Cooking with Peter Tydie of The Victory, Mersea Island

PUBLISHED: 13:44 27 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:09 20 February 2013

Chef Q&A takes Stephanie Mackentyre to Mersea Island

Where do you work and whats your title?
I work at The Victory as a general manager and partner with my better half, Gill.

What was it about hospitality which excited you enough to make a career out of it?
Having always been in a customer service industry (after 25 years working for an advertising agency), its a real delight to give people a really enjoyable experience.

If you werent in the hospitality industry, where do you think
you would be now?

Relaxing on my boat, but we all have to earn a living.

How would your team describe you?
I say what I feel and dont take many prisoners, but people know where they stand.

Which is your favourite dish to prepare?
A really good bloody caesar.

What are your three favourite elements about your role?
Good staff, appreciative customers and a happy environment.

Any celebrity moments you can share with us?
Appearing on Channel 4s 4 in a Bed earlier this year was great fun to film and I suppose was a brush with celebrity, but is was very odd to see myself on TV.

Tell us about home, whos there and who cooks most of the time?
Gill is the cook in the family, but we learnt early on there is a huge difference between cooking for friends and for customers.

When Im out of the kitchen I love nothing better than
Clay pigeon shooting or driving through rolling countryside in an open-top car.

When I was little I wanted to be a
Forester or Army officer. Basically I was keen on anything butch and outdoors, but realised I had to get a job where I could use my skills, few as they are, and ended up in customer service. It wasnt glam, but it was rewarding.

Are there any catering disasters you can tell us about?
When I was serving breakfast during the filming of the 4 in a Bed TV show, the top came off the coffee pot and sprayed coffee all over the table all in front of thousands of TV viewers.

If you could change one thing about you, what would it be?
I wish I had better listening skills. All too often I make an assumption on what someone is saying before they finish, then answer the wrong question.

What is still on lifes list of to dos?
Id love to take my boat around the UK, but thats a retirement thing.

Can you give us three top tips
for surviving in the hospitality industry?
Dont ask anyone to do something you wouldnt do yourself, work hard and play hard, but make sure you turn up for your next shift, no matter how rough you feel.

Get the taste
The Victory
92 Coast Road
Mersea Island
01206 382907

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