Meet the Team: Rob Sykes
Meet Rob – our passionate, persistent, and caring Demi-Chef de Partie from Middlesbrough.
Tell us about your role
I started working for Kimpton Clocktower as a Kitchen Porter before becoming a Demi-Chef de Partie.
My day-to-day varies from prepping for daily service to leading and planning our weekly pastry prep cycles with the help of our wider kitchen team. I also love to support Derek, our Banqueting Pastry Chef, whenever he needs a helping hand. If you’re looking at the bigger picture, I play an important role in supporting our Head Chef, Tom, by bringing his incredible pastry concepts and creatives to life.
In Tom’s words, “Rob makes it work”.
What led you to this career?
To be honest, my career started with a little bit of luck. I grew up in a small town called Ingleby Barwick, before moving to Manchester seven years ago to study professional musicianship at university. Shortly after, a close friend of mine left her role as Kitchen Porter for the hotel, which was The Principal Manchester at the time, and put me in touch with the team. They brought me on board as a Kitchen Porter, and it was only after three years that I was fortunate enough to move to The Refuge kitchen as a Commis Chef. I instantly fell in love with the job, the creativity, and the artistry involved. From there I worked my way through the different kitchen sections before settling in pastry, where I really discovered my true passion. I have now successfully completed a Level 2 Commis Chef qualification with the support of Kimpton Clocktower.
Let’s talk a little bit about you and desserts:
Your all-time favourite dessert item from the menu and why?
My favourite item on the menu would have to be the chocolate marquise with charred pineapple.
This was the first dish I helped to prepare on pastry, which started my love for baking.
What country is on your food bucket list?
It would have to be Japan. I am fascinated with the culture and culinary technique within Japanese cuisine. From awe-inspiring deserts to the sheer finesse displayed in handling fresh fish.
Before we let you go, what’s your favourite quote?
“I choose to live, not just exist” – James Hetfield, Metallica