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Case Study - The Dog at Wingham - "First Class Teams"

At The Chef Partnership we are proud to have The Dog at Wingham as one of our members. The Dog is an award-winning gastro pub (Muddy Stilettos, 2 Rosettes & Gastro Pup of the Year) with a culinary reputation that makes it a top quality eatery. All the Chefs are members of The Chef Partnership, and we recently took the opportunity to work directly with the chefs on teamworking & what makes successful kitchen teams.

The energy and enthusiasm of this team is hard to top. The sense of pride and excitement in working at the top of the food chain is palpable. Head Chef Rob Mantegna is engaged and committed to listening to his team, who are full of thoughts and ideas on what they do and how to do it better. With that as a backdrop it would be hard for any session to be less than a riot of fun full of questions and challenges.

In an industry which currently spends a lot of time commiserating with itself on how tough it is economically and how tricky it is to keep staff; it is a breath of fresh air to be part of a team who all want to be where they are. They all also want to make things better for the establishment they work for as well as for themselves and for each other and have all made an active a career choice to be a chef.

Although, as usual, there was some initial scepticism about what we could bring to the team of chefs, the active participation and transparency that the team showed soon meant we had top quality discussions and a real willingness to learn and listen to each other. There is no doubt that Head Chef Rob was a major influence in creating the atmosphere which gave all the team the chance to talk about themselves as people, what they wanted and how working at The Dog made them feel. They learned a lot about themselves and about each other which is all part of the groundwork that builds great teams. If you know what somebody wants from their job and how they feel about you and your style of working or leading, it really helps make sure everybody gets that chance to deliver their very best.

The Team of The Dog have sense of pride in where they work and what they do that is evident in everything they say. There is no better building block for excellent teams than sense of pride and commitment. We felt the team could be a showcase for good leadership and teamwork in an industry that could benefit from some great role models.

We found the team at The Dog inspirational both from a work commitment viewpoint and as people who were interested in each other and how they could work together positively as a team. We also learned where to find the best wild garlic and how to make this part of a 21st century eating experience, we learn new things every day!

We can’t wait for our next session with the team in January, it will for sure be fun and challenging!

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