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Sunday, 16 October 2016

5 Questions - Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron of Tredwell's, Covent Garden

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
Earlier this year myself and Nicola had an eventful trip to London where we had plans of enjoying a few Michelin meals and great nights out however I was struck down with a tummy bug which meant that we had to cancel some of our plans. I did manage to struggle my way through Sunday Roast at Marcus Wareing's The Gilbert Scott as well as a fantastic lunch at Galvin at Windows but our Saturday night dinner plans for Tredwell's (another Marcus Wareing restaurant), sadly had to be scrapped. Prior to going to London I had been tweeting with Chantelle Nicholson, Group Operations Director of Marcus Wareing Restaurants and Chef Patron of Tredwell's and had been looking forward to meeting Chantelle on the night however I had to settle for a tweet from her on the Sunday morning to check how I was feeling.
Chantelle is one of the hardest working women in the hospitality industry who for the last ten years has been part of Marcus Wareing's team, working her way up from sous chef to her current position as Marcus' right hand woman. During this time she has picked up numerous awards and received recognition from her peers in the industry whilst working tirelessly to ensure that the group deliver top quality food, drink and service to all of their guests across their three venues.

In 2009 Chantelle's talent and contribution to the hospitality industry was recognised and celebrated and she was awarded an Acorn Award.

In 2011, she had to transfer her talents to the operational side of Marcus Wareing Restaurants, helping it launch its second London restaurant The Gilbert Scott in St Pancras. Chantelle has held the principal role of Operations Director of the restaurant group since 2014 and in the September of 2014 she drove forward the opening of Marcus Wareing Restaurants latest venture Tredwell’s in Covent Garden. In October 2015 her dedication and hard work to Tredwell’s was celebrated on a national level as it saw Tredwell’s win the coveted award of ‘Best new restaurant – London’ at the 2015/16 AA Hospitality Awards.

In June 2016 Chantelle took on the role of chef patron of Tredwell’s, alongside her role as Group Operations Director for Marcus Wareing Restaurants. More recently, In July 2016 she was once again recognised when Chantelle won the prestigious ‘Manager of the Year’ award at the 2016 Catey’s.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
Here's Chantelle's story;

How did you get started?

Originally from New Zealand, I trained as a lawyer, before discovering my passion for food. In 2004 i entered the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship competition and got through to the final, where I met Josh Emett, who was then head chef of The Savoy Grill in London. Impressed by my skills in the competition Josh offered me a job to work with him at The Savoy Grill which I accepted without hesitation.

I quickly packed up my life in New Zealand, moved to England and it was at The Savoy Grill where I first met Marcus Wareing who was Chef Patron. Just as I had with Josh Emett, I was quick to impress Marcus and having gained experience in all areas of the kitchen in 2006 Marcus asked me to join him at Pétrus as sous chef.

Despite the long arduous hours and pressures of the job I continued to perform highly, advancing quickly to senior sous chef, then spending the next few years taking on pivotal roles in several more of Marcus’s esteemed restaurant kitchens.

When Marcus launched Marcus Wareing Restaurants in 2008 I worked by his side, proving myself invaluable to Marcus' new business.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give to aspiring young chefs?

Hard work and sacrifice will get you to your goal. Remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?

I hope to continue doing what I'm doing just now as well as having the chance to develop some great people over the next 5 years.

If you could only cook one of your own recipes, what would it be & why?

That would have to be the Tredwell's Gin & Tonic Cheesecake - it's dessert and Gin with lemon all in one!

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

​You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why?.....and what's on the menu?

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott

It would have to be Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group in order to pick his brain. As for the menu, it would have to be Champagne and Foie Gras to start, followed by Rib of Beef with triple cooked chips and a bottle of Petrus, finishing with a fresh raspberry trifle.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Chantelle Nicholson, Marcus Wareing Restaurants, Tredwell's, The Gilbert Scott
I've asked a number of chefs what advice they would give to anyone considering a career in the hospitality industry and there seems to be a common thread - work hard, hard work and sacrifice - Chantelle is testament to what can be achieved if you follow that advice.
I would like to thank Chantelle for taking the time out of her very busy schedule to answer 5 Questions and which her ever success in the future.
Myself and Nicola have booked another trip to London for the end of the year so we will be rescheduling our dinner at Tredwell's and all going well, I might even be able to thank her in person for doing 5 Questions.
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