SERIES TWO – EDITION SIX
In edition six of our ‘Faces behind the Business’ series two, we caught up with Paul Durand, aged 38 Head chef & Company Director at The Little Shoe; a restaurant & micro bakery.
When did you first get into the industry?
I have worked in hospitality most of my adult life. I actually started front of house, behind the bar but used to help out in the kitchen whenever they were a bit short. It didn’t take long to realise that this is was where I really wanted to be.I just loved the sounds, smells, atmosphere and high intensity of a professional kitchen and still do.
I have always preferred to work with my hands and never really imagined myself behind a desk. I worked my way up and have been lucky enough to travel the country and worked with some amazing chefs, each day trying to be a little bit better than the day before. I always knew that I wanted to do something of my own.
How long have you worked at The Little Shoe Liverpool and what is your job role?
I’ve been with the business for over 4 years now on and off. When I started it was only supposed to be a temporary role while I waited to start another job but life has a funny way of surprising you, and now I can’t imagine cooking anywhere else. These days I’m the Head Chef and a company director but I’m definitely still learning the ropes with the business side of things.my partner Charlotte is luckily much better at that side of things.
What is The Little Shoe Liverpool ethos?
Well, me and Charlotte share the same values and we try to make the Little Shoe a reflection of this. We have always tried to provide good food and drink in a nice environment with top quality service. That is really important to us.we try to do things properly even if that means not always taking the easy road. I’m really interested in the history of dishes and the traditions and techniques that have been used in the past but maybe presenting them in a new or interesting way. I always joke that my style of cooking is more in line with what my great grandparents would recognise than most young chefs today.
What’s the best bit of advice you could give to anyone looking at working in your line of work?
Firstly I would say that you have to love it, It’s not like it is on the TV. You’ll work weekends and bank holidays and it’s physically demanding but I think the rewards are worth it. Cooking has taken me the length and breadth of the country and given me plenty of wonderful experiences that I will never forget. No two days are ever the same and it’s one of the rare industries that you can learn and improve every single time you pull on an apron if you want to.
What do you love most about Liverpool?
Definitely the people. Scousers are fiercely loyal, we take care of our own. There’s a real sense of independence, warmth and community in Liverpool that I don’t think you get in many other places.
If you could describe your business in 3 words what would they be?
Boss! true hospitality.
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