Meeting the team from BaBaBoom - London’s supercharged kebab restaurant inploi Team | 27.09.2017
What do you get when you mix two ultramarathon runners, a skiing sidekick and a passion for cooking over an open fire? One kick-ass kebab restaurant. One-year young, BabaBoom opened its doors on Battersea Rise in August 2016. It’s been a busy year for the team, who with 30 years of food experience between them, have created one of London’s coolest Middle Eastern hideouts. The company’s founders, Eve, Travis and Jono share a few simple passions: real food, big flavours, outdoor adventures and doing things the right way. Combining these interests, BabaBoom was born - serving up charcoal-grilled meat in soft Persian flatbreads with ‘punchy’ vegetable sidekicks. We caught up with Lead Chef, Tomas, to find out what it’s like working at this supercharged kebab kitchen.
Having worked as a chef across Europe for twelve years, Tomas has found his spot with BabaBoom: “It’s a step-up. Italian cuisine was my priority. But afterwards I looked for something different, something that other restaurants were not doing. When I first visited BabaBoom, I thought, ‘Wow, this is nice!’ They work with great flavours and prepare everything fresh - done properly - how it should be done. And I love cooking over charcoal!”
The Battersea restaurant is intimate, with the kitchen at its centre and an open front, providing customers with a window into the chefs’ work. With three or four chefs working each shift, it’s a fast-paced, creative, vibrant environment, with the whole kitchen team working closely together.
So what do they look for when recruiting new team members?
“We are looking for a calm disposition,” he explains. “A chef must be personable and organised - you need to know how to manage individuals in the team and how to manage our processes. Ultimately, you take on responsibility.” Because the kitchen is small, it’s important that the chefs can work around each other, keeping service smooth, even at peak times. “Ability and experience in the kitchen is always important but what really matters is personality and attitude and how our chefs interact together”
The team are akin to a close-knit family, and this spirit extends beyond the walls of the kitchen and restaurant. “We have a bike team”, Tomas mentions casually. The interest in fitness and team camaraderie extends beyond the founding team, with both kitchen and floor staff partaking in various sports – every Wednesday they play in a football league and recently the whole team did a kayak trip down the Thames. Tomas explains, “Activities I think are very important, it helps us become a close team. We don’t just go for drinks, this is more exciting. After a shift, I don’t just think ‘It’s done and I’m going home’. It adds a different side to their relationship beyond work and it’s clear the team love what they do.
After a decade of learning from different chefs and experiencing new places, Tomas is keen to settle down. BabaBoom provides plenty of opportunities for him to explore his passions, getting more involved with menu creation and training up junior chefs - ‘I love to teach’ he adds with a smile. With one year under their belt, BabaBoom are opening a new delivery kitchen at the end of October in Whitechapel, the first step of an exciting expansion programme. With a Westfield restaurant planned for March 2018, an exciting future lies ahead and they’re looking for great people to join them on the journey.
BaBaBoom are hiring! If you're looking to join the team at this awesome restaurant, check out their current job openings on the BaBaBoom company page here.