Teresa is always around, spreading her good spirits and energy. She picks up the small dog, cuddles him, gives him a treat, jokes around with him before returning to the kitchen. Everyone knows Teresa and she is likely the one that newcomers at Jimmy’s get to know quickly. Looking out into the lounge out of her abode, the kitchen, she sees everything and everyone.
Teresa is the chef at Jimmy’s and has been in that role since summer 2016. At the beginning of her career, when she was still looking after her kids, she started cooking in schools. Quickly, she went to a full-time role at the prestigious University Arms hotel where she worked for six years. Several more stops in catering and cafes eventually led her to the kitchen at Jimmy’s. “I came around for the interview, had a look and thought: I can do that, everyone is so friendly and warming.” And this feeling didn’t change when she started: “After a couple of days felt like part of the furniture, I settled straight in, I really like it.”
Now, Teresa comes in usually four days a week: “I start around 10, 1030; my hours are from 11 to 630 but why would I sit around at home doing nothing? So, I am often here longer.” And Teresa doesn’t just do the cooking; she also sorts out donations and most importantly she chats with the guests. In fact, that is almost the whole part of her being at Jimmy’s: “I really enjoy meeting different people, being part of an extended family, chatting to people; it’s nice to get to know people’s stories, really.”
She goes as far as – jokingly – admitting that she doesn’t really care about the cooking as much. “I mean, I do, I provide a nutritious meal for everyone, making them warm and cosy.” As so often, however, the meal is not just about the food, however. Teresa makes everyone welcome at Jimmy’s, makes Jimmy’s feel like a home.