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IN the aftermath of Christmas, many of us are counting the cost of eating way too much chocolate, cheese, turkey and other indulgent delights.
So it’s either highly appropriate or just plain mean that we should be introducing you to a CEJ client for whom food isn’t just a pleasure but a way of life!
Gareth Kyle, the 2011 winner of BBC’s Masterchef Live and a world record holder – he broke the world record for a non-stop cookathon with a 41-hour outdoor stint in Gateshead in summer 2014 – is also a CEJ client, having worked in financial services since 2011.
We don’t have any gourmet chefs in the CEJ office but we feel confident that if we did, angling for a dinner invite wouldn’t ever be far from our minds. Unsurprisingly, Gareth says many of his contracting colleagues have had similar thoughts on finding out he’s a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen!
He reveals: “My colleagues are largely supportive and are forever asking me to cook for them!"
“I haven't yet as I usually travel for work which makes it hard as I don't have ingredients and equipment with me - I’m looking to get my own place close to the office soon so once I have my kitchen kitted out I will be able to indulge them!”
The good news for his banking colleagues is that that shouldn’t be too far away. Gareth’s story is as good an example of following your dreams as you’re likely to find and the killer combination of hard work and talent has meant success has never been too far away.
“I have been interested in cooking since I was five. I started as a keen amateur cook; my interest developed into an obsession and now I get to work on a variety of different cooking and food related project, including pop-up restaurants, cooking demonstrations at food festivals, event catering, private dining experiences as well as TV and radio work. Things are going really well – I'm currently working on a TV series for our local TV channel in the North East as well as planning some pop-up restaurant events for 2017.”
Gareth’s enthusiasm shines through even when he’s asked about the less glamorous of his twin roles. He adds: “The best thing about contracting is the flexibility and autonomy I have in terms of my location and working pattern. It hasn't necessarily led to any jobs but it has certainly led me to meeting numerous people who have been able to help or introduce me to other opportunities, such as suppliers, event spaces and prospective customers!"
“I really enjoy the way things are at the moment and have a great balance - you never know what's around the corner but I feel fortunate to be in a position that should I leave contracting, I am well placed to take on more work on the cooking side.”
Like many of our clients, Gareth’s a passionate advocate of the CEJ app (if you haven’t started using it yet, there’s all the information you need here) and says: “I enjoy being a CEJ client as everything is straightforward and designed with the client in mind – and I'm a big fan of using the app to update my bookeeping spreadsheet!”
As ever, if you have any questions just email Jo (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ben (email@example.com) or Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org).