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Meet Olaide- Demi Chef-de-Partie

Olaide is a Demi Chef-de-Partie in our Production Kitchens and she tells us what it is like to work in her department.

What’s your role and how do you contribute to the business?

I am one of the 34 chefs in the Production Kitchen preparing and delivering food to different counters in the Food Hall, Roast &Bake and the various restaurants in the building. To mention a few, from salads to the famous salmon & lobster roulades, Beef Wellington and scotch eggs in the traiteur counter, all the sandwiches and pre-packed salad bowls in the sandwich counter and Roast & Bake come from us. We make several dishes in large quantity, which is then finished up and served in the restaurants for example; the fish pies, Bolognese, saffron rice, Shepherds Pie, risotto base, kilos of vegetables, several litres of sauces like mayonnaise, chill sauce, garlic sauce, tartare, hummus to mention a few. Production Kitchen is simply the largest kitchen in the building, not to forget our in house Butchers who are a part of our team.

What are the most challenging aspects of your role?

As it can be said for Chefs worldwide, we spend the most of our time on the job , it all comes with the nature of the job and the passion for cooking is what keeps most people going. You literally spend more time with your colleagues than you do your family day in day out. Having said that, I'd say the people are the most challenging part of my role but it is also the most interesting part of my job. Think about it, the fact that you love your family doesn’t excuse them to be annoying, it’s natural. There are no customer facing roles here, it's just you and your team. There is bound to be friction but the understanding that we are all in the same boat as a team aiming for a common goal simplifies everything and makes work even more enjoyable and memorable.

Use 3 words to describe what you need to be successful in your job?

Adaptability, resilience and hard-working.

Why would anyone want to work in your team?

If you are looking to step out of your comfort zone, this is it because the kitchen will challenge you every day. You’ve also got the opportunity to work on Michelin starred recipes and sometimes with the Chefs themselves, there is a lot to learn during R&D and ingredients that you've never seen before.

"I personally believe being in a team with diverse people like ours, one can develop people skills but it’s totally dependent on the individual."

What has been your best moment since joining Harrods?

Going to Scotland on a 3 day work experience at The Kitchin with Chef Tom Kitchin and getting to watch at the sister restaurant Castle Terrace by Chef Dominic Jack.

Why Harrods?

Why not? Well, I believe there is a place for everyone to thrive and shine at every stage of life, that place brings out the best in you, it’s a place of self awareness/discovery and you will be lucky to find that place. For me, that place is Harrods and I am so grateful to be here each day, it’s been the best career move of my life and to get all the support and development I have been receiving outside of my field like being on the resourcing secondment and currently taking part in the Harrods Management Programme is a sure testament that I am in the right place.


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