Imagine a world without football? I know, it’s scary. But what’s even scarier is that the Premier League stars we know and love would all be searching for jobs like you and me. No scouts, youth academies or agents, just a good ole’ CV. In this column we provide insight into what those job applications would actually look like. This is ‘Premier League CVs’.
Charles Graham Adam
My philosophy has always been if you can’t eat ‘em, join ‘em. Luckily for my colleague Peter, he’s so tall even I’d be there all day trying to chew through his bony limbs. I see all these la-di-bloody-da gastropubs, or ‘moral vacuums’ as I call them, infecting our streets like a hipster bubonic plague, and I groan. Not because I’m hungry – although usually I am – but because good old classic British grub is being priced out of the market. I mean who wants a deconstructed salad nicoise after a few pints of Buckfast in the local for crying out loud? I’m here to put things right.
Deep fat fryer assistant, Starving Man burger van, Dundee
- Tasted different oils and batters
- Scrubbed fryer clean after shifts
- Ate leftovers
- Attended international deep-fat culinary conferences (just kidding)
Night shift manager, McDonald’s, Glasgow
- Oversaw international menu (seasonal specials)
- Sent out to different branches for experience
- Cleared up vomit from floor
Sales rep, Mr Whippy, Blackpool
- Responsible for creative sweets
- Choosing suitable toppings
- Spreading awareness of under-appreciated brand
Sous-chef, L’Escargot Scouse, Liverpool
- Attempted to prepare Michelin-star courses for Liverpool’s high society
- Tasked with revitalising the menu
- Maintained professional standards
Front of house, Potted Belly chip shop, Stoke-on-Trent
- Shovelling scraps into bargain buckets
- Commitment to long working hours
- Inspiring apprentices
- Work ethic
- Ian Holloway
- Sir Kenneth Dalglish
- Mark Hughes
To whom it may concern,
Something needs to be done. For too long, we have had minimalist, faux-cultured crap shoved down our throats instead of gallons of nutritious, hearty unsaturated fats. I for one say it is time to take back control of our kitchens. There’s no need for those mindless continental snobs to come over here and tell us how to eat.
I have long believed in the value of a proper meal. When I was a wee bairn on the streets of Dundee, believe you me life was depressing. Dundee is a great place, but for me and my family life was hard. Bread and drippings was considered a luxury. Actually to be fair, the Lowlands strain of lard my mother used to soak into the granary slices was particularly sumptuous. From that age, I developed a life-long passion and knowledge of fats which I use today.
By proper meal of course I’m talking about a traditional Mars Supper. Unless I’m much mistaken food is for filling you up, not looking all poncy. And boy did I put my early-life experience to good use in my first job. After coming back from all-night lock-ins at the pub for a few years and passing the same mediocre burger van, I decided it was time to apply for a job. I had to wait till I turned 16 to be legally employed of course.
My boss was using something with ‘extra virgin’ in the title – hardly appropriate for the late-night streets of Dundee. After showing him the ways of more substantial grease, I knew I was destined to bigger things. I soon moved on to Glasgow to join McDonald’s in the belief that there’d be career development opportunities. Although the night shifts took their toll on my progress, I was eventually promoted to a management position.
Never one to remain narrow-minded, I realised I had neglected deserts in my culinary education. Much as I loved the delightful Glasgow weather I could hardly turn down an opportunity to work by the seaside. After all, there’s nothing like a litre of ice-cream to complement the subtle bouquet of chip batter.
It was amazing. No more rigid rules, just a complete nutter as a boss who was as visionary as myself. Taking long shots at ridiculous recipes smothered in fudge, chocolate sauce and sugar came off all the time. Those two years were so good that I convinced people I was an actual chef. If there’s anything I have learned from my career it is to never correct people’s misconceived ideas about your skills.
How hard could actual cooking be? I’d spent my life rejecting the ethos of cooking without gallons of oil. If that was what paid the big bucks though, it was worth giving it a go. The former Michelin-star head chef had returned to a top eatery in Liverpool, and convinced me to join. It was understandable the Chef Dalglish recognised my kindred spirit and abilities, so I joined.
The problem was everyone expected me to buy into the concept of working hard. Natural talent doesn’t work, especially not with my levels of pure natural inspiration. Despite being the most talented sous-chef in the kitchen, my abilities were soon criminally underused and undervalued. I was soon given almost no key input into the increasingly cosmopolitan menu. Sometimes genius goes unappreciated.
It was time to go back to my roots. Instead of an upwardly mobile major city, I needed a down-to-earth location with minimal signs of life to spread my wings. Tony was a local legend on the chip-shop scene in Stoke so upping sticks to join him was a no-brainer.
He appreciated the value in simple cooking, even if he did flirt with exotic flavours now and again. One short stumpy lad called Xherdan, for example, turned up from god knows where trying to espouse ideas such as “speed” and “creativity”. Numpty. He buggered off back to my old restaurant, as if to prove his out-of-touch attitude.
I need your support to help my new career take off. If you’re in the area and need corporate catering, then sod off. If, however, you need sustenance after a heavy session or two on the buckfast, stop by my van on Stanley Matthews Way.
Hang on; my payslip says apparently I’ve been here seven years already. Christ, must have slipped into a calorie-induced coma…
Check out my LinkedIn profile at Deepfriedcharlie if interested – you literally can’t miss me.
Charles Graham Adam