An appetite for learning

Staff development and training is a top priority in any workplace to boost the morale of employees.
At the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, executive head chef Richard Yearnshire actively encourages his team to further their careers.
His career as a chef started when he was 17, and he has worked at a number of high-class establishments including the Hilton Kensington in London and the five star Hyatt Hotel in New York, climbing the hospitality career ladder through training and development.
At the Aberdeen-based hotel, Richard  has a fantastic team of chefs working alongside him who share his dedication and passion about good food and great ingredients.

Richard, 39, supports the development of his workforce with on-the-job training, and staff are continually developed with a new knowledge of current trends and also kept up-to-date about classic techniques and skills.
He said: “At Ardoe, my kitchen team is responsible for cooking dishes for the award-winning Blairs restaurant and Soapies Bar, along with any food required for corporate functions and weddings, which means it is essential for them to further their learning at any given opportunity.
“I am a very process-driven person with a checklist for everything to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity each day, and I carry out a daily bite-sized training session for 10 minutes each morning as part of the continual development of my staff.”
Richard is passionate about the farm to fork ethos, and recently he encouraged his employees to swap their kitchen uniforms for waterproofs and wellies in the name of staff development.
“To give my staff a better understanding, I took them out of the comfort of the kitchen at Ardoe on a number of site visits,” he said.

“During our travels we spent time at a number of different locations including a fishing boat, bee hives, butchery, and a pig farm – giving a better understanding of where our produce comes from.”
For Richard, every day is a learning day in his kitchen, and he still gets a buzz from unveiling new recipes to managers at the hotel. He said he loves all aspects of his role at Ardoe, but seeing the development of other team members and watching them grow into future star chefs gives him great satisfaction.

He said: “Being a modern executive chef these days, is not just about the cooking, it’s also about good training and development of your team to ensure consistency and greater standards, and at the same time it is essential for me to keep my staff continually motivated and inspired.”


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