Kew & A with Holiday Inn Milton Keynes East's Head Chef

Cooking through COVID-19

What challenges has your hotel faced with COVID-19? 

As a hotel I don’t think we have had challenges as such – we have had to work much more efficiently and closer as a team than ever before to ensure that we complete everything as best and as safely as possible. The biggest challenge is probably the unknown but we combat this together.

What support did you feel you got from KGH?

Huge support. As a head of department, I feel KGH have looked after all staff members through communicating their furlough options effectively and supported security teams with necessary updates throughout the crisis.

How has this experience affected your opinion of KGH?

I have always had a positive opinion of KGH but this has really enhanced the value of “we trust our teams” and I feel more part of the family knowing we are all going through this together.

What has been your biggest personal challenge through this time and how have you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me is having such a close working relationship with my team members and not being able to see them and talk to them every day. I have had 2 team members with birthdays this month and not being able to give them a hug or say happy birthday face to face has been tough. We have overcome this with a joint FB chat and lots of video calls! Plus surprise ‘social distance’ presents

What’s the biggest thing you’ll take away from this experience?

That not knowing the answers is ok. Nobody knows how long this crisis is going to last and what the long term impacts are but being able to say that to the team and have them understand this is amazing. I feel like I have their support even when I don’t fully know myself.

What has been the most memorable and inspiring moment for you in this?

Cooking roast dinners for the lockdown troops and being “mother hen!”; making sure they all get a good, cooked meal when I am on shift.