Meet The Team: Executive Chef
With another look into our team here at Chefs Catering Northwest, we thought now would be the perfect time to introduce you all to our Executive Chef Robert Muncaster! As ‘big boss’ of the kitchens, Rob’s ability to lead his team of chefs means that we have been able to take everything this past year has thrown at us and use it to make us all stronger. Chefs Catering Northwest is constantly striving for success and Rob’s determination to become the best version of himself and how he instills this in new starters across both the Front of House and Chef teams, is what we love most about him.
So it’s your turn to get to know our Rob Muncaster…
Although he has lived in Lancashire since he was eight years old, Rob isn’t…sandgrown! He was brought to live in our beautiful Bay area from his beloved home of Maidstne in Kent. Rob quickly adapted to Northern life, completing his school education at Skerton High School. From the age of fifteen, Rob had a passion to work in kitchens and started his career cleaning pots however the odds were not in his favour in terms of job prospects.
Rob was once told by his teachers: “You’ll never make it as a chef – you haven’t got the qualities needed!”
Luckily for us this prophesy never came true as a, young undeterred Rob got himself enrolled at Lancaster and Morecambe College where he achieved a Level 3 qualification in catering (modern day equivalent to an A Level). But Rob wasn’t for stopping there!
Determined to strive for the best, Rob has worked his way up the cheffing ladder and it all started back in 1996 at The Elms Hotel where he arrived as a trainee chefs and worked his way up to Chef de Partie.
In 1999 Rob took another step up to jointhe catering team at The Strathmore Hotel in Morecambe as Senior Chef de Partie, swiftly moving up to Junior Sous Chef.
Sometime later Rob parted from The Strathmore Hotel and took up the position of ‘Sous Chef’ at The Royal Kings Arms in Lancaster. He noted that in this role he helped the 3* hotel deliver a 5* dining delight, before climbing up to the Head Chef position.
Rob stayed for a couple of years at the Royal Kings Arms as Head Chef before setting his sights on a new challenge: using his experience and his fresh, exciting and award winning menu to support the front of house team to launch a brand new restaurant in Hornby.
Rob’s reputation then began to exceed the local area where he was published in The Guardian as “The One to Watch” for his inventive and renewed style to classic English cuisine.
Rob then moved closer to home to The Wagon and Horses on the Quay where he was able to experiment linking pub classics with finer dining, exploring dishes such as seared tuna and black sesame seed ice cream!
Throughout his career, Rob has been repeatedly head hunted to help restaurants and hotels deliver delectable dining experiences that even top notch caterering establishments further afield admire. His recipes and catering skills have been celebrated and shared afar.
About 3 years after joining the team on St. George’s Quay, Rob felt itchy feet syndrome setting in. He moved back to Morecambe to work with an incredible brigade of chefs at the newly established Morecambe Hotel. Here Rob and his team were “scarily busy” with around 150 covers per day in the high season and not so much less at other times either!
Rob joined Chef’s Catering Northwest in 2020 initially “just as a chef”. He had been impressed (though admittedly a tad sceptical) by CEO Gareth’s and Strategic Lead Gemma’s description of the community focussed vision they had for the business. He stated: “it seemed too good to be true”.
So, is being on the teamof Chef’s Catering Northwest as good as Gareth and Gemma claimed?
Rob’s view is that it is even better than they promised. Chefs Catering Northwest’s ethos fits Rob like a glove. His role as Executive Chef gives him challenges upon which he thrives and a quality of life unheard of in other catering settings but also being able to support and genuinely care for our community gives additional meaning and motivation for Rob to strive in his role.
Rob’s main role is to oversee catering at all three venues, assisting his team in providing high standards throughout. His side passion project where Rob is able to flex his culinary muscles is The Chefs Table where customers are able to experience an intimate fine dining event held at our prestigious Thurnham Hall in Lancaster.
The chefs at Chefs Catering Northwest each have a unique way of working and this is reflected in the food they fetch to the tables of each unique venue. Rob loves to work as a team building on his chef’s passion for food saying:
As you climb your ladder of success, reach down and pull others along with you.
Chefs Catering Northwest
And as his culinary team grows, so does his family with his favourite waitress now wife Vicky having given birth to their firstborn son back in June.
Although this has been a busy summer for the Muncasters, Rob is excited to see what the rest of the year brings and how he can strive for success with Chefs Catering Northwest.