Hello! Can you tell us a bit about yourself please?

My name is Michael Jones and I am a chef. I attended Teesside High and then went to Middlesbrough College where I was inspired to study a BTEC in Hospitality Supervision.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing is the amount of free reign I have to create new dishes. I like the fact I’m not sat at a desk, I’m on my feet doing some proactive and I’m really passionate about making new dishes.

Have you had to overcome any challenges to get to where you are now job wise?

At school I found that there was a lack of emphasis on catering jobs, especially for being a chef, I felt like teachers were pushing certain careers that didn’t interest me and they were surprised when I said I wanted to be a chef.

If you could tell your younger self some words of advice now what would you say? 

Just to go for it! Just do what you want to do even if teachers say you don’t have the right skills there are always courses or other routes outside of school and college. Turn up to classes on time even if you don’t feel like it, it will be worth it in the end.

Did you have a role model to look up to as inspiration when you were younger? 

Chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Tommy Banks are big inspirations to me due to the type of food they create. Tommy is from North Yorkshire and is a Michelin starred chef and I’ve worked with him a few times which was really great.

What is a typical starting salary for your career, and what could you potentially earn?

You would typically start as a commis chef which is the first stage of becoming a chef and your salary would start from £17,000 and after that the world is your oyster – you could earn up to £35,000 as a Head Chef.