For this week’s staff profile we sat down with Brent Aitken to receive insight into his experience working for Octopus Hospitality for the last 16 years, his role as a Chef, and some … You may have recognized Brent from our new promotional photos!
Name: Brent Aitken
What is your role at Octopus Hospitality?
I’m a Chef, and I also do some internal work working with other Chefs. I help to sort out any grievances, conduct site checks and make sure that the Chefs working at the site are going well there.
How long have you been working for Octopus Hospitality?
I’ve been working for Octopus for 16 years.
How would you describe your experience working for Octopus Hospitality?
Working for Octopus has been a great experience. It has been rewarding, fulfilling, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve worked great major events through Octopus, and met amazing people. It also offers me flexibility which fits great with my lifestyle.
What is one of your highlights while working for Octopus Hospitality?
One of my highlights would be when I first worked at the Grand Prix, back in 2002. I worked in the Ferrari area, and had the opportunity to meet high profile people.
What inspired or drove you to become a Chef?
I always loved cooking with my family, but a large part of the reason I became a Chef was to leave school early.
What tips do you have for cheffing?
Keep a strong mindset. Stay focused. If possible, try your best to create a work/lifestyle balance with whatever job you take.
What is your favourite part of being a Chef?
My favourite part of being a Chef is meeting heaps of amazing people. I find that I get along really well with the people who work in hospitality.
What is your favourite thing to cook?
I really enjoy cooking with meats and sauces. I also like to cook anything Mediterranean.
What one ingredient is always in your cupboard?
One ingredient that is always in my cupboard is Cumin.
If you could only eat one type of food or cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?
If I could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of my life it would be Northern Thai.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Melbourne.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
In my spare time I like to travel, sight-see, and go on bush walks. My favourite place to travel to is Thailand.
What is your biggest accomplishment – personal, professional or both?
I helped to prepare and put on an Australian themed menu for an Australia Day function for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. The function hosted 250 defense personnel.
What have you always wanted to try but never have?
I’ve always wanted to try authentic Japanese food in Japan.
Thanks Brent for sharing with us!