Staff 7: Kevin Masters
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).
Our chef at Spurs Lodge, Kevin Masters, is next in line for our staff Q&A interview.
How did you get into the catering business?
I was always very interested in cooking. I worked in a few restaurants and hotels and really caught the bug and then went into our family business for about 10, 12 years. I decided hat was a little too time consuming so I went back into contract work.
How did you end up at Spurs?
It was just how the cookie crumbled. I work for US Catering and saw internally that there was a vacancy to work at Spurs Lodge and as I was always very sports orientated, that opportunity really appealed me.
What qualifications do you generally need?
What most restaurants look for is City & Guild 706 1 and 2. I was lucky to be trained in a classic environment whereas now it's MVQ. I got 706 1 and 2 and was lucky enough to do 2 at Westminster College.
How important is food and nutrition in the game now?
Hugely important and not just in football, sport in general has been taken over by science in order to make players more competitive. From my point of view at Spurs Lodge it's important the boys have a recovery meals so there is plenty of white meat, fish and pasta. Food is very important.
What is the most popular dish?
It's different. The Academy boys have more double sessions so they like things like lasagne, pasta bakes, foods they build up on fuel where the first team boys have a very concentrated session so they want recovery food, so they'll plump for something like fish. They eat in very high-class restaurants as well so fish is probably their main dish.
What do you enjoy most about being at Spurs?
The sport connection with the physios, masseurs all around. It's their life and their hobby. All these guys have been there and done it at the highest level. I like the commeraderie as well because I've always been a rugby man.
What advice would you give to budding chefs?
Unless you want to live the business, don't go into it. This is not generally a 9 to 5 job. My advice is to get a good education at somewhere like Westminster College where they will teach you the basics very, very well. Get involved in a good kitchen, a kitchen that cares and if you are lucky you'll get to work under a head chef who will take you under their wing. You have to invest lots of time. I used to do shifts for nothing, come home and write down what I learned. You can't beat that experience.