Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Thu 11 Jul 13 4:11pm

MGX

Member
Member since Thu 11 Jul 13

Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

Hi everyone.
This is my first post but i've been reading the forums for a while and have got some great advice and tips on recipes already, not to mention following the interesting discussions regarding food in general, so thanks! :-)

I was wondering if somebody could maybe give me some advice. I'm 24, went to catering college for 2 years when I was 18 and since I was 20 i've been working on and off in restaurant/commercial kitchens. I'm really not enjoying it and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for an alternative career/own business involving food? I've had a few thoughts already but wanted someone elses input.

Any advice/tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Mikey.  smile

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#2 Fri 12 Jul 13 2:00am

cannyfradock

Member
Occupation Builder (bricklayer/ stonemason)
From S.Wales.
Member since Sat 10 Oct 09

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

Hello Mikey.......welcome to the forum.

Some people may scorn you or disapprove of all that education in the catering industry going to waste, but I know exactly where you're coming from.

I'm only an enthusiastic foodie and love cooking and baking etc, but I don't think I could fit into the regime of a working kitchen.....not in a fixed place anyway. It sounds like your heart is set on the catering industry but you can still work in catering without being tied to one kitchen.

There are many opportunities to be had from things like mobile catering (I'm into mobile wood-fired oven catering) ....hard work and very often takings depend on our climate!!.....or micro bakeries or pop up restaurants etc. It takes a lot of self confidence and a little cash ...and lady luck needs to smile on you now and again but there's lots of avenues you can pursue within the catering industry to keep your passion of food alive.

Terry

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#3 Fri 12 Jul 13 3:30am

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

I do freelance catering and private "cheffing".


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#4 Fri 12 Jul 13 6:10am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

Another avenue might be HACCP certification or similar. You're not likely to be cooking but I would assume kitchen experience would be useful in a quality role.

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#5 Fri 12 Jul 13 11:38am

MGX

Member
Member since Thu 11 Jul 13

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

cannyfradock wrote:

Hello Mikey.......welcome to the forum.

Some people may scorn you or disapprove of all that education in the catering industry going to waste, but I know exactly where you're coming from.

I'm only an enthusiastic foodie and love cooking and baking etc, but I don't think I could fit into the regime of a working kitchen.....not in a fixed place anyway. It sounds like your heart is set on the catering industry but you can still work in catering without being tied to one kitchen.

There are many opportunities to be had from things like mobile catering (I'm into mobile wood-fired oven catering) ....hard work and very often takings depend on our climate!!.....or micro bakeries or pop up restaurants etc. It takes a lot of self confidence and a little cash ...and lady luck needs to smile on you now and again but there's lots of avenues you can pursue within the catering industry to keep your passion of food alive.

Terry

Thanks for your reply, Terry.

I understand what you're saying. I don't really see it as going to waste as it's taught me alot and i'll definitely be using the knowledge learnt at college and the experience gained from working in the restaurants for what I do next. And yes, my heart is set on the catering industry.

Mobile wood fired ovens sound really cool big_smile  i'd never heard of them before. I'm really into the 'street food revolution' that started off in the U.S and has now become quite popular in London and other big cities. I'm based in Brighton and think something like that would do really well here. I looked into a catering trailer a couple of years ago and found that the council/laws/regs are an absolute minefield (I think there was at least a 2 year wait for a pitch) so that's something i'll have to look into. Seeing as the street food trucks aren't in the same place all day this could be a way around that...

Thanks for the tips smile

Mikey

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#6 Fri 12 Jul 13 4:29pm

Maree

Forum super champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

MGX wrote:

I looked into a catering trailer a couple of years ago and found that the council/laws/regs are an absolute minefield (I think there was at least a 2 year wait for a pitch) so that's something i'll have to look into. Seeing as the street food trucks aren't in the same place all day this could be a way around that...

I looked into this for one of my other food businesses some years ago and more recently. I found that mobile or not, the Council /laws/ regs were just about untenable.

I'm in Australia but speaking with friends in other countries I've found similar. The bureaucracy has a problem (hasn't caught up with trends) with food businesses per se. Of course I understand the health/ food handling/ storage issues but ...

Here (regional Australia), my local Council had a problem with the whole "mobile thing". Don't know what they thought I'd be doing - stopping in "No standing zones" or clear-ways during peak hours or what ...

In Sydney (2-3 hours away) it doesn't seem a problem. Here, it was just "too hard" for the moment. I may "fight" that "battle" another time. At the moment, I focus on other avenues.

Good luck with your ventures smile.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#7 Fri 12 Jul 13 6:36pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

Two of my sisters trained at carering college but after a short time working in the catering industry they both went towards different cerears. I think that the time spent in the industry taught them a great deal , and this has followed them through life.

Have you thought of front of house work ?
Mobile catering such as the street food scene that you mentined is taking off , its taken off in a big way in London and I hope it will be a concept that spreads over the country more.

Pizza ovens have been mentioned...Union Jacks has a mobile pizza van . sorry I tried to insert an image and failed miserably . the pizza van was used at this years food revolution day party , pizza's  cooked were made by school children and they were also sold at the event.

Private catering for parties etc could be another consideration  as are things like supperclubs , and masterclasses ....
I had the great pleasure in meeting Leluu who holds masterclasses in Vietnamese cookery in London as wel as running supperclubs, writing a cokery book ( which will be out in October I think .. I'm pretty excited about this ) wrting a blog and a whole host of other things.if your on face book have a look at her page .

well those are just a few simple ideas,I look forward to reading how your cereer change developes.

Last edited by mummza (Fri 12 Jul 13 6:51pm)

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#8 Fri 12 Jul 13 7:19pm

cannyfradock

Member
Occupation Builder (bricklayer/ stonemason)
From S.Wales.
Member since Sat 10 Oct 09

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

Mikey

If you decide to venture out and "go it alone" you will hit red tape whatever you do. Saying that...if you wanted to look further into mobile catering then the criteria isn't so demanding. Once you're ready to rock'n'roll you must register your name or company with your local authority. The enviromental health brigade will want to inspect your unit once you have a pitch. You will have to have a minimum of class 2 health and hygene certificate (this can be carried out on line for about £25....but you've probably got one anyway)....by taking your class 2 h&H you will have learned the basics of food temperatures, hygene and storing food......which the environmental health check is all about anyway.

You will also need public liability insurance (about £150) a year and have a "risk assessment" on board (a common sense piece of literature in case anything untoward happens within your unit)

There are of course other expenses and bits and bobs to do but that's the general set-up.

The UK..and especially the south coast is rather crowded so don't be put off by 1 venue having a 2 year waiting list...you are 25 miles away from thousands of fairs/markets/venue's. Besides a mobile WFO is different from other mobile food trailers and the big profits come from private functions....once your name is out there.

Choice of ovens will be a headache, but Jamie Oliver has a brilliant portable one in his Dome 60 oven.

If you want some more info drop me an e-mail

Terry

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#9 Tue 16 Jul 13 4:30pm

MGX

Member
Member since Thu 11 Jul 13

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

mummza wrote:

Two of my sisters trained at carering college but after a short time working in the catering industry they both went towards different cerears. I think that the time spent in the industry taught them a great deal , and this has followed them through life.

Have you thought of front of house work ?
Mobile catering such as the street food scene that you mentined is taking off , its taken off in a big way in London and I hope it will be a concept that spreads over the country more.

Pizza ovens have been mentioned...Union Jacks has a mobile pizza van . sorry I tried to insert an image and failed miserably . the pizza van was used at this years food revolution day party , pizza's  cooked were made by school children and they were also sold at the event.

Private catering for parties etc could be another consideration  as are things like supperclubs , and masterclasses ....
I had the great pleasure in meeting Leluu who holds masterclasses in Vietnamese cookery in London as wel as running supperclubs, writing a cokery book ( which will be out in October I think .. I'm pretty excited about this ) wrting a blog and a whole host of other things.if your on face book have a look at her page .

well those are just a few simple ideas,I look forward to reading how your cereer change developes.

Hi Mummza. I haven't considered front of house work as i'd like to be doing something where i'm directly involved with the food. It does seem to be taking off doesn't it, i'd also like to see it spread around the country more. It's exactly the kind of cooking I like to to do in my spare time!

Haven't really thought of private catering or masterclasses as I feel I may not have enough years of experience under my belt for that yet, maybe in a few years though.

I love Vietnamese cookery so will check out her FB page, thanks! :-)

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#10 Tue 16 Jul 13 4:41pm

MGX

Member
Member since Thu 11 Jul 13

Re: Career/own business in food that doesn't involve working in kitchens.

cannyfradock wrote:

Mikey

If you decide to venture out and "go it alone" you will hit red tape whatever you do. Saying that...if you wanted to look further into mobile catering then the criteria isn't so demanding. Once you're ready to rock'n'roll you must register your name or company with your local authority. The enviromental health brigade will want to inspect your unit once you have a pitch. You will have to have a minimum of class 2 health and hygene certificate (this can be carried out on line for about £25....but you've probably got one anyway)....by taking your class 2 h&H you will have learned the basics of food temperatures, hygene and storing food......which the environmental health check is all about anyway.

You will also need public liability insurance (about £150) a year and have a "risk assessment" on board (a common sense piece of literature in case anything untoward happens within your unit)

There are of course other expenses and bits and bobs to do but that's the general set-up.

The UK..and especially the south coast is rather crowded so don't be put off by 1 venue having a 2 year waiting list...you are 25 miles away from thousands of fairs/markets/venue's. Besides a mobile WFO is different from other mobile food trailers and the big profits come from private functions....once your name is out there.

Choice of ovens will be a headache, but Jamie Oliver has a brilliant portable one in his Dome 60 oven.

If you want some more info drop me an e-mail

Terry

Hi Terry.
Thanks for that list, I had it all written down somewhere from when I was thinking of setting up a coffee stall/trailer a couple of years ago but can't seem to find it, it's good to have a reminder. Yes, i've got H+H level two.

I've done some research on the mobile wood fired pizza ovens and found a nifty little Piaggio Ape conversion, bit pricey though at about 13.5k (basic conversion inc Piaggio Ape), and a wood fired oven built on a small trailer at about 5k. Do you have any recommendations for others? (Private message me if you like).

Cheers again,

Mikey.

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