cannot wait to get started!

So what was the point in telling you all of this?! You're never too young or old to decide what you want to do with your life, don't feel pressured to go into the career your degree was in and don't worry what people will think if you decide to go back into education. 


Sunday, 9 September 2018

People who do things | #6 Dance Teacher

Today on People Who Do Things we have a brilliant interview with Teresa, a Dance Teacher originally from Bermuda salsa-ed her way over to London to teach you all some moves. She'll be sharing the busy life of a Dance teacher and her thoughts of 'Strictly Come Dancing'...

What style of dance do you teach? Salsa (New York and L.A style), Mambo, Cha Cha, New York Hustle, Technique & Styling and Bachata.

Have you studied any other styles or are you wanting to try any out? I quit Ballet at the age of 5 after just a couple of classes, and didn't do any more dance until a hip hop troupe in Uni, which is also where I saw Salsa for the first time (a classmate took me to an on-campus social after a lecture one day). I've also tried Belly-dancing, Ballet (as an adult), Contemporary/Modern and Jazz. I actually would like to try some Musical Theatre Jazz but without all the cheesy songs!

When did you know that you wanted to be a dancer and did you think you'd also teach it? I never wanted to be a dancer; it just happened. As did was all by accident. Well, nothing really happens by accident though does it? Salsa is definitely my path!

What's your career path been to get to this role? I started dancing and teaching in Bermuda 13+ years ago at the Islands only Latin dance school at the time and eventually I got tired of the tiny community and the expensive travel costs to get to congress and festivals. I needed to be in a nonstop dance city in order to train and grow, so I decided London was going to be my new playground. On a reconnaissance trip in London in February 2015 I connected with a couple of dance schools and when I moved to London permanently in December 2015 I started working at one them them which I still do today - Carmelo Latin Dance Academy.

You hear about Ballerinas training all their lives to be able to dance, is this also required for Latin dancers? No formal training here! The Latin social dances are different though. We operate within communities where knowledge is gained in a very organic way: on the social dance floor or in class and workshops. We don't take exams because it's not regulated (and I hope it doesn't ever become that way). Whilst I do think everyone should be educated to a basic level, in order to survive in the real world as a dancer or teacher, some business knowledge is always handy.

Is there a dancer you aspire to? Or a company you'd like to dance with? I'm sure if I named names you wouldn't have a clue who I'm talking about....But for years my (Bermuda) partner and I followed a spectacular team called 'Tropical Gem' of Milan, Italy, I still fan-girl over them now whenever I see them perform, they're out of this world!

What advice do you have for others considering this as their profession? Have a backup plan because your body will fail you long before your mind does. In other words, you can't dance forever, so figure out how you can earn a living in other ways, like teaching, online businesses and investments.

What's the biggest misconception about what you do? OMG don't get me started! (angry face). Everyone assumes I watch 'Strictly Come Dancing', I really have to try and not punch them in the face while I explain that the mess they see on TV is NOT Salsa or any other recognisable dance. It's a terrible watered-down version of Ballroom dances performed to awful music in order to please the masses...

What does a week look like for you in your work diary? I usually teach a maximum of 8 hours per week (group and private lessons), about 8 hours of rehearsals, 1-2 hours of lesson planning, 4-5 hours of social dancing but every week is different!

What's your side hustle? I was also part of a fire performance team in Bermuda - dancing, spinning, playing with fire - I haven't done it since coming to London but it's on my list of things to do this Summer! I also love books and a good Sci-Fi thriller.

And finally, the question we all want to know the answer to, what are the perks of the job?! Seeing students grow and blossom (especially if they're training for performances). As a pro dancer, we often get travel compensation if we're performing or teaching at festivals. The pay is good but inconsistent, so I'm definitely not it it for the money! But best of all, travelling and making new friends around the world that are just as crazy about Salsa as I am!

A massive thank you to Teresa for taking the time to share her job as a Dance Teacher, I hope you found this interesting and keep tuned for a lot more interviews, I shall be posting a new 'people who do things' every other Sunday, So your next one will be up on Sunday 23rd September.

If you're in a job that you love make sure to DM me on Instagram @greatestformofflatteryblog and I can feature you!