“Ellie is one of the most hard-working, devoted and passionate young people I have worked with. From the age of 16, she fully grasped the restaurant’s ethics and ethos and is a keen believer in serving fresh, sustainable fish and chips at the highest standards. Since taking control of the kitchen at the end of 2019, Ellie ‘steadied the ship’ during Covid, maintained a hygiene score of five, won numerous awards locally and nationally, and has grown the business’s core customer base. Ellie is truly an asset.”
How long have you worked at Malt & Anchor?
I started in 2017 not long after it opened. I was at college studying fashion and textiles and took up a weekend role as a kitchen porter. After college, I was torn between going to university to pursue my dream of working in fashion and continuing with my newfound love. I took a year out and worked full-time as a trainee frier. Fast forward to 2023, and I am head chef. I have no regrets not pursuing fashion, instead I use my creativity in food!
What are your responsibilities?
I do everything! I have never been one of those chefs who points a finger and tells staff what to do. I like to lead from the front and get stuck in.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love putting my spin on things. The reason I’ve stayed with Malt and Anchor for this long is that they really encourage creativity. I love making weekly fresh fish dishes and taking advantage of key periods like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas where I can work with seasonal ingredients.
What’s your least favourite part of the job?
Being 22 I feel like I have missed many social opportunities that my friends have had. The long unsociable hours don’t bind well with festivals and round-the-world trips!
What is it that you like about working at Malt & Anchor?
How the pace of each day differs, one day you can be on your own banging out fish and chips, and the next you’re working with some pretty awesome ingredients from our shores for a private venue booking.
How do you feel about being an unsung hero?
Extremely grateful and proud as I’ve really put a lot of hard work in over the last three years. With this nomination and being a finalist at this year’s National Fish and Chip Awards, I feel we’re getting the recognition we deserve. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my boss, Daniel Lafford, who has helped me develop over the years to become a confident manager and head chef at a young age.