- Joined Oct 8, 2001
I have only recently joined Chef Talk but all ready I have picked up some great advice and tips. With so much experience and expertise at hand I thought I might ask for an outside view of my problem.
I have always loved good food and cooking but have always done it as an amateur. I have often dreamed of being able to do something food related for a living. I nearly took the plunge a few years ago when I went to work as a kitchen porter for Raymond Blanc whilst I taught myself web design.
He was opening his new restaurant in Cheltenham and it was my first experience of a professional kitchen - it was extremely hard work and being a kitchen porter made a lot of the work extremely tedious but whenever I got roped in to help the chefs I loved it. At this time I was in my late 40s with 5 kids still living at home so when the conversation turned to asking the Head Chef to take me on as a trainee I shied away from it because of the hours and it would mean a drop in salary.
From there I became a freelance web designer but that all started to go wrong after I nearly died from a burst appendix which resulted in me being unable to work for over two months. I was just starting to get over that when I had to go back into hospital for a massive hernia opeartion which put me off work for another month and then the dotcom collapse resulted in all web work drying up.
Through all of this I have developed and grown my web site Hub-UK because it enables me to keep my web skills honed and keeps new ideas coming in on the food side.
At the end of March because things were looking pretty bleak with the web design business I took the job of Night Supervisor at a local hotel. It is something I really hate doing as it destroys my life through lack of sleep and it gives me very litttle time for myself or family. If I have two days off the first is spent in bed and on the second one I cannot go to bed like a normal person because I must sleep on the day I return to work. Considering the hours we work (11pm to 7am) and the responsibilty we have, the job is extremely poorly paid.
Sorry if I have been a bit long winded but that gives you the background. Now I would like to do almost anything that got me out of working nights but there are problems. Two of our children are still only 7 and 8 so they have to be looked after when school finishes and be taken to school in the morning, as well as the problem of school holidays. Both my wife and I work but our combined salaries barely give us enough to make ends meet so if I was to change jobs it would have to be for considerably more money to enable us to pay for child minders.
In my ideal world I would like to devote myself full time to running Hub-UK but that would mean finding a sponsor or sponsors or other financial backing. I have all ready extensively explored that avenue (it may be that I never made contact with the right person) so until there is an upsurge in investment on the internet I have to forget that. Another idea that has come to me is about setting up a small catering business - not to the end user but supplying hotels and restaurants with things like ready made desserts, starters, etc. The problem again is lack of experience and knowing where to start.
I have now passed the big five-oh which makes things slightly more difficult. With the business of working nights and running around doing all those other things necessary to maintain the family there seems very little time to step back and think about the future. My wife and I both know we want to move away from where we live now but that is as far as we seem to get.
Does anyone in the group possess a magic wand or is there a millionaire out there who would be prepared to back Hub-UK for the next two years?
To give you some clues you can find my online CV through my profile.
I hope this is not seen as too tedious a post nor too off-topic.