If you’ve been to visit us here in the Valley then you might have met Sheik, he’s always on hand with a smile and a few friendly words to cheer us up when we need it! “I am officially the kitchen porter here but I say I’m like a sauce; I blend and move all over the kitchen! I’ve learnt a lot from Paul and the other chefs about cooking and using different techniques as well, which is great”
Frequently described as a calming influence in the kitchen, Sheik was born in Mauritius and then moved to London nearly 30 years ago. “Before I started working at Yeo Valley, I was an accountant. I worked for lots of different companies; from a property business to a furniture company. I wanted a complete change in my life so I moved to Bristol and left accounting behind when I started at Yeo Valley 2 and a half years ago. I like to be busy and I really enjoy being here in the kitchen, I get to speak to all the staff and customers, and there’s always something to do. It wasn’t all smooth sailing though, at first I found standing up all day challenging, as I was so used to sitting at my desk, but I soon got used to it! The kitchen is so well looked after and the food is really thought through, I love being a part of that.
I don’t really have an average day; they are all different depending on what else is going on. I’m always happy to help out on different things when we are short or particularly busy and then if we have an event on there are always lots of extra things that need doing! I think my favourite event so far has been the Elvis night we had here just before Christmas. It was hard work but very fun and all the staff had a dance at the end of the night! I was also really surprised at the last Yeo-pen Day; I couldn’t believe the amount of people coming in through the door!”
It’s not all about work for Sheik though; “I love to go travelling, especially to visit my family in Mauritius, and I like spending time at home, my house is near the beach. At the weekend, I also spend time cooking for people that live in assisted living accommodation.
You could say that I’m good at figures; I worked with numbers for so long, it’s almost become second nature to do sums in my head. The chefs like to test me by calling out questions! I’ve kept in touch with my past employers; I always get on well with people and, to me, that’s really what matters wherever you work and whatever you do.”