The Booth Group, offers an array of high quality leisure and hospitality venues in Porthcawl including restaurants, accommodation, theme park, sports bar, gym and a nightclub in Porthcawl. Joint owner Phil Booth believes in promoting from within, should a candidate show promise and dedication. This can certainly be said for Craig Rigby who shares with us his career journey with the company.
When did you join the company Craig?
I joined the company in September 2017 at one of the company’s restaurants, The Harbour Bar and Kitchen. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and, with a lot of hard work from all of the team, it is going really well. We have a beautiful restaurant with amazing views, so it makes it a lot easier to enjoy work.
Phil has brought his local knowledge, of what the locals like, and wife Kate’s hospitality background has enabled us all, along with Kath our Restaurant Manageress, to come up with menus that have been very successful so far, and I am sure that will continue.
What attracted you to the role?
After living in Porthcawl and not having many options at that time to eat out, I felt that it was a fantastic opportunity to bring a totally new bar and food offering to Porthcawl.
What is your background?
I joined the army at sixteen as an Apprentice Chef and served fourteen years. After leaving the army, I went to work at a local hotel where we were awarded two AA Rosettes. I then moved down to Wales and lived in Penarth. I worked in a couple of different places to try out new things before settling down at my previous job at DeCourceys Manor where I spent six great years. A family run business where everything is made in-house and what I would call proper cooking. I then decided to move to the Harbour for a fresh challenge. I was delighted to be able to bring all of my previous experience and knowledge with me.
Congratulations on your new role as Group Executive Chef. How does that make you feel?
I am delighted and grateful to Phil and Kate for giving me this opportunity. They have been great – allowing us to try out different ideas and enabling us to do our jobs without too many restrictions. It’s great to have that level of trust. It’s due to their expansion of the Group that I have been able to take on this new role. I must make a special mention to my wife Annie, who puts up with my long hours and evening work.
What skills do you think you bring to this new role?
I am a good communicator who is willing to listen to what the customer wants. I have no ego. I enjoy teaching people – to enable them to flourish. I am also someone who isn’t afraid to make a decision, even if people don’t always like it.
The qualities I bring are a wealth of experience and knowledge in both fine dining and high volume catering. I really enjoy teaching and mentoring people to be the best they can be; enabling us as a Group to reach the standards we are looking for.
What do you hope to achieve in your new role?
I am looking forward to us all improving the standards in all the establishments, beginning with the newly refurbished Atlantic Hotel which, in the kitchen, we are taking back to British Classics with a modern twist.
The Harbour Kitchen and Bar will have two new Head Chefs, Suzy and Johnny, who will both take on their new roles under my supervision.
Cae Court, Bridgend, Phil and Kate’s newest venture, will be fronted by Head Chef Matt who has recently taken up the position. We are looking to include a Fine Dining Menu there, with a couple of old classics as well.
Quick Fire Questions
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Married to Annie with three daughters and one beautiful granddaughter.
What are your hobbies?
My granddaughter Millie takes up most of my spare time and, also, I love my golf at Pyle and Kenfig where I am a member.
Describe yourself in three words…
Honest, reliable, hard-working.