Avrum Frankel—Our New Head Chef
Avi’s future career was partly predictable. His father invented the original hotel keycard and spent four years in the Paris Hilton perfecting it. His mother is an excellent chef. Small wonder Avi ended up in the hospitality industry as a chef.
His journey started at the bottom. “I got my first job emptying ashtrays and collecting glasses. Then I worked in pot wash, which was right next to the pastry kitchen, so I used to help the pastry chef roll the bread. Then I did a few more things. Then I covered his days off. Then I took his job,” Avi says.
His smile tells you there was no Machiavellian plan. It just worked out that way.
The bug bit and he progressed upwards, eventually becoming head chef at the prestigious White Horse Inn overlooking the Norfolk marshes in his native England. He ultimately ended up in Cork as executive chef at Apple, in charge of 56 chefs.
The very short and redacted version of the story of how Avi came to Ireland goes like this: he decided to travel the world, got no further than South Africa (where he met his future wife), came to Ireland. The even shorter version is this: he met a Cork girl.
Though happy and settled in Ireland, he hopes to return to South Africa one day. He has an ambition to set up a cookery school there. “Cheffing is a universal job. If you have the basic skills, you can go anywhere in the world and have a job within a couple of hours,” he says.
Being able to cook has certainly helped Avi go further in life than his school career would have suggested. He struggled badly due to dyslexia. Oddly, when he walks through the doors into a professional kitchen, a sixth sense kicks in and he is able to manage complex recipes and calculations easily. “You’ll laugh, but as soon as I get home, I’m hopeless again. I can’t even follow a shopping list,” he says.
He made the switch from Apple (the biggest company in the world) to BiteSize (not the biggest company in the world) partly because of exactly that—size. “At BiteSize, I’ll be able to have a big impact on the food we produce here and put into the cafés. I’m excited about that. I already knew BiteSize because we used them when I was at Apple. And I was living in Ballycotton when they opened the first café in Midleton. BiteSize has a clear ethos. It’s different. It has a genuine identity. I really like that,” he explains.
We’re excited to see what he comes up with. If you’re a regular to one of our cafés, you’ll have already seen some of the fun and flair he brings to our food.