Rufus Wickham – My worst job

22 January 2010
Rufus Wickham – My worst job

Rufus Wickham is head chef at Kettner's in London.

What was your worst job?

I was sent to a contractor as a chef de partie by a temping agency when I was 19. Apparently they were short-staffed and under pressure but when I got there a really dull sous chef sat in the office and gave me instructions while she gossiped and drank tea with another chef de partie.

What was so bad about it?

On my first day the sous chef handed me one of those old electric egg beaters with the two mini whisks that turn in on themselves and asked me to whip 40 litres of cream for piping onto Angel Delight!

They had a planetary mixer but I couldn't find any attachments; the only hand whisk I could find was a giant-sized one that looked like it had come from the clown act at Zippo's Circus.

However, it seemed kind of appropriate for the task, so I brushed off the dust and cobwebs that had gathered on it, rolled up my sleeves, poured the cream into a huge gastro and just went for it. I think they were a little scared of me after that - "who is this nutcase sweating and growling in our sleepy kitchen?".

What did you learn from the job?

Work hard - if you infect your workplace with energy and life you will be happy to go there every day.

What is the best bit of your current role?

The team at Kettner's has really gone through a renaissance. We have gone from strength to strength and have learnt to work together in the best possible way to get the most out of this incredibly challenging building.

When I started at Kettner's it was a really hard place in which to work. Now, through great teamwork, we have created an exciting and rewarding place to work in. It's a lot of fun to be here.

What's next?

To stand in a circle among the spent party poppers, Champagne corks and canapé crumbs, look each other in the eye, and toast a job well done.

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking