Stars in their Eyes

September 1, 1999

Many celebrity chefs attribute much of their success to the people who work for them.

Ken Hom, for example, says his success is the product not just of his own talent, but is due to a lot of luck and other people helping him over the years.

Heathcote make similar comments about Gnoyke.

And Heathcote reveals he has a motto that any person “can only ever be as good as their number two”.

“It’s always been a golden rule with me that all my chefs and managers need a good person supporting them if they’re to do their job well. And that’s just what I’ve got in Max [Gnoyke].”

But the impact of their stardom does not rest just with the celebrity chefs themselves; the fame often has a huge effect on the people that work for them.

Max Gnoyke, executive chef director for Paul Heathcote’s three restaurants, tells a similar story of job development since joining as Heathcote’s sous chef six-and-a-half years ago. As Heathcote has become more widely known, more responsibility has come his way.

“My job is more interesting and there are different challenges that come up because Paul is well-known,” he says. “At the end of the day, there aren’t enough hours in the day for him to solve everything and take all the decisions any more and it’s up to me to make his life easier. I have a lot of autonomy in this job, taking decisions and tackling any issues head-on.”

But additional opportunities and wider responsibilities are only one side of the story; working for a celebrity chef also involves additional pressure. When a diner walks into a restaurant they know is owned by.

Gnoyke, too, agrees that additional pressure is an aspect of a career with a celebrity chef. “People’s perceptions of a Heathcote establishment are different from other places and I think they’re higher because he’s known.

“Some people walk into the snack bar in Preston with the same expectations they’d have of a meal at the Longridge restaurant, so we constantly have to put the highest quality food on every single plate.”

Source: CatererSearch

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