Introducing Hanke Fischer.
Following a successful stint with H+J as Chef Manager at BDP in Clerkenwell, Hanke has just been promoted to cover General Manager Rita Takacs while she is on materity leave from the bar and refectory at RADA, the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art in Bloomsbury.
Hanke is originally from Hamburg and has been living in London since 2012.
We took a couple of minutes with him to find out how he is settling in.
How long have you been with H+J in total?
Almost two years, since August 2015. I started at BSI in Chiswick, covered a short time at Abbey Road Studios and was 15 months at BDP.
What are the main differences in your role here?
I am no longer cooking. At BDP as chef manager I was responsible for the whole unit and everything managerial but my main focus was on the food.
I wanted to be a famous drummer but I had to give up drumming when I started my apprenticeship
What was it that attracted you about this new role?
I felt that I had got stuck in my job. I have been a chef for 19 years and I wanted to do something new but still hospitality related. I still love cooking and I like working in contract catering, so moving out of the kitchen was the next logical step for me. It widens my horizons for future opportunities.
What is your favourite part about working here?
My job is versatile and very hands-on. The offer at RADA is quite diverse, from a “normal” 9-5 day to working late in the Bar, the students’ refectory, hospitality. On top of that I will have to work a lot more in the office with money and numbers which is still quite new to me.
What are your new and up and coming projects?
Once I am settled in, I want to spend a bit more time cooking with Pawel, RADA’s head chef to uplift the food on offer in both the bar and refectory. This way I can combine my passion for cooking with my new role as catering manager.
I would like to introduce more homemade cakes in the Bar for the afternoon, including vegan, gluten free and reduced sugar ones. I am also thinking about late morning snacks for that hunger gap between breakfast and lunchtime.
As summer gets underway and if the weather stays hot, we will look at more healthy and raw food in the bar.
We are getting new tables and chairs for the Bar in early September and I’m looking forward to updating our décor, signage and food to match the new furniture.
I plan to undertake wine training and my barista skills are getting better and better!
Finally, we have new staff starting soon and we will spend extra time with them getting them fully trained and up to speed.
Do you miss anything about BDP?
I had an amazing team behind me at BDP and I miss them all a lot. Of course I will miss cooking as this is still my passion and I will always be a chef at heart. Leaving BDP was not an easy step as I owe this unit and Louise (my operations director) a lot.
Of course I will miss cooking as this is still my passion and I will always be a chef at heart
What career path would you have chosen if you had not been in hospitality?
I wanted to be a famous drummer but I had to give up drumming when I started my apprenticeship. I left my drum kit in Germany and regret that I have lost most of my drumming skills.
If I was 15 years younger I would like to become a pilot. I am fascinated by planes but I only developed that passion in the last couple of years and now I am too old to make this a career.
What is your favourite play (if you have one)?
I don’t have one yet. I hope to see some plays during my time at RADA. The students here are massively talented.
A big ‘thank you’ to Hanke for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.