What is a Stage?
A stagiaire is a trainee and a stage is a period spent in a kitchen, either at home or abroad, learning skills, cooking techniques and soaking in a different atmosphere. Being a stagiaire is about exploring different cuisines, different management styles and brigades, and fundamentally working out what kind of a chef you are.
At Way of the Chef, we understand that to be a chef is to be in a constant state of education, and staging is arguably the most greatest way to learn.
Can you imagine taking a break from your usual chef duties and working for a week under Massimo Bottura at the world’s best restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena? Or perhaps in Paris with Alain Passard at Arpège? Or maybe your dream is to experience classic British hotel dining under John Williams at The Ritz.
Some of the world’s best chefs admit that staging shaped their careers to come…
But how do you know which stage to take? What kind of restaurant would work best for you as a chef? Which cuisine? And where?
We endeavour to stage in as many restaurants as possible across the UK and Europe in order to provide unique insight into the dynamic and varied world of the chef so as to provide inspiration for future stages.
One, two and three star kitchens, little restaurants you’ve only heard of in passing, restaurants abroad and right at home, even bars, butchers, frigates and airports. Our goal is to cover the lot.
With interviews with famous chefs and features from outside the kitchen and in; there really is so much to experience, whether you're a chef yourself or not, and Way of the Chef is here to help you on your path.
About The Secret Stagiaire
Tom Gatehouse is a food journalist, a columnist for Restaurant Magazine and an industry expert on staging in kitchens. You might know him as “The Secret Stagiaire”.
He actually started off as a sports journalist living in Hong Kong - but has now staged in 30 different restaurants, with 50 in his sights.
His love of food, stemming from his time in China, led to a curiosity of the kitchen and, in 2015, Tom teamed up with former Restaurant Magazine and Times writer Chandos Elletson to create “The Commis”, the world’s first chef newspaper.
Tom started a regular column in the paper where he would work as a stagiaire in different restaurants across the UK, with no previous chef experience, and report back for chefs interested in new kitchens.
A combination of fear of continuing to fall flat on his face and a new-found love for the art of cooking saw Tom join a kitchen full time in 2016, working for a year so as to really understand what it is to be a chef.
Now, as “The Secret Stagiaire”, Tom teams up with the world’s best chefs to answer one question over and over: What’s it like to work there?
An eternal stagiaire, with a bit of sous chef now thrown in; Tom started Way of the Chef in order to pass on his knowledge and to enflame the desires of chefs looking at the many brilliant opportunities the industry offers.
Chef life is never easy, but no-one can say it isn't absolutely fascinating.