Our second University College Birmingham student Hannah has been giving us a 110% at The Almanack, Kenilworth, and has dreams of owning her own food truck serving high quality food at festivals. Here’s her Peach story so far…
“At the Almanack, we’re a team of 9, as it can get extremely busy in the kitchen. I’ve enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy working alongside chefs sharing a range of knowledge that I’ll continue to use in the future. The Almanack produces dishes that are made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offer a casual, yet premium dining experience.
Peach really value their employees and guests, as well as having a great business ethos, and choosing them over other options was an easy decision. I’ve learnt a range of recipes, improved my knife skills, and have grown in confidence as well as really understanding the importance of working in a team.
Working as a chef definitely poses challenges, and for me, keeping up communication with the front of house team has taken time, but I’ve become more confident, with time, to be able to give clear instruction. Being able to understand all the orders coming into the kitchen has been difficult too, but I’ve overcome this by asking questions and making sure I know what I’m doing. All this helps service run smoothly.
The best thing working for Peach is that I know I’m working for a company that strives to provide the best dishes for their guests, as well as offering dishes that cater for guests with specific dietary requirements. I think this is so important in the food industry today.
There really isn’t many negatives with Peach. With any job, you’re not going to get on with everyone, as personalities do clash. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a respectful working relationship with them. I’ve learnt to put differences to one side and work together to get the job done. Some of the most important skills in a kitchen is to be able to use your own initiative, communicate well and be confident in what you’re doing. I’ve learnt to trusting my own instinct by not doubting myself. This is something I have struggled with in the past and I feel working for Peach on my placement has helped me overcome this.
Putting my hand in a bucket of gravy thinking it was a bowl of soapy water! I haven’t lived it down.
Who I admire?
In the industry, I really admire Lorraine Pascale. She makes recipes that highlight homemade cooking and her recipes easily cater for a range of people!
Favourite dish at The Almanack?
The Chickpea, Apricot & Sweet Potato Tagine with Giant Couscous & Mint Yoghurt. I prefer veggie dishes and love Middle Eastern food, there’s so much you can do with the flavours, and this dish works really well.
If I was to join the Peach team full time after I graduated, it would be because of the clear learning pathway they offer, allowing me to progress as a chef. It’s also a company that uses good ingredients, producing fresh, premium food.
For anyone looking for a placement, my advice would be to do something that you enjoy doing, so you get the most out of it.