How I got here

07 October 2004
How I got here

Tim Gould, 24, joined London's upmarket Indian restaurant Mint Leaf in April last year as a waiter. He quickly demonstrated his ability to the management during a

hectic time, and became head waiter two months later. But the bar remained his first love, and having communicated his interest to his line manager he was rewarded with an opportunity when it presented itself. He was made bar supervisor, a role he's had for nine months now. "I think it's very important to keep your manager informed about where your interests lie," says Gould. "If you don't talk to them they're not going to be aware, and you'll be passed over." Mint Leaf is closed on Sundays, which means Gould gets to work an enviable 45-hour week. Typically this includes a day shift, three evening shifts and a split shift, which Gould makes the most of by heading for the gym in between. As part of his role he trains new bar staff, and also takes the restaurant waiting staff through the many drinks available. Gould started his career in hospitality as a waiter and bar tender at the Star hotel, Worcester, in November 1993. Next stop was the town's Chicago Rock Caf‚ in June 1997, where he was head cocktail bar tender. By December 1998 he had become team coach at Worcester's O'Neill's bar, and in November 2000 he moved to Wandsworth in London as an assistant manager at Young's Brewers Inn hotel. Having worked solidly for years, he got the travelling bug a year later and headed off around South-east Asia. Although he says it was initially hard to find work, in October 2002 he became a cocktail supervisor at the Clock hotel in Sydney after a chance meeting with the manager. Gould believes it was a hugely positive experience working behind the bar there, due to Australians' "creative" approach to cocktails, a world away from the American flaring style made famous by the film Cocktail. Gould loves to be creative at Mint Leaf, and he has plenty of scope to be so, as the bar offers some 280 spirits to entice the customers. "Keep going," advises Gould. "Be prepared to start as a bar back and work your way up from there, because this is where you'll learn your trade." Career highlights November 1993 Waiter and bartender at the Star hotel, Worcester November 2000 Joins Young's as an assistant manager at its Brewers Inn hotel. 2003 Starts at Mint Leaf
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