By Denis Sheehan MIH, Publisher, H&C News: Peter Avis wants to welcome a Kitchen Porter for lunch at Galvin at Windows soon, is it you?
Peter Avis FIH, General Manager, Galvin at Windows began his working life as a Kitchen Porter in Miami, the starting point of an incredible career. A career that he not only enjoys immensely, but is also enormously grateful for.
Peter and I met recently at his restaurant, and amongst much discussion around how the hospitality industry provides opportunities for people, he shared many lessons from his own experience.
Along the way to where he is now, his story centres around gratitude for the opportunities he enjoyed. He is also grateful to many people he met along the way who encouraged him to network in the industry and learn from others.
The Kitchen Porters Club, which H&C News operates for Meiko UK came up in our conversations, a project I enjoy operating and Peter enjoys following. The Kitchen Porters Club is a twitter community for Kitchen Porter’s, and all who appreciate the tremendous work done by Kitchen Porter’s in the engine rooms of hospitality and catering. The twitter account posts a mixture of Kitchen Porter job posts, Kitchen Porter related news, and attempts at humour. Not for everyone, but it does enjoy an expanding community of engaged followers.
Back to gratitude. Peter reflected on a number of occasions where along his journey people made time to talk with him and provide advice on how he might develop his career. How becoming a member of the Institute of Hospitality enabled him to get out to industry events and meet people, and how generally experiencing hospitality helped propel his professional development.
During our lunch Peter excused himself from the table to speak with other diners on a couple of occasions, but when doing so invited another member of the team to join me and talk about life at Galvin at Windows. It was very evident from those conversations much of what Peter had learned was passed on, as was the emotion of gratitude. I remarked as much to Peter, who without a moments thought replied, “I received a lot of help from people throughout my career, and as such I help anyone that I can. It’s just my way of trying to give back a little of what I was given.”
I was intrigued with Peter’s story of how by his own admission, as a young lad of 17, who wasn’t really going anywhere, he took advantage of an invitation to venture from Liverpool to Miami to train as a Kitchen Porter, did so, and has never looked back.
Part of the story revolves around how the restauranteur in Miami that gave Peter his first start, took time to explain to Peter how being the best Kitchen Porter he possibly could be, could lead to an amazing career in hospitality. Little was he to know all these years later how true his words would become.
As the discussion developed, we came upon the idea to provide a similar opportunity to a Kitchen Porter that is keen to develop their career further. What if through the Kitchen Porters Club we were to audition for one Kitchen Porter to join Peter and I for lunch we mussed, to discuss how they might further their career.
So we are, if a Kitchen Porter would like to take advantage of this opportunity just head over to the Kitchen Porters Club and through a reply to this tweet let us know why you would be our ideal guest for lunch. Or, fill in the form below.
Apart from the benefit of the advice Peter will undoubtedly impart, the food is outrageously good, service even better, and the view of London’s skyline unique.
The winner will be announced on 31st March, we will then liaise with the winner on a suitable date for lunch.