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By Joe Lutrario
– Last updated on GMT
Related tags: Amy Corbin, Chris Corbin
I love food and have always had a passion for hospitality and restaurants having grown up around them with my dad (Chris Corbin) in the business. It was only after I meet Patrick (my husband) that it made sense to go into the industry and do something together.
Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I wish I knew about the power of small steps making big changes. Any ambitious goal is broken down into small steps, and sometimes you need to take the first step to see the next step.
What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants?
I think it’s really clever what JKS have done with finding talent within the industry. My favourite restaurant at the moment is Bibi, I love how original it is.
What keeps you up at night?
The staffing crisis. So many people have left the industry after Covid. It’s very sad.
Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
I would have to say my dad, it’s amazing to have him as a mentor and to bounce ideas off. I have learnt so many things from him along the way, I love how respectful and grateful he is towards the people that work for him.
Best business decision?
To always be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so everyone can have at least 2 days off in a row every week.
Worst business decision?
Opening a cocktail bar two months before the first national lockdown.
What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
I would say to invest in culture. Working in hospitality means people are spending more time at work than at home, it needs to be a fun and inspiring environment. Quality, and productivity are all outcomes of the right culture, and you’ll see improvements in all areas when you have the right people in the right places.
If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
The hours and the pay. It’s a really tough industry to work in and you need to have thick skin and love what you do. I still don’t think chefs are paid enough for what they do and how hard they work, although I’m happy to see that salaries went up after covid.
What time do you wake up?
My alarm is my three-year-old toddler, she normally wakes me up around 6am.
How often do you check your email?
How do you let off steam?
I try to go to the gym three or four times a weeks
Do you prefer a night on the tiles or a night on the sofa?
Nowadays a night on the sofa
What’s your signature dish to cook at home?
Salmon and broccoli traybake
I take my girls to ballet lessons in the morning, then I normally head down to Kudu with them for brunch and to see Patrick and the team. My 2-year-old still sleeps in the afternoon so I will go home for that. In the afternoon we either go to the Peckham Rye playground or we visit my parents, who live in Clapham. Once I’ve done bath and bedtime, I’m normally too tired to cook so will order a takeaway.
What are you currently reading?
I never have time to read anymore. I normally buy a good book to take on holiday. The last book I read was I’m Sorry You Feel That Way by Rebecca Wait.
What boxset are you currently watching?
The last boxset I watched was season four of Stranger Things. I’m normally not into supernatural horror, but there’s something about that show which just hooks you in.
What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be a vet because I love dogs, then I realised you had to be good at science.
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