Martin Bates talks to Tandoori

Posted on Movers and Shakers Jan 2011 - by Tandoori Magazine
Martin Bates talks to Tandoori

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the UK's leading chefs' association. Its chief executive officer, Martin Bates, talks to Tandoori.

What are the aims and objectives of the Craft Guild of Chefs?
The Craft Guild of Chefs is the UK's largest chefs' association. It's a professional body run by chefs for chefs. The Guild has several aims and objectives, ranging from increasing the standards of professional cooking via education and training to raising awareness and greater recognition for chefs and their profession.


As the CEO of the Guild, what does your role entail?
It's very much a role that is about co-ordination. I have a chef's background myself, although I have also held other posts such as MD of Robot Coupe. The Guild was looking for someone to bring an element of business acumen and selected me as its first CEO. The Guild's grassroots members are very important to me and I would certainly want to encourage more ethnic chefs into the Guild. There are skills that cross over from other cuisines, but there are also skills that are unique to those different cuisines.


As someone at the heart of the cooking profession, have you noticed any major changes over the years in this sphere?
Yes, without a doubt. When I was young, being a chef was considered a lowly profession. It wasn't perceived as being very skilful or even a very well paid job. Of course, now our food culture is immensely popular and the world of cooking so much more elevated. That isn't just in the case of back of house, but also front of house. For instance, the Guild works closely with the Academy of Food and Wine, which puts the emphasis on front of house skills.


What is a typical working day for you?
Though I work primarily from home, my typical day can vary enormously. I tend to start the day at 7am and the first thing I do is catch up with my emails. The Guild has over two thousand members and over 80 business partners who help us to set up various masterclasses and events, such as the National Chef of the Year Competition. So you can imagine the number of emails that come into my mailbox. But I can just as well be judging or adjudicating at the drop of a hat anywhere in the UK. It's a very interesting job and I feel very privileged to be doing it.


How do you relax?
Collapsed in front of the TV!


What are your hobbies?
Mainly spending time with my grandchildren.


What do you like to eat and drink?
I have very eclectic tastes but Italian and Greek cuisines are my favourite.


How would you like to be remembered?
As a good grandfather.

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Tandoori Magazine Home of Indian Food
Posted by Frankhef July 09, 2013
Please, how can i get a good Chef school into my country Nigeria?
I will also like to form a Chef association in my country and i'll nedd your help to that regard. Thank you.
Chef Francis
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