261 days ago
Caroline Jarvis started out as a food service assistant at Santander Bradford but her inquisitive nature saw her make swift progress to the role of chef de partie. She recently completed her NVQ 2 in Food Production.
Caroline helps serve breakfast and lunch to Santander's employees as part of a nine-strong food service team which completes 600 transactions on average each day.
What did you do before you became a chef with Sodexo?
I worked in a fast food restaurant. When I started off at Santander I was working on the counters and operating the tills, but then I started to work more in the kitchen to the point where I was able to assist the chef.
I looked after the salad bar chopping up the vegetables and things like that but then I needed to offer more help in the kitchen when the chef wasn't there. I was offered the chance to take my NVQ and I progressed from there.
How has Sodexo helped your development?
I would never have done an NVQ by myself. But because it was offered it to me, I took it and I enjoyed the learning aspect of it. I'm always up for learning something new. I think Sodexo has helped a lot, especially the team here. I feel that everybody here has helped expand my knowledge. My manager is always saying that she sees potential in me and it's nice to feel that people believe in me.
You took part in the Street Food Challenge earlier this year. What was that experience like?
It was very interesting. I learnt how to use the new Santa Maria Spices, learnt what street food is and what is expected. It was like the next step in broadening my culinary skills and progression to be a chef, because I'm not fully trained as one yet but I'm the process of it.
What do you like most about working for Sodexo?
I absolutely love learning and getting to try out new things. I do enjoy a challenge and I adapt very well to situations. When I see a problem I'm quite good at working round it.
What are your main responsibilities as a chef de partie?
Can I say everything!? I support the chef, help with counters and the till, take on computer-based tasks – anything really. They say: “Caroline can you do this?” and I say: “Sure no problem.”
I love the fact that I can do everything. We offer a variety of dishes from the basic jacket potato to hot deli sandwiches, and from traditional main courses like beef bolognaise to the live cooking bar.
What's the most useful piece of advice you've been given?
To have confidence in myself that I can do it. That is said to me a lot around here because it is something that I lack a little bit. But then once I start doing something I realise I can do it.
What are your future plans?
I'd like to do the next part of the NVQ, improve my knowledge of cheffing and go further with that. I've always wanted to be a teacher, so eventually I'd love to teach the subject too.
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