Every month we bring you an insight into the hottest catering and hospitality talent of the future in our Rising Stars section. This month University of Derby student Scott Carlton talks about his inspirations and aspirations as he prepares for a career in the industry.
Name: Scott Carlton
Course title and college: International Hospitality Management (MA incorporating PG Cert/ PG Dip), University of Derby.
When do you graduate?: 2009
When did you first realise you wanted to work in hospitality?: I was about eight when I†first thought about becoming a chef. I had a unique childhood of being brought up on either home-grown fruit and vegetables or other locally-sourced produce and this upbringing has heavily influenced my development as a young chef, where I place big emphasis on locally sourced British produce. In addition to my current studies, I’m undertaking several consultancy projects with local restaurants in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area, as well as looking at my opening my own restaurant.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?: I can’t single out one particular achievement as every aspect of my career to date is just as important to me as the other. I have worked in a range of country house hotels and gastropubs such as The Unicorn in Nottinghamshire, and The Crewe and Harpur in Derbyshire. I have also had the opportunity to discuss British produce with Prince Charles, work with leading chefs such as Kevin Gratton of Caprice Holdings and Max Fischer of Baslow Hall. Academically speaking, my biggest achievements have been getting a Foundation Degree in Professional Culinary Arts, a 2:1 degree in Professional Culinary Arts and Business Operations and lastly progressing onto the Masters program with the university.
Where would you most like to work when you graduate?: I am looking at opening my own restaurant in Buxton, Derbyshire, however that isn’t going to happen overnight, so whilst developing the business plans and everything that it entails, I would like to tour around the UK and Ireland, finding the best produce available to us, and possibly work in several British themed restaurants so I could broaden my knowledge. I’m a big believer that you never stop learning throughout your lifetime.
Who do you most admire in the hospitality industry and why?: From being a market leader in the industry I would have to say I am a big admirer of Gordon Ramsay. Whilst our training backgrounds may be different, his drive for perfection has an influence on my own career and the number of Michelin stars he has gained gives me something to aspire to. Rick Stein and Gary Rhodes are high on my list as well, with their commitment to British cuisine matching my own. Closer to home, I owe a lot to past and current chef lecturers and tutors.
What are you looking forward to most when you graduate and start work?: Developing my career. I have always been a very independent person and I have confidence in my own ability, however I am always telling those close to me to kick me if I get too carried away and verge on becoming arrogant.
What do you think will be the biggest challenges you will face?: With regards to opening my own restaurant, in the short to medium term the current economic climate is going to make it difficult to open and keep a business running, so the biggest challenges for me in this are finding the right location, matching the style and price of dishes to the demographic of the area and making the business work when consumers are tightening their belts. However, I do see opportunities in the current climate to kick-start the restaurant industry in and around Buxton. A significant challenge for me in the long run is challenging the term British Cuisine. Whilst I’m fanatical about it, what actually is it? In my career I would like to answer that question, whilst always pushing the boundaries of quality forward.
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