So you think you’re a master baker? You believe that your cakes and pastries should be sold in a bakery or store? Was you that person that wished they had applied for The Great British Bake off? Well we spoke to owner and founder of the Foxcroft & Ginger Quinton Dawson to find our what it takes to steal his job.
Foxcroft & Ginger is an artisan bakery and cafe founded upon the principles of great British food, their breads, pastries & cakes are made in their Soho kitchen using premium flour direct from the mill. Here’s what Quintin Dawson had to say,
Name: Quintin Dawson
Job title: Founder of Foxcroft & Ginger, artisan bakery in Soho and Whitechapel, plus Old Street pop-up.
Company: Foxcroft & Ginger
What does your job role entail?
I do a bit of everything. As an owner of an artisan bakery and cafe I am constantly visiting our locations in Soho, Whitechapel or Old Street to sort things out. If I’m not fixing manual problems I will be in the kitchen baking or thinking of new recipe ideas for the cafe.
I also have to do my fair share of crazy stuff such as hanging from a three metre ladder to move light bulbs – but it’s all part of the fun.
Describe your working day or week?
A typical day for me starts early as I like to catch-up with the Bakers and Pastry Chefs.
All our baked goods are made fresh each morning using our secret sourdough recipe. We do everything ourselves (bake our bread, cakes, chutneys, granola, stuff our sausages) in-house.
After I have caught up with the chefs I tend to work my way around the sites fixing any problems – that can be anything from stock issues, staffing, plumbing issues to electrical faults! Each day is a little bit different.
What key skills do you need to do your job?
You need to know a little about a lot! As an owner of cafe you need to be able to transform from baker or electrician, to a barista, to front of house – all in an hour!
My main background was originally Front of House/Restaurant Manager, but I’ve also worked as a Chef, as well as learning from our Head Chef at Foxcroft & Ginger. I have learnt a lot from him as he used to work in Michelin star restaurants.
I have worked my way from the bottom and learnt a lot of skills along the way.
What made you decide to go for this job role?
My wife, Georgina, and I wanted to create a place where you relax with good food and not feel pressured to pay up and move on.
Before we launched Foxcroft & Ginger Soho in 2010 we had spent over ten years launching successful restaurants so we decided to take the plunge.
Best part of your job?
I genuinely love everything about my job, I can’t choose the best part! It’s amazing to see it all come together and work – from sitting down and writing the recipes to customers enjoying them in the cafe.
Worst part of your job?
There are constant challenges. Always making sure our products are consistently good, even with staff changes. Together with ensuring the service is on form every day is a hard job. However I feel lucky that I work with my wife (she works the business side) as we are on the same wave-length and have the same aim which is to make Foxcroft & Ginger a success.
Most memorable moment at work?
It probably has to be when we opened our first site in Soho on a very small budget, that feeling was very rewarding.
Also the buzz when we launched the UK’s first Cruffin (croissant-muffin hybrid pastry) was very cool. They have proved to be so popular that we sell out every day!
If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?
I would recommend a Chef Apprenticeship scheme as I think you learn more effectively on the job and training as a Chef opens the doors to many other opportunities in the catering industry.
Does work experience really help you to get the dream job?
Yes! My family owned a hotel in South Africa where I used to work every school holiday growing up. The only way to fully understand the restaurant world is to work up through every job role.
Give us a tip on how to steal your job.
Hard work and enthusiasm for the trade you want to be in really pays off.