June 7, 2023
Discover more about Ashley Wells, Culinary Director for Treehouse Hotel London.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of the Culinary Director for Treehouse Hotel London.
The day starts by visiting each venue, completing the daily legal opening checklist and ensuring that they are set and ready for the day ahead, I then visit the loading bay to check that the deliveries for the day have come in correctly and the produce is of the expected quality. At 11:00 we do an AM Chefs briefing where we go over the bookings for the day and any upcoming events after which it’s a quick inspection of canteen to ensure they are ready to feed our hotel team lunch from 11:30. At 12:00 we are in lunch service and I will base myself in a venue that is particularly busy, has a group/event or needs the extra support. After lunch service, its checking the produce orders for the next day and some admin time, future projects planning, rotas, menu changes, food costings etc before our second team briefing for the day at 17:00 for the PM team. Finally, the day ends seeing the venues into dinner service and my time to head home will be dependent on how our busy our venues are on that particular day and if they need assistance.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I’m from a large family (3rd oldest of 13 siblings) and we were all very involved in the daily duties in the house growing up. I would usually be in charge of the cooking and through doing this I realised that I enjoyed cooking and it was the career path that I wanted to seek from a very young age. Christmas and Birthday presents were often recipe books such as Keith Floyd’s American Pie and the newest recipe book in my collection would dictate the families dinner menu for the coming weeks so my parents and siblings would choose what books to give very carefully.
What have your experiences taught you?
My experiences have taught me to be calm and not react too quickly in the majority of situations. I think it is important to have all the information so you can make an informed decision over knee jerk reactions and getting it wrong. I also firmly believe you are nothing without your team, you need them to help deliver your vision and I see it as a very important part of my role to look after and support them as best I can so they in turn look after each other and our guests.
What’s your favourite work of art in London?
The empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, I always like seeing what will pop up next as the temporary resident piece of art when I pass through the square.
Favourite London Park or Garden Square and why?
Green Park, in a previous job a walk through the park would be the last part of my commute to work and the first part of my commute home, it was always nice to see the park change with the seasons and despite being in the middle of London was a very serine way to both finish and start the daily commute.
Did you have a Treehouse growing up, or what’s your favourite childhood memory?
We didn’t have a treehouse but growing up on the Kent coast we did have a beach hut and I have fond memories of long summer evenings on the beach enjoying a BBQ dinner and all having to squeeze into the beach hut should a Summer storm pass over.
What’s makes the perfect summer in London?
Meeting with friends in a park on a sunny day, putting a blanket down and enjoy catching up in the sun over a few cold bevvies and snacks.
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