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45 years, 4 careers, 1 industry!

about 2 years ago by Natalie Smith

Why James is your go to recruiter for your New Product Development and Chef career in the food industry…

James currently is our go to for roles in the food sector within New Product Development, such as;

  • Head of Development

  • Development technologists

  • Development Managers

  • Process Development Technologists

  • Chefs and development chefs

  • Graduates wanting to start out in the industry

James only joined us in January – not even 3 months ago! But he has quickly shown he’s an absolute natural in this world of recruitment, especially in this sector. Why? Because of his fantastic career prior to joining MorePeople.

Find out why James really can help and give you the best advice for your next career move…

From Chef to Recruiter…

Despite not achieving the academic results he may have wanted, James went on to complete an HND course in hotel catering and Management with a plan to go onto bar management in pubs, but he quickly found a passion for cooking. During the course he completed a work placement in a hotel kitchen working with chefs, and loved it so much he then specialised in gastronomy.

This led to his first two chef jobs, the first in a big conference banqueting hotel and then onto a Raymond Blanc Brasserie in Birmingham, which then resulted in James opening up a new brasserie in Manchester.

The next move was onto a Country House Hotel in Lake Vyrnwy, Wales, working as Sous Chef. This came with the added benefit of working with estate management and resourcing local meat and game. Due to the nature of this location and it being pretty remote, the city life was calling and James went back to Solihull, landing his first Head Chef role at a Boutique Hotel Restaurant. Enjoying the challenge of writing menus, costing, managing food supply and keeping consistency across all areas with the hectic life of being in a busy kitchen – then, a recruiter comes into the mix!

A recruiter contacted James – his first experience of working with a recruitment agency. The agency opened new doors for James and saw him enter a new role within Food Manufacturing for Northern Foods. He was working on developing M&S ready meals, sauces and soups!

This then enabled James to move on to Bakkavor as Business Development Chef. He worked on salads, dips, soups, sauces and food-to-go products for a variety of different UK retail customers and ran the chef team. Whilst at Bakkavor James also held a Development Manager role for Tesco, and headed up the Development Team for Bakkavor Salads, sitting on the exec team.

The next move was to Samworth Brothers as Development Manager, developing food-to-go and party food products for the likes of Waitrose, Costa Coffee, Asda and John Lewis.

Enter MorePeople…

After quite the career, it was time for a new challenge and to change things up. What better way to put all James’ fantastic expertise, knowledge and experience to use than recruiting for the same roles, companies and industry he knows so well?! So, here we are, nearly 3 months in at MorePeople.

James comments… ‘What can I say, honestly 3 months have never gone so quickly in my life! Throughout my career I have genuinely enjoyed hard work and now I have entered a new world that at times I feel a bit like a fish out of water but overall, I have loved every second, there is pressure of course, but balanced with a load of fun with a great team who have welcomed me and continue to guide me through the transition. I have never spoken so much in my life and wouldn’t be surprised if some of the candidates who I speak to must be thinking, ‘I need go’, but supporting people and helping them find their next role excites me. Have I made mistakes – oh yes! But who doesn’t - this is learning after all. And finally, I think I can call myself a recruitment consultant now as I have helped 2 of my candidates get their next roles.’

If you’ve made it this far, and you’re open to new opportunities, need new talent for your business or even just want some advice and to know more, then just have a quick chat with James.

You’ll find all his details here, or just give us a call on 01780 480 530 and we’ll put you straight through!