Steve Groves Tells Us His Secret for Comfortable Feet All Day Long
We’re lucky enough to have some pretty high profile chefs as fans of the WearerTech brand. This month, we spoke to one of them – Steve Groves, 2009 winner of MasterChef: The Professionals and Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square Restaurant since 2013 – about his career, the industry, and why he loves WearerTech shoes.
I’ve been a chef for the best part of 20 years now. I started catering college when I was 16. I wanted to be a fireman initially, but I had a couple of years between finishing school and being able to apply for the fire brigade, so I went to catering college.
At first, it was being part of a team, with a common goal that I loved – and it grew from there. I worked in various restaurants in Bournemouth and Poole, and worked in America when I first finished college.
In 2008, I moved to London and started working at Launceston Place. From there I did MasterChef: The Professionals, which is where I met Chef Michel Roux Jr. It was the mother of all job trials, really. I ended up working here, a year or so later.
Happy staff, happy chef
My food style has simplified since I started. When I was younger, I tried to do stuff just to impress people: now I’m more focused on good quality ingredients, treating them with respect, and cooking tasty food that people want to eat.
To this day, it’s working as part of a team, and the creative side of the job, that I enjoy most. I’ve got a team of ten chefs, so there’s a lot to tap into. Everyone has different backgrounds and different experience, so you’re always learning.
Despite big strides being taken to address the long hours and improve working conditions, these remain an issue – and make staffing difficult. There are so many restaurants opening, and the sheer volume of chefs needed to fill all those positions is one of the biggest challenges we face. As an industry, we need to offer better work-life balance. Our staff are what keep our business running – and people are more productive when they’re not working 100 hours a week!
We want staff who are bright, enthusiastic and doing a good job, not struggling to get through the day. Ultimately, when the team is happy, comfortable, and motivated, they’re more productive, too – and that’s good for business.
There’s a lot more focus on health and welfare these days – and safety in the kitchen is a big part of that. Slips, trips and falls are a massive safety hazard in any working kitchen. We’ve got signs up all over the place. The guys are working fast, the floors are often wet and can become slippery… there’s always the risk of falling over, and the injuries that could happen are severe, with hot liquids, sharp knives and heavy objects around the place.
Having non-slip shoes is vital for us, as chefs. We’re bustling around, on our feet, standing up for 15 hours a day. If we can’t stay on our feet we’ve got a problem. Having a comfortable pair of shoes makes a massive difference.
Ultimately, I want a work shoe that’s simple, looks smart, and feels comfortable all day long. I’ve chosen to wear WearerTech shoes because they’re incredibly comfortable, lightweight and supportive.
Personally, I don’t like my feet to be completely enclosed – I prefer open-back shoes – so I use WearerTech Invigorate.
Since choosing WearerTech shoes I feel a lot more comfortable throughout the day. And that helps productivity – I feel I have more energy, and can run around a lot more. If your feet are comfortable it makes a big difference to your day.
“As a chef, I want to look after my feet and I want to look after my hands – those are the two things at the top of my list.”
Would you like more information on WearerTech shoes? Please visit: www.wearertech.com