Read on to find out about Paul Walker- Roberts’ loves and loathes in the world of hospitality!…
Where did you grow up?
Born and bred in Chester. Schooled and grew up in Christleton. I started working at the tender age of 15 at the Stamford Bridge Inn washing dishes and waiting on. I then went on to study animation and film, but kept working closely with various local pubs and restaurants throughout my studies.
What made you join the hospitality industry?
I have a passion for customer service and a gift for making people feel special. My style of working is influenced by 1920s customer service, taken from old films, harping back to a more orchestrated, formal experience.
What attracted you to join the Nelson Hotels and Fishpool Inn team?
I have a small family who mean everything to me, and a passion for country pubs and dining out. As such, we’ve been eating out at the Fishpool’s sister Inn, The Pheasant, for many years. In light of this, and how much we love the group, we chose to get married at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel. This decision was heavily influenced by not only the beautiful building, but the attention to detail, quality and high levels of service we had received in the past. Several of my old colleagues had worked for the group in the past, and I was impressed by their experiences, and was eager to join a proactive, exciting vibrant team.
What do you enjoy most about your job when compared to previous roles?
This position has taken my experiences and skills to another level as The Fishpool is a cut above the rest. We have a large, multi-skilled team who I develop and learn from constantly. No two days are the same, and there is a huge feeling of camaraderie. It is incredibly satisfying when you have served 700 people in one day, and made their experiences fantastic. Nothing is more important to me than exceeding my customers’ expectations and going that extra mile.
Over the years of working around food, what would you say is your favourite dish?
A very difficult question to answer! There is so, so much incredible local produce in Cheshire and I prefer to support local producers as much as I can. One meal I always return to, and it’s a bench mark for any great pub, is a classic fish and chips!! So very simple a dish, but very easy to get wrong. Failing that a hearty venison Wellington always makes me smile (but my mums marble cake is my guilty pleasure.)
What do you do in your free time?
We dine out as often as we can, most importantly is spending time with my children and beautiful wife. We try to make the most of the time we get together, particularly with my hectic Fishpool Inn schedule. We recently bought a new house so are currently in renovation mode! During the Summer we enjoy alfresco dining and visiting the park. In winter I spend my free time sea fishing and enjoying a pint in my local in-front of a roaring fire and a newspaper.
If you could do anything, what would be your dream job?
I’d open a small deli or bespoke cake shop.
If you were to invite any famous person to the Fishpool Inn for dinner, who would they be and what would you recommend?
Steve Jobs. His vision and creativity, his methods of development and can do attitude is inspiring. I’d probably start with the Tiger prawn pil pil to start, beef and ale pie to follow, and a knickerbocker glory to finish!