Executive Chef for Arena Birmingham
David Siddall is Amadeus’ Executive Chef at world class music and entertainment venue Arena Birmingham, heading up all catering at the venue, including its hospitality brand Amplify.
As a chef, David has vast experience having worked for large caterers, in hotels and under some of the biggest names in the chef world. At the age of 15 David worked part-time on the pot-wash, a vital but underappreciated cornerstone of hospitality. Having completed a three-year course at Birmingham College of Food, specialising in catering butchery and larder preparation in his last year, David then joined Midland Hotel as a Commis chef. Following this, David then joined a two Rosette restaurant in London before coming to work for Amadeus. All of these experiences have provided David with the passion, skill, leadership and creativity needed for any successful Executive Chef.
David said: “Amadeus has taught me to always think ahead and this is invaluable for a busy chef brigade and busy kitchen. Being spontaneous will always be needed, as things do change, but having to deliver a consistent offer means planning is required. We do this with skill and look at the creativity, seasonality, menu development and the customer. From a John Legend concert to a Ricky Gervais stand-up show, we have a food offer which suits the crowd.”
“I’ve been trained a certain way which means my personal standards are very high. I keep it simple and use the food that’s in season to produce delicious menus that the customers will enjoy.”
From a John Legend concert to a Ricky Gervais stand-up show, we have a food offer which suits the crowdDavid Siddall
“From the first customer through the door to the 500th the food offer has to be exactly the same. As a chef you never stop learning and experiencing new things, so I’m always looking at trends, the menus and our offer. However, without stability and a consistent offer, none of the other stuff really matters. It is all about the customer experience and for one of the busiest, large-scale indoor venues in the world, this is essential!”
As leader in the kitchen at Arena Birmingham, David says he’s also very privileged and thankful for his team who provide him with inspiration. David’s team includes a Head Chef, Deputy Chef and two regular chefs who together all look after the food offers in the indoor sporting and entertainment venue.
“We’re a good team and get on really well. We know each other very well and constantly communicate. There is a real sense of unity and my Head Chef and Deputy Chef have been here for over 20 years combined! Their knowledge and knowhow has been essential for me as I got to know the business.”
Asking David what he loves most about his role, he said: “I am privileged when a client comes back with great feedback, wants to rebook and increases their numbers for the next one. It shows we have gone beyond what they expected and they can’t wait to return.”