A COFFEE WITH GUY RAWLINGS by CGC
Espresso or Cortado?
I shared a coffee-on-a-rush with Guy Rawlings, we came across the other day at the coffee shop.
I’m constantly bothering him with questions; he’s always kindly and smiley answering all of them.
This one is on me: cortado for him, espresso for me.
We have five minutes before we return to our duties.
It’s not a necessity but it certainly helps, because working all positions in a restaurant really helps with perspective. Being able to relate to the people you work with in the restaurant, understanding their stresses and tasks is very helpful in a role where you are guiding and teaching others.
What are those important lessons learnt at that time?
That it is not a fun or respected job. Hence the importance of respecting dishwashers, taking care of them and making sure they are a part of the family and not alienated because they work independently.
Best and worst memories?
The best is that you usually get any food that was a mistake, treats are always nice and your finger nails are very clean. One of the worst things is that if you’re tall and you’re bending into the sink all night, your lower back will hurt badly and, in addition, the skin on your hands starts to fall apart.
And the craziest thing you have ever done in a kitchen?
I am a family man now and I cannot share such memories… (and his smile turns into laugh, infectious laughter)
Any tips and suggestions for our beloved bubble dancers?
- Be ready for hard work. There are always opportunities in restaurants, so show your work ethic and dedication and move your way up
- Never call in sick
- Get some good hand moisturizer
Guy Rawlings is, above all, a non-stop innovative chef, an always-curious professional, a willing-to-learn-and-practice-new-things person. As a natural consequence, a couple of years ago he got embarked on his last adventure, Room 203: not a restaurant but an “event space and food lab” where he throws private multi-course dinners. He is also the General Manager of Bar Isabel and he’s being a menu consultant for different restaurants, Bellwoods Brewery and Bar Volo, among others.
He reckons he’s living a good professional moment “doing the stuff I want to do”, although he has done all the way up from the very bottom: he first entered into this culinary world when he was 17 working as a dishwasher at Milestones restaurant in North York. Born in England and raised in Toronto, his curiosity brought him from New York to Beijing going through London, Copenhagen or Berlin. And between all those countries, jobs and experiences if there is something he has learnt pretty good, is that sometimes you have to do things that “you don’t necessarily want to do” but that teach you and make you a better professional.