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Ross Packham-Brown

Commis Chef at the Grand Hotel

Ross Packham-Brown is a Commis Chef at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne and has been at the Grand since 2015.
Ross Packham-Brown is a Commis Chef at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne.  He is 21 and has been at the hotel since June 2015 working firstly in the fine dining Mirabelle Kitchen, and now in the Main Kitchen which caters for multiple outlets including Restaurant, Lounge, Room Service and Banqueting.
What/ who inspired you to become a Chef?
My old Head Chef – Alex Studd -  at the Lamb Inn in Wartling.  I started there as a Kitchen Porter when I was 19.  I was interested in what he was doing and showed some enthusiasm so he taught me the basics like knife skills and veg prep.  A few weeks later he offered me a Trainee Chef position.
Where did you train?
I signed up to Sussex Downs College to do Level 2 Professional Cookery, however I was able to do work based learning which meant I did most of my learning on the job, with just one day a week in college. 
What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
That every day is different and you never get the same day twice.  We change our menu frequently and I am constantly learning.  As a chef, I will always learn for the rest of my life.  Working at the Grand, I also get to go out to careers fayres and schools to share my passion for cooking and hopefully inspire others to join the industry.
What do you least enjoy? 
The days when things go wrong.  When food gets sent back it is hard to deal with, but we cook it again and then when the guest is happy, we are happy!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the industry?
Do a college course to learn new skills.  Don’t expect an easy ride!  It is long hours and it is tough being a chef, but it is really rewarding and you get a  real sense of team work.
What are your career ambitions?
To be a really successful chef and own my own gastro pub one day.