Chef Spotlight: Introducing Gerd – still cheffing at 80-years-old


Chef Spotlight: Introducing Gerd – still cheffing at 80-years-old

Working in the recruitment industry means that no two days are the same. Not only are we lucky enough to meet some of the UK’s best publicans, restaurateurs and hoteliers, but we also meet the talented Chefs, Managers, Front of House Staff, Waiter/ess, Reception and Housekeeping staff who are the lifeblood of those businesses.

With more than 20 years' experience in the hospitality recruitment sector, you can bet that we've met people from all over the world who are looking for a new challenge in the kitchen - and it's our job to make sure we match the right candidates with the right pubs, hotels and restaurants.

One of our most popular chefs is Gerd Becker, better known as Gerry. He’s 80 years old, has been on our books for more than 14 years, and still works full-time hours in kitchens across the UK.

Fourteen years ago, Gerry called the Flourish office and said, "Hey, I need a job". Back then, ‘hey' was something donkeys ate, and we thought he was a pretty quirky character.

At the time, Gerry was working in Donegal, Ireland, and had a German accent. With no CV, he told us that he used to work as an Executive Chef at Hilton Hotels in Germany, so we knew he had experience in the industry and wanted to utilise it. We told him to come to England, and that we'd help him to find a job as a chef. In truth, we didn't expect to hear from him again, but three days later, he called the office and said: "Hey, I'm in Preston and need a job!"

14 years later, and Gerry continues to serve as a loyal, reliable and very professional chef, now travelling up and down the country to support hotels with their breakfast, lunch and dinner service sometimes AFDs. If Gerry made ten Full English breakfasts a day during his 14 years with us, he'd have fried more than 50,000 eggs and 100,000 rashers of bacon. Our mouths are watering at the thought...

All about Gerry

Introducing Gerry: 80 years old and still working full-time in hospitality

Once married to an American Indian, living on an Indian reservation, Gerry is very well travelled and has a whole bunch of stories to tell. Over the years, he's asked us to look after his bags while he drove off in a food wagon into a danger zone for a couple of months. It's fair to say that he isn't afraid of a challenge, and that's what makes him such a special friend.

Whenever we see him, he's wearing a large leather hat, and we like to think of him as our very own Crocodile Dundee. Gerry lives his life in one suitcase, travelling around on new placements putting his skills into practice, and is also a member of Amnesty International, donating a lot of his wages to help causes close to his heart.

Gerry makes friends wherever he goes, whether that's on his travels or at a kitchen placement, and he buys lots of chocolate to bring to us at the office. He's truly one of the kindest people we know and a daily inspiration to everyone in the Flourish team - including many of our clients!

Start your journey with Flourish

At Flourish, we take great pride in getting to know our talent and have relationships with many of our candidates, just like Gerry. Indeed, the more we know about you, the better placements we can find to suit your skills.

Whether you're 18 and only just starting out on your hospitality journey, or you're in your eighties and have a lifetime of stories from the kitchen and a bucketload of experience, we'd love to hear from you. With a wide range of temporary and permanent positions available on our website, and many more added every week, we'll be able to help you find the perfect opportunity.

Get in touch with a member of the team today - we can’t wait to hear from you.