Day in a life of Head Chef Robert Potter at The Bybrook
We followed Chef Robert Potter for the day as he runs The Bybrook, his Michelin-starred Restaurant.
At 5 am, I get up and get ready to go to work for my Breakfast shift. To share the work load equally, every chef at The Manor House including myself do a shift of breakfast once a week. On a regular day I would get up at 7:30 am ready to start my shift at 9 am.
I officially start my shift at 6 am. My first stop is the kitchen to switch on all equipment and prep for breakfast.
At 7 am, Guests start to arrive for breakfast from their rooms and the kitchen starts to spring into action.
Around 10 am, we stop serving breakfast and clean down the kitchen. During this time deliveries tend to arrive so the team starts on stock rotating whilst I check the orders, ensuring it is the right quality produce for the restaurant and to ensure nothing is missing.
We start 'mise en place' around 11 am. The casual dining menu also starts at this time, serving brasserie style food. Orders for this tend to fluctuate but it is incredibly busy during the summer months. At the same time we prepare staff lunch for 30- 40 people.
At 12 pm, the kitchen team and I sit down for lunch for around 20 minutes. I think it is so important you sit down as a team and just take a breather from all the hustle and bustle.
At 12:30pm, we start to cook for all working lunches, conferences, lunch parties and banquets. The main restaurant is closed at this time but we continue to receive orders in for our casual dining and room service menu during this time.
Around 1:00 pm, some of the chefs go out to harvest vegetables, salads and herbs whilst a couple remain to prep fish and meat and another works on making sauces and purees. I tend to jump on the section that needs most help at this time, often I can guess from the orders that have come in but also from speaking to each section of the kitchen.
Whilst the pastry team is serving afternoon tea around 2 pm, I take the time to sit down to catch up on paperwork and emails. There is a lot of paperwork that comes with my job including creating menus for weddings and big events that the sales team require from me, signing off invoices, contacting suppliers and checking prices and ordering for the next day, I also have to ensure to look after my staff, checking holiday requests and creating rotas.
At 3 pm, I check if there are any jobs that are outstanding and then check seasoning on sauces and purees as we make these from scratch, freshly every day and as a Michelin-starred restaurant we have to be consistent with everything that we do. We also make staff dinner at this time.
At 6 pm, we serve staff dinner and take some time to take a break, have some food and catch up with our colleagues.
Evening service commences at 6:30 pm in the Restaurant with canapés to start.
Last orders are put in for the evening around 9:30 pm. During this time we still offer our casual dining menu and any room service which is something we serve 24/7.
At 10:30 pm, we finish service, clean down the kitchen and set up for breakfast to make it easier for the chef that is on duty the next day.
I roughly get home around 11:30 pm, get ready for bed and after such a long day, I often just fall asleep.