Every now and then at Meat N' Bone we run into some very interesting people, its a perk of carrying the best proteins in the world and so we met Roger.
Chef Roger Watson currently works for an ultra high net work American family, based out of Indiana. Previously he is worked in Michelin star kitchens as well as with celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey. He represented the south in the England/France food revolution, and was part of the kitchen brigade at Michelins 100th birthday dinner. He cooked at 4 Augusta National golf tournament and at the Help Haiti dinner representing the iconic Bibendum restaurant.
Talking to him, our curiosity peaked and well.. we asked him to sit down and share with our readers what is to be a private chef.
Roger, who are you? What is your story? What do you do today?
My name is Roger Watson I am a British 35 year old private chef for an ultra high net worth family in Indiana, UHNW as it is abbreviated in the industry. I have been cooking for as far as I can remember... over 20 years.
I started cooking in my hometown of Doncaster in England at a restaurant called "Le Bistro". I was only 15 so I was working weekends. My job was that of a line cook: peeling veggies, running into fridges, working the salads, basically doing anything that the head Chef needed.
"forget about social media, and don’t ever say “that’s not my job” I hate that phrase, its lazy and isn’t the right attitude for the hospitality sector."
It was fun and I learned a lot. I was young by I could tell this was my calling, I knew I wanted to run a kitchen.
After I was a bit older I spent 9 years cooking in London, I ended up working with Chef Gordon Ramsay then at Restaurant Tom Aikens both Michelin starred kitchens ranked in the top 30 restaurants in the world, my last restaurant chef role was at the Iconic Bibendum restaurant in Chelsea London.
In London I mostly worked 100+ hour weeks with not many days off, I earned my way to work in one of the most exclusive residences in the United States by shear hard work and dedication, my first private chef job was in London in 2013 for an Ukrainian billionaire, there were 5 family members with as many chefs cooking for them, it was a very tough challenging role which prepared me to work for anyone after it, this ultimately opened the door for me to work in private residences.
How does Roger go from a Michelin Star restaurant to very exclusive private kitchen??
After working my first job at a private residence, I enjoyed the challenge.
Daily we would have to count calories cook each family member's custom menu and their bodyguards. You get to cook pretty much anything and things change very quickly and without notice. Sometimes the requests are unreasonable, but it doesn't matter... the job needs to get done. A dinner can change from 4 guests to 20 in just a couple hours and the expectation is not only to get it done but to do it perfectly.
How do you feel of being part of the Residence?
I feel very lucky to work in the residence I work now here in Indiana, it genuinely feels like we are all part of the family, we have a great staff who all work for each other and together to achieve the goal of making the principals of the house happy.
What is your next endeavor? Do you have any project in mind?
Currently I don’t have a next endeavor, each day I just try to focus on doing my job well, making people happy with my food and supporting the family in any way I can,
What would you tell any aspiring chef?
I would tell any aspiring chef to keep your head down, work hard, forget about social media, and don’t ever say “that’s not my job” I hate that phrase, its lazy and isn’t the right attitude for the hospitality sector.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit for your story?
Id like to shout out Paul Lovell, the Moullali family Simon Stanley and Matthew Harris for all helping me become the chef I am today. Also to meat and bone for providing me with excellent produce!