New exec chef at Red Hotels pioneering new career strategy


Tom Hunter has been announced as the new executive chef across the two hotels in the Red Hotels’ group, the Scarlet and Bedruthan.

As a result of his new appointment Hunter has created a new set of kitchen shift, staffing and production processes to help give chefs a better work/life balance.

An accompanying new recruitment programme will also offer potential chefs and their friends and partners, a night’s stay at Bedrunthan.

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Hunter has moved from his position as head chef at Scarlet hotel, where he has been for the last four years, to take up the role overseeing the two food and beverage operations at both hotels.

Championing a more sustainable lifestyle for chefs, Hunter said: “Nobody chooses life as a chef if they want an easy, 9-5 job and 15 hour shifts are not an uncommon practice. However, as a family man, I want to achieve balance in my life. I’m also of the firm belief that enjoying life away from work means you are clearly more focussed and committed within work. This is also part of the Red Hotels’ philosophy and this is why I’m determined to create and drive a team that also has the opportunity to make the most of their lives, and their careers, in this way.”

As part of this commitment, Hunter has created a shorter shift system where chefs will work no more than a 45 hour week and paid a competitive salary.

Hunter continues: “All chefs will be contracted to 45 hours a week over five days. There will also be a mixture of shift patterns across the two hotels, ensuring that everyone has two days off a week.

"To make all this happen, it is true that, we will probably be employing more chefs than other similar operations. However, I have also introduced a new prep or production kitchen to ease the pressures on the service kitchens in both hotels.”

The new recruitment strategy also invites potential chefs and kitchen team members to spend the night, with a friend or partner, at the Bedruthan Hotel, something which is usually only offered as part of the recruitment process for head chefs or senior staff.

Red Hotel owner, Emma Stratton, says: “Tom has done such a great job with the Scarlet kitchen. He’s built an award-winning team that is constantly driving a full set of sustainability principles through a thriving business proposition. Yet he’s constantly delivering the very highest of standards to our restaurant guests.

"We are delighted to see that now he is our executive chef, he’s bucking the damaging trend of long, long hours in the industry. His restructuring of the brigade and the new ways of working will deliver creative dishes for our three great restaurants and events operation. Everyone at Red Hotels feels strongly that all our teams need to have time to enjoy life, playing and relaxing in the beautiful county of Cornwall.”