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Paul Ainsworth

Chef-Patron

Website: Paul Ainsworth

How did you get into Hospitality?
I was born into hospitality, my parents purchased a five-bedroom bed and breakfast and transformed it into a 10-bedroom b&b with a swimming pool, which in the eighties was ahead of its time. I grew up in it, and I loved it. It taught me hospitality from a very early age, even things like the importance of telephone manner. It is definitely where I get my work ethic, and my parents allowed me to work within the business, as our home was our livelihood.

Total years spent working within the industry?
25 years

What do you most enjoy about this industry?
What I love has two parts. When I first came into the industry, the thing I loved most was taking raw materials, and being taught, learning and understanding how to turn them into something beautiful, which consequently then meant that you were giving it to the customer, and the customer enjoying it and giving feedback. For me, that is an incredible feeling of achievement.

The second thing is the stories and fun. This industry does produce the most strange, weird yet wonderful characters that you will ever meet.  The best way I can describe it is faulty towers, although it was a comedy, it was so true in so many ways. Within hospitality we will do anything we can for the customer, by hook or by crook, we will make it happen.  This creates the most amazing stories.

The single most important piece of advice given to you?
It was from my dad, it was to always be kind, work hard, focus on what you can change, and not on what you can’t, and work for the best.

Have you ever had a mentor?
Yes, Derek Mapp, he introduced me to Padstow and has taught me a lot about business and still continues to up until this day. He taught me a lot about running a business, but also getting the best out of people.

Three dinner guests - who would they be?
Sir David Jason, Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham.

Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is…
Has the potential to be incredible. I say potential because we really have to look at getting the general public to understand the true value of food.  There is so much behind each operation including the supply chain, and it all plays a part in what we do. The price of a dish is not just the piece of food in front of you, and it is really important for the customer to understand and value this.