Speaker Meeting 19th March 2018

An Evening Wasted with Steve Street

Church Wilne Rotarian Steve Street was the speaker at the club on Monday 19th March when he presented "An evening wasted with Steve Street"

Steve was born in 1959 in Ripley before moving when 18 months old to Ambergate. He covered his many childhood memories including how he would often get home on the bus from school without paying until the bus company contacted the school and that had to stop. The members heard about how he failed his eleven plus but held onto the letter of failure but it was only time before his dad contacted the school only to be told that Steve had the letter some weeks ago.

He then went to the Mortimer Wilson School which was a new comprehensive in the 70's. The only problem was it was 10 miles away. Steve spoke about his only achievements at school which was his swimming certificate and an O Level D in home economics. Family holidays were very much part of his upbringing and his memories of those times lives on

On leaving school in 1975 his best option was to do catering qualifications at Buxton High Peak College and his life started then socially and educationally so it was from no social to full time social. But this came at a price when he had to work and learn his skills but it was something he loved doing. He would travel up to Buxton each Monday for the week and his dad bought him his first bike which was Honda Cub 50. After two months at college Steve got a weekend job at Berni Inns in Irongate, Derby and gave snapshot of what we liked to eat in the 1970's when for many years the meal most commonly ordered was prawn cocktail, steak and chips followed by Black Forest gateau. There were three bars and Steve worked in the trattoria steak and spaghetti bar.

On leaving college he was successful with his application to be the chef/cook at the Aston Hall hospital and he explained the many benefits he enjoyed which included job security, good pay with overtime along with the social side with over 300 people working in the hospital. This was where he met his future wife Sandra who also worked at the hospital. At just 21 he applied for the second time to be the head chef and was successful. This meant producing 2,000 meals every day in a busy canteen with a staff of 50. The NHS trained him and he was never out of courses and he finally got his catering degree in 1982.

Steve married Sandra in 1984 after knowing each other for 10 years with sons James and George arriving in 1986 and 1988.

The World renowned Steve Street overseeing Gordon Ramsey.

Steve Street with Albert Roux.

Steve started to work at Masters Andren, a catering equipment sales company, selling of all things meal delivery trolleys! He did many demonstrations all over the country and Europe. Later he sold high grade equipment suites to top London chefs and met and worked with Gordon Ramsey, Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes, Albert Roux, Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver. It was boom time in the late 80's but as so often is the case after boom comes the bust. In 1995 their daughter Phoebe was born and two weeks after the birth, Steve was made redundant at just 36 with 3 children. But in week one he set up Catertrain and was off again selling pans and he developed Catertrain which was basically just himself as a consultant with Thompson Holidays as chef consultant all over the world including India. He was also an equipment demonstrator for equipment companies at show exhibitions and as a chef trainer with Bass Taverns.

The work continued until 1998 and Steve ended at that point saying "I will tell you in part two how I made real money with a product I knew nothing about".

Brian Stokes gave the club's vote of thanks and said it had been a varied, most interesting and informative talk and he looked forward to part two.

For more information on Rotary, our speaker evenings, events and the main activities organised by our club please contact our Secretary, Mick White at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Ray Terry
For the Rotary Club of Church Wilne


5th March 2018

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