Anthony Shepherd joined Peach this year as a Support Head Chef; training and strengthening our teams, stabling the ship, and bringing motivation before moving on to the next challenge. Anthony brings a ‘get the job done’ attitude to our kitchens, building confidence in the junior team and passing on managerial skills to our senior members. He’s a natural leader, gains respect quickly, and inspires the brigade each day.
Here’s more about him:
Anthony, tell me us about your military career; How long? Your rank? And where you worked?
I started my military career in 2001 when I joined the Royal Air Force, quite daunting for y1 a 16 year old who was vertically challenged! I joined as a chef and completed 7 weeks basic training followed by 25 weeks at the catering school. Once passed, I had the opportunity to go to Chequers for three days to cook for the Prime Minister, which was an experience.
I did three tours, one in Afghanistan, one in Kuwait and one in Basrah. A four and a half year career followed, leaving as acting Corporal.
What’s been the funniest memory?
The funniest moment has to be watching nearly fifty recruits do drills on the parade square, when each and every one dropped their rifles! I’ve never seen anything like it. Luckily, they weren’t loaded.
What made you leave, and why did you join Peach?
I became a Dad in 2005 and worked in a private school for a year before we relocated to Scotland. PTSD is thankfully well talked about these days, and it took me nearly a year to get over it. With the help of my friends, family and counselling, I came through the other side.
I started working as an agency chef, and got placed in a Peach Pub. After a week of working there, the Head Chef offered me a permanent position, and I never looked back.
Peach offered help and support, as they do for all new team and I’m excited to be a part of the continued military recruitment. I’m confident I can bring further understanding and help train other Chefs in the business to become better in their roles and help ex-military transition into civilian life. Like life in the forces, we’re one big family here, and I work in a team with a wealth of knowledge and passion for the job, both in the kitchen, and back of house.
What was the hardest thing about transitioning into civilian life, and who helped you the most initially?
The transition wasn’t too difficult. I used the same set of values I was taught in the military to progress in my catering career and personal life. Friends and family were always there to give advice – I’ll admit, sometimes I didn’t listen, but we all make mistakes! I made some longlife friends in the military and most I’m still in contact with now.
Why is catering a good career choice following a military career?
I think catering is a great career choice. We’re welcoming and don’t judge, we have punctuality nailed (invaluable in catering, and we could teach others a thing or two in this department!) and we’re hard working, with the stamina needed to work long hours. We’ll do anything to achieve the goal – whatever that might be, and will help others to strive to achieve their best, and most of all we work as a team, we don’t leave anyone behind. We have all the skills needed in hospitality without even realising we do.
Any advice for people joining us?
Peach develop you, and are there to help and assist. There is a wealth of knowledge in the group, and if you have the drive and determination, you will succeed.
Quick fire round:
Sushi or Spam?
Open fire or sunny garden?
Prosecco or pint?
Pint of course!
Early start or late to bed?
Late to bed
Steak or lobster?
Dancing on the bar, or table for 4?
Table for 4 – I’m getting on a bit!
Saturday night or Sunday papers?
Ketchup or Daddies?
If you’re from a Military background, and looking for a new career, we’d love to hear from you. We’ll support you through the transition, and regardless of experience, ensure you become a confident, knowledgeable caterer. Our exceptional training will guide you through the ranks, and you’ll have every opportunity to achieve your goals and enjoy a new, successful career. We’re recruiting both Chefs and Front of House team, so if you’ve got a passion for good food and a thirst for knowledge, please get in touch.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07701 311 723.