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Amy started working in hospitality at the age of 17 but not in the kitchen but as a server at The Watergate Grill in Chester. It was during her time her when she asked the owner why they didn’t make their own desserts to which he replied “make something and we’ll sell it” Amy took up the challenge and where her interest in food began.

“I really enjoyed working at the Watergate Grill especially as they gave me the opportunity to show what I could do in the kitchen. At 19 I decided I wanted to learn more about the industry so started a catering & hospitality course at college, but soon realised it wasn’t for me as there was a lot of front of house service and not enough cooking which is what I was really interested in. It didn’t take me long to figure out I would learn a lot more on the job whilst having the added bonus of getting paid – It was a no brainer”

Amy secured a job at a little French bistro called Francs which is where she met the first influential head chef who helped her further her love of food. After Francs and wanting to gain more experience she moved to Chester’s popular restaurant Chez Jules. For the next few years Amy made her mark in the kitchen and quicky rose from a Commis chef to a Sous chef in her first year at the age of 21.

“I learnt a lot at Chez Jules and will always be grateful for the opportunities they gave me. It made me hungry to see where else a career working in kitchens could take me so I decided to learn to drive and applied for a position as a roving chef for Brunning & Price. I quickly decided I wasn’t quite ready, so instead I went to their newest site they were opening in Chester, The Architect as a Chef de Partie and again quickly rose to the Sous Chef position.”

At the age of 25 Amy decided to take a break from kitchens and instead wanted see the world. Cue a 6-month adventure around South East Asia before finishing her travels in Spain. On her return she joined an agency where she worked in various event kitchens, hotels and gastro pubs around the North West.

“It was nice to be back doing what I loved but I really missed the stability and routine of a permanent position in one location so when I was offered a job with Nelson hotels at The Pheasant Inn I snapped it up. It was here where I first met Jamie Smith, Parogon Executive Chef. It was him and a lot of other very influential chefs that really shaped who I am today. The Pheasant held a rosette so I learnt a whole new set of cooking methods and techniques and due to the location, I got really into foraging and seasonal cooking which then led me to gardening”

After working at the Pheasant Inn for 3 years Amy stepped away from the kitchen to turn her hand to gardening. However, by February 2022 she was back in hospitality walking through the doors of Parogon’s newest venue the Broughton.

“I started at the Broughton a few months after it’s opening and I had only been there for a couple of months when I was approached to see if I would be interested in a new position that was being created as a back of house skills trainer for the whole group. I snapped their hand off and haven’t looked backed. I love it. As a whole we’re a huge group but I love hearing the individual stories of growth and progression and I am proud to be part of that story”

Since starting the role Amy has played a key role in rolling out Parogon’s new training platform and ensuring their culture of training and developing it’s people is championed.

However, it’s not all about work and in Amy’s downtime she is either climbing, adventuring or playing music which is a huge part of her life.

“A little weird unknown fact about myself is that I used to eat toothpaste at my gigs to settle my stomach which is either some kind of strange placebo or wise words from my mother!”

As Parogon continues to expand, and our work force becomes bigger, the work Amy is doing is a great addition to the company, and her passion for developing and training people will Parogon’s training culture continues to evolve.