Explore: Food production

Concept Development Chef
Gibson Food

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Paul C

00:00:02 Ok, my name is Paul C and I’m a concept development chef and I work at Gibson’s Foods. A concept development chef is someone who comes up with new ideas or develops customer’s ideas from initial conception and right through to launch.

00:00:18 At school I enjoyed subjects like art, the creative subjects. I didn’t like so much maths. I always used to think in maths, “I’m never going to need to use this, when am I ever going to need to work out percentages or ratios or anything like that.” But it turns out now I use a lot of maths in my job now.

00:00:40 I left school and started as a process trainee at Cadbury’s. Spending two years working in every department throughout the company and it was while spending my time in the development department they then offered me a job at the end of my two year training. A lot of the departments were quite boring and didn’t appeal to me. Accounts, goods in, things like that and it was once I got to the development department I really loved it. The creativity and everything and I think that’s what helped me get the job. I applied myself more to it because I enjoyed it, you know, when you enjoy doing something you’ll stay and do extra hours and, you know, you want to do it and that’s what happened.

00:01:30 I was happy working there and there was no plans to sort of do anything different or to move higher or do anything like that and then just one day I noticed a job at Debenhams in their head office in London and decided to apply for that. I didn’t even expect to get it, it was more for sort of interview practice and things like that and then they offered me the position as food development manager. Well, it was different because I moved to London. I moved away from family and friends first and foremost. And it was slightly different because it was developing food for their in store restaurants and coffee shops so it wasn’t just chocolate biscuits. It was lots and lots of different things and but again, it was interesting, it allowed me to be creative. I was there for two years, and two years in London was enough for me. It was just after things like 9/11 had happened. We worked right on Oxford Street, that’s where the head office was and we kept getting evacuated. A lot of tube stations were being closed down every day. It was getting a pain to get home so I decided, also I was getting a bit older and wanted to look at settling down and I wanted to settle down back where I grew up. I went back home to my parents’ house which I hadn’t lived at for six years or whatever which was hard in itself. You know, you’re losing some of your independence and but luckily it wasn’t long before I got a development job working for a company called Granswick.

00:03:12 Well, I did leave the industry for a short while. I set up my own business when I stopped working for Granswick I left to open a delicatessen and coffee shop. After the business opened Cafe Nero opened four doors down which hit us quite hard, we didn’t have a strong enough Christmas as we thought we were going to have. My daughter was born in December and we had to make a decision. I was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week and not paying myself very much so we decided we could either carry on pumping money in and seeing if we could come out or I go out and get a job which, you know, provides holidays, no weekend work. So, we decided to go for that. At the moment I’m really happy, especially with, you know, my daughter being so young and being able to spend time with her. This is how I, where I want to be at the moment. ENDS


Paul C is a Concept Development Chef at Gibsons Foods. He opened a delicatessen and coffee shop, but had to work so hard at it that he hardly ever saw his baby daughter. So he gave it up for a job with regular hours, holidays and free weekends. Now he can spend time with his daughter and that’s the way he wants it to be.

More information about Chefs

average salary

The UK average salary is ÂŁ29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

78%  male 
22%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Chefs plan menus and prepare, or oversee the preparation of food in hotels, restaurants, clubs, private households and other establishments.
There are no formal academic requirements. Training is provided off- and on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs, BTEC Certificates and Diplomas and foundation degrees are available. Apprenticeships leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 3 are also available. Courses are also run by private cookery schools.
  • Requisitions or purchases and examines foodstuffs from suppliers to ensure quality;
  • Plans menus, prepares, seasons and cooks foodstuffs or oversees their preparation and monitors the quality of finished dishes;
  • Supervises, organises and instructs kitchen staff and manages the whole kitchen or an area of the kitchen;
  • Ensures relevant hygiene and health and safety standards are maintained within the kitchen;
  • Plans and co-ordinates kitchen work such as fetching, clearing and cleaning of equipment and utensils.
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Head offices, etc 1392
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