The “Day in the Life” series gives us a glimpse into the working lives of the people we don’t often see or think about, but who play an important role in keeping our community running.
Chef Michael Schubert honed his creative cooking skills at Port Macquarie TAFE many years ago and went on to forge a successful career in both Port Macquarie and the Hunter Valley.
He jumped at the chance to get back to Port Macquarie to join the Spinnakers Restaurant team at Sails Resort five years ago and was thrilled to take on the role of Head Chef, leading a team of eight in the busy kitchen when Sails became part of the Rydges Group.
Other than an ability to create delicious dishes, Michael said a successful chef needs passion for the trade, dedication and organisation. The varied tasks involve menu planning, food prepping, cooking, cleaning, rostering, negotiating deals and team management.
“You come across so many unique people and personalities. I’m looking forward to cooking with renowned Indigenous Chef Clayton Donovan for our upcoming Hastings Coop 99th Birthday Celebration. He’s an inspirational chef, and I’m keen to see what he comes up with for the evening.”
In a job that is built around routine and structure, it is important to stay fresh and creative. “My favourite dish to cook is always changing. I don’t keep any of my previous menus, so I don’t repeat myself.”
One of the challenges faced by all chefs is to produce a consistent product for an unknown amount of people every day. Another is being able to back up consistently long days during peak periods.
But these challenges are offset by the buzz and anticipation before a busy service and the positive banter between staff after a good service.
“My proudest moments revolve around developing and teaching young staff and watching them improve as chefs. Outside of work I have a newborn boy, Jackson, to keep me busy.”
Spinnakers have recently launched a new menu and are open for breakfast and dinner seven days and lunch on the deck on the weekends. “We have some exciting plans, and it’s safe to say you won’t recognise the space or the menu in the next 12 months.”
The event calendar at Sails will expand after the first stage of renovations of the pool and rooms, ready for Christmas parties and summertime celebrations. “This means our kitchen team will be busier than ever – that’s all part of the job, and we’re keen to get stuck into the silly season.”
Sails recently hosted the Brewers Lunch, Maddhatters Tea Party and Seafood Degustation, and the team is looking forward to the upcoming Melbourne Cup event and Tastings on Hastings.
“We’re really excited to be on board as a sponsor of Tastings on Hastings, and will be hinting at what is to come for the resort restaurant. We’ll be making a splash with something a little quirky. Come and see us on Sunday 8 November to find out what we have planned!”
10:00am – Quick coffee and check emails.
10:15am – Assist morning staff, finish up breakfast and prepare day functions.
11:00am – Start prepping night service, continue all day.
12:00pm – Catch up with General Manager to go over previous day.
2:00pm – Clean up after day functions – meetings, seminars, luncheons.
3:00pm – Meetings with suppliers or other department heads.
5:00pm – Prepare and serve staff meals.
5:30pm – Final set up for night service.
6:00pm – Evening service begins – helter skelter!
9:00pm – Service ends; time to clean up.
10:00pm – Place orders and head home.