1% Better S3,

Mark Anderson – Bringing Culture & Coaching to the Kitchen! EP135

November 07, 2019

Mark Anderson is the Culinary Director for Ireland at Gather & Gather and has long career in the food industry. Not content with just accepting the status quo, Mark has been looking at ways to incorporate a coaching mindset into food creation and working hard to develop a better always improving culture to his work and life. It was a pleasure to chat with him for this week’s episode.

A summary of the topics covered in this one with Mark is below.

  • Where the passion for coaching and culture comes from?
  • Starting out washing dishes at the age of 18 and working this way up from there
  • Training as a Chef in DIT in Dublin thanks to his parent’s encouragement
  • Getting the opportunity to travel the world as a chef and growing to love the work
  • The job provides Mark with the opportunity to be creative, innovative and develop his skills
  • Moving more into business catering has helped Mark develop his business skills
  • Continually learning by returning college to study sport psychology and coaching
  • Having a mindset of continual improvement is the key stone of his approach which means keeping our chefs up to date with market trends, visiting new suppliers, farmers markets, new restaurants, and partnering with market leaders in the industry to ensure we are leading specialists in catering
  • In his current role, Mark’s Key areas include menu design and innovation during mobilisation periods, culinary development and training our many talented chefs at Gather & Gather
  • Believing that the food industry in Ireland is at the tipping point and ready to break through!
  • Blinds spots in personal and self-development – Boundaries & the use Language
  • Simplify things – get your message across in a few words and sentences
  • Understanding your principles and values and ensuring your boundaries are clear
  • Empathy being the next Big thing!
  • Empowering Team members — Bringing Values setting into the teamwork in the kitchen
  • How learning has changed over the year
  • Picking up a lot of learnings from Gather & Gather’s customers in the business sector and applying these to the work in the kitchen
  • The media portrayal of what it’s like working in a kitchen is very different to the reality – only ever experiencing a toxic environment in 2 kitchens over the years
  • If the culture isn’t there, it’s very obvious – the restaurant isn’t busy!
  • The positive impact reality TV shows focused on Cooking has had on the industry
  • Always wanting to better himself
  • The skillset that’s needed to run a kitchen is very broad – the cooking is the easy piece!
  • How to create a better culture in the kitchen – tools and techniques
  • Building a team dynamic in the kitchen are very similar to that on the football field
  • Brining Innovation to work
  • Dealing with Feedback to the Team – feedback is instant in the restaurant or kitchen
  • Measuring success using food groups and having conversations that are real!
  • Using visualization and key words on how you want a kitchen to look, sound, feel!
  • Dealing with some of the big challenges & threats in the food industry
  • Offering chefs the opportunity to carry on learning and growing. It’s one of the things I love best about this industry.
  • Being inspired through his involvement in Arklow football club and learning so much through coaching that lead Mark to want to grow more
  • Using the imaginary backpack with your skills and tools that can be useful in life
  • Outside of the Day job running a speaking event!
  • Stepping outside the comfortzone running with a full day Speaking event in Dublin with sport psychologists and fitness experts to share tips and approaches.

Learn more about Mark:


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