How I Got Here: Paul Fletcher

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Paul Fletcher innovation chef Bar and Block Steakhouse restaurant

Related tags Steak Casual dining Whitbread

The innovation chef for Bar + Block Steakhouse has a CV that includes Chez Gerard, Scott’s and Argentine steak houses Buenos Aires and Gaucho.

Why restaurants?
I’ve always had a passion for food and making people happy, it gives me real pleasure putting smiles on the guests face and seeing them really enjoy their experience.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Experience is key!

What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family and making great memories, I find cooking and entertaining guests very rewarding and therapeutic too.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
One of the best restaurants I’ve been to in a long time is Dylan’s in St Albans. The food was simple, and the chef let the great produce do the talking, plus the staff were really attentive and knowledgeable of the products and dishes. I think Cote is another great brand who deliver honest and affordable food, and make you feel like you’re in an independent restaurant rather than a chain.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I always wanted to be a pilot or a coach delivery driver in Spain - which my parents keep reminding me.

What motivates you?
My little boy, and seeing people enjoy my food on a daily basis.

Where was your last holiday?
Just got back from the IKOS in Halkadaki, Greece - it was so good we have just booked to go. The food, drink & service was the best I’ve ever had from a hotel complex.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
Back in the day when I started my apprenticeship, Groupe Chez Gerard gave me an amazing opportunity and if it wasn’t for them, I would never be here today - unfortunately they’re not around anymore but I’m forever grateful. Working for Jamie Oliver and Gennaro Contaldo were two of the biggest influences for me in realising anything is possible and I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

What keeps you up at night?
Writing recipes.

Best business decision?
Pushing to get my favourite South American beef in our latest proposition.

What are you reading now?
I don’t read much to be honest; I prefer to work my way through restaurant magazines and cook books - you can never get enough ideas from both channels.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Work hard and stay committed to the job and you will be rewarded. Plus, respect your colleagues and the food you’re working with.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
It seems like industry has lost its back bone a bit, as much as the newer restaurants out there are great and funky, it has seemed to have lost the finer detail when it comes to service and standards and I’d love to reinforce this.

Related topics Casual Dining

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