5 Big Questions: THEO CLENCH

 

Who would do the graft needed to be a Head Chef in the 21st century?

Did the Covid-19 pandemic change the restaurant industry forever?

And what is it like to have a Michelin star?

 

In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to Executive Chef of Akoko THEO CLENCH

 

 

  • Twitter: @akokorestaurant
  • Insta: @cheftheoclench | @akokorestaurant

Known for:

  • Executive Chef – Akoko
  • Brand Ambassador – Krug
  • Former Head Chef – The Portland Restaurant (one Michelin star)
  • Former Head Chef – Bonhams Restaurant (one Michelin star)

The 5 Big Questions:

    1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
    2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
    3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
    4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
    5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

“It was twelve, thirteen years of climbing the ladder. Starting at the bottom every time.”

“I think every restaurant has little photos of all the critics in the cloakroom somewhere, that you see before you go into the kitchen every morning.”

“My friends who are now at Head Chef level – we don’t run our kitchens like they were run when we were junior. You’ve got to get the best out of people and screaming and shouting at them all the time is not the way to do it. You’ve got to build up their confidence, build up their skills. As clichéd as it is, you are only as good as your team.”

“Brexit has decimated our industry and many industries, especially combined with Covid. People have gone home and can’t come back.”

“Trying to get the next generation in is the only way that we’re going to be able to fix this, in the long term. But trying to entice them into an industry that’s had some bad press before, all the long hours, it’s tough. It takes a certain type of person to want to put the work in. I’ve done years of hundred hour weeks.” 

“Everyone spent a year at home and you couldn’t go out. So people were cooking a lot more at home and becoming very good home cooks. I think that may be the death of the chains and the casual restaurants. Why would you go out and drop thirty quid when you can make a nice meal at home?”

Useful links

This episode was recorded in November 2021

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts

 

Never miss another Possibility Club podcast

Access 150+ podcasts featuring a diverse range of innovators, change-makers, leaders and disruptors from across the worlds of business, culture and education.

Norman Cook | Andy Burnham | Lemn Sissay | Charlotte Church | Michael Rosen | Jimi Famurewa | Matthew Taylor | Stella Creasy | Tim Harford

Latest posts
NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex – new webinar series
NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex – new webinar series

NEWS: Modern Slavery in Sussex webinar series Changing the Conversation around anti-modern slavery  In a continuation of our stakeholder communities work with The University of Sussex we bring you a new series of 5 Changing the Conversation webinars on Modern...

read more
NEWS: We’re hiring – Project Officer 2x job vacancies
NEWS: We’re hiring – Project Officer 2x job vacancies

NEWS: We're hiring! Project Officer (x2) Come and join an award-winning teamProject Officer Contract details: 2x positions - one full time, one part time 30 hours per weekLocation: Home based, with some meetings in Sussex.Salary: £25,000 - £27,540 pa, pro rata +...

read more
CASE STUDY: Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator
CASE STUDY: Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator

Case Study: Events, Engagement & FacilitationWSCC Recover & Rise Digital Accelerator  ContextAs part of West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) Economy Reset Plan 2020-2024. The Recover and Rise programme was introduced to find an engaging approach to...

read more
NEWS: UKRIO has launched 4 year strategy
NEWS: UKRIO has launched 4 year strategy

NEWS: UKRIO launches 4-year strategyFollowing a 6-month project with always possible, the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO) have launched their new 4-year strategy. UKRIO is an impressive and well-respected national charity. Their work underpins high quality...

read more
PODCAST: 5 Big Questions – CAROLYNN BAIN
PODCAST: 5 Big Questions – CAROLYNN BAIN

5 Big Questions: CAROLYNN BAIN  Why will intentionality change the world? How do we challenge word of mouth book recommendations?  And what is the difference between not-racism and anti-racism? In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to book shop owner,...

read more