THE ROTA ARCHIVE

EMILY HOLWORTHY - THE HOSPITALITARIAN

"TINNED TUNA. GROSS." 

Follow her on Instagram @emilyholworthy 


1.  What was your first job in hospitality?

At Maze by Gordon Ramsay, I was a headwaiter when I was 18. 

2.  What is your favourite cuisine to eat - preferably not the one you work in?

I really don't know, I have so many favourite foods, I like everything, I can't narrow it down.  I change my mind all the time, I can never just pick one thing. 

3. Which dish do you most associate with childhood?

Probably something like cottage pie or cucumber sandwiches, which I hated. 

4. What’s the soundtrack to your first love?

Well he was a DJ so he had really good taste in music, but he would listen to really odd stuff that I didn't really like, stuff I didn't know the name of. 

5. What do you crave after a long shift?

Chips.

6. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – what do you have?

I skip breakfast quite a lot because I am always late. If I am not running late, I have a variety of things.  I love having smoothies in the morning, I quite like having porridge and anything with eggs is always good.  

7. What is your favourite word?

Loiter - I just like the sound of it. 

8. If you could go on a culinary extravaganza-eating holiday – where you choose to do so?

I really want to go to Fäviken in Sweden or somewhere like Tokyo and just eat loads of sushi. 

9. All at the same time or coursed out?

Not fussy, whatever is happening, I am not really bothered.  I guess it also depends on the restaurant. 

10. What is the one area of working in a restaurant you wish you knew more of?

I know a lot about food and about cooking but I wish I could actually do it.  I'm not horrible but I could never work in a professional kitchen.  I've done shifts in restaurants I've worked in and it's just unbelievable.  Too hard. 

11. What is the best cure for a hangover?

A pint of water with salt and sugar in it.  I told my friend this and she said it's 'Ghetto Gatorade'.  Also bananas, having a shower and brushing your teeth.  

12. You’re allowed one shift drink – what is it?

Usually wine or a cheeky cocktail. 

13. What is the one thing which guests do that drives you mad?

Oh there are so many things! When they wave at you, that really annoys me.  When they sit and stick their feet out in the aisle.  I think also when people are rude, when they talk to you as if you don't have a clue.  Mostly the waving thing and snapping their fingers at you. 

14. Do you have any rituals during a shift?

I'd say brushing my teeth before service and also having a coffee.  I come in, clock in, get a coffee and get the chefs drinks as well - keep them happy.  

15. What’s the last film you saw?

I saw The Theory of Everything, it was good, it wasn't that exciting, kind of forgettable. 

16. Best thing that has ever happened to you in a restaurant? 

I have had so many nice guests, that always makes me happy.  I had a table once that I looked after and they were really sweet, they were an American couple and after they paid the bill they called me over and said 'Thank you so much for looking after us, do you like The Black Keys?' and I said 'Yeah, they are really good' and he said 'Well my brother is like the lead singer or whatever, next time they are in London email me and I will get you backstage tickets and VIP access and stuff to say thank you for looking after us.'  I haven't yet, next time they come to London I will, but it's just one of those things I feel guilty about emailing them about a free ticket, but maybe one of those things I should take advantage of.    

17. What’s your tagline/motto?

Work hard and be nice to people. 

18. Photography while eating – yay or nay?

I don't mind so long as it doesn't impact so the meal too much.  Like if you're taking a quick photo that's fine, I think it's more when people sit their with their phones and take pictures and then don't enjoy their food because they are concentrating on posting the picture and then the food goes cold.  I hate people who sit at dinner on their phone, I try not to get my phone out at all when I'm at dinner.  I worked at The Clove Club where you're paying a lot of money for a meal, and we would have people sat on their phones the whole time and I would be like 'What are you doing?!?' and they weren't enjoying themselves. 

19. Rank the following in order of priority: wine, food, sex

Oh I don't know, they are all equally important.  All at the same time! That's too hard, all of equal importance.  

20. What would be your last meal – drinks included.

Really nice wine or cocktails, but I don't know what I would want to eat, maybe a really good sandwich.  Bread is the best thing ever!

21. What makes you happy?

My friends.  My family. 

22. How do you relax?

Tea, I usually go home and if my flatmate, who is one of my best friends is awake, then I will go in and sit with her and just talk and relax and then go to bed.  I just feel like after shift you can't go straight to sleep, so I will either do that or read a book. Just lie and think.

23. What is the background on your phone?

A picture I took in Sweden on one of the islands.

24. Favourite Instagram accounts to follow

@food52

@bonappetit

@dezeen

25. What is the best thing about working in hospitality? 

So many things! The people, flexibility, socialbility. 

26. Which restaurant are you ashamed to NOT have eaten at?

I don't think there is anywhere I am ashamed to not have been to.  There are definitely places I would like to go to. Like I would like to go to Kitty Fisher's and Som Saa.  

27. Who is the person you most respect in the industry?

Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs.  She is really hard working and she is really nice.

28. What is your go to party trick?

I used to work with a guy and we could do the Dirty Dancing lift. 

29. Finish this sentence: I eat everything except...

Tinned tuna. Gross.