St. JOHN has six operations: two restaurants, a commercial bakery, a retail bakery, a winery and a wine import company. Each of the enterprises is unique, but they all adhere to the distinct style and philosophy which gathers all branches of the business under the St. JOHN umbrella and makes them so instantly recognisable. Each is at the beating heart of the vibrant community in which it was established.
St. JOHN Bread and Wine
When St. JOHN Bread and Wine opened over 15 years ago it was originally intended as a takeaway counter and bakery for the bread for which St. JOHN had become lauded, as well as takeaway wines, offering small plates for those who stopped by as they collected their supplies. But its position as a restaurant in its own right soon overtook the original intention and soon Bread and Wine became the busy and much-loved restaurant that it is today, still espousing chef and owner Fergus Henderson's nose-to-tail philosophy and widely credited as the pioneer in the first wave of small-plate, seasonally focused restaurants now ubiquitous in East London.
St. JOHN Bread and Wine is open from breakfast through to dinner, seven days a week.
St. JOHN Bread and Wine's head chef, Farokh Talati, is looking for an enthusiastic and adaptable junior chef to join his small and dedicated team. Working a 48-hour week over just 5 days, the role is extremely varied and so offers amazing opportunities for development on the job - indeed, Farokh emphasises that attitude and aptitude are more important than experience for this role.
The menus at Bread and Wine change daily, and continue to evolve throughout the day, according to the good things brought in by our farmers, fishermen and foragers: Fergus says "Nature writes your menu, and you should listen". This means that St. JOHN chefs are continually learning new skills, from butchery to ice cream bases, and as a small team each chef is responsible for a hugely varied selection of activities over the course of a week, covering the grill, the garden and pastry too.
The St. JOHN kitchen is built on principles of teaching and trust. Fergus Henderson, chef and co-founder of St. JOHN, insists on a culture of kindness in the kitchen and reminds us that the most important thing to teach a chef is how to rely on their instinct. He says: "Remember to be gentle with each other in the kitchen. Imagine being plunged unprepared into a hot oven – you would tense up pretty sharpish too, so your treatment of chefs needs to be the same as their treatment of the braise: patient and trusting. Braising is intensely personal, a moment reflecting the nuances of instinct, touch, palate and preference. At St. JOHN we are consistently inconsistent, and the final plate will vary from chef to chef, yet the quality will be a constant if the chef is happy".
And finally, each month, in an initiative to support learning, explore the St. JOHN repertoire and ensure that each of the chefs gets time with Fergus, we have The Cookbook Challenge: each of the chefs in turn is asked to choose a recipe from Fergus' Complete Nose to Tail, one that particularly means something to them, which they will then work through with Fergus talking in depth about how he would like it served, its quirks and its significance. The chef then takes ownership of that recipe, passing the insight on to others in the kitchen. It's a wonderful way to share knowledge and understanding, and to show everyone that they are part of a whole.
The candidate will be responsible for:
The ideal candidate should have:
St. JOHN would prefer:
St. JOHN offers an amazing, inclusive and social working environment with a strong emphasis on the 'culture of kindness'. We offer two staff meals a day (winner of 'Best Staff Meals' in an industry-sourced survey by The Code), as well as a glass of wine or beer when your shift finishes!
The discount is good across the restaurants, with 50% off food Monday to Wednesday for tables of up to 4, and 25% off food Thursday to Sunday. Wine is charged at takeaway price when you drink in (so you can drink a £90 bottle of wine for around £25!), and at cost price to take away.
There are regular, in-depth wine tasting/training sessions to further your knowledge as well as off-site supplier visits to cheese makers, farms and more!