Back of House, Front of Mind
“Back of House, Front of Mind” is a podcast presented by Healthy Mind Menu, an industry-led initiative that aims to improve the lives and normalise conversations around mental health for those working in the hospitality industry.
Welcome, Kevin Dobson
Kevin Dobson is an accomplished chef and co-owner of 3.8 Baysie. With a lifelong passion for hospitality, Kevin began his culinary journey at the local bakery in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand, learning the ropes of baking and bread-making. He then cemented his desire to make his passion his career by enrolling in culinary school at the age of 14 – knowing that his best work was to be found in the kitchen rather than the classroom!
After a few years of working in the NZ hospitality scene, Kevin followed the foodie trail to Australia, working in some of Australia’s most highly-regarded restaurants. When the opportunity arose to take his skillset onto the superyachts, Kevin jumped at the chance to combine his career with a healthy dose of travel and Vitamin D.
Kevin has established himself as a world-class private chef, attracting the producers of the TV series Below Deck and creating the YouTube cooking channel Small Town Cook.
Now settled back in Perth, he proudly owns and operates 3.8 Baysie, where he continues to create exceptional dining experiences with his unique blend of creativity and expertise.
Tell us how you spend your days.
Mornings awake before 3.30 am in the shop before 3.50 am start with 2 hours of quiet time normally rugby or self-help podcast in the background. Then the daily routine of cooking and serving before cleaning up and orders and plans are done for the next day before 3 pm. Home, walk the dog. catch up with family dinner on, show on tv, or research/ phone time. Bed by 8 pm. I do that 6 days a week.
Can you tell us about your career and how you got to where you are today?
1 cup of hard work 1/2 cup of knowledge 1/2 cup mistakes 1 cup luck 1/2 cup passion 1/2 cup love 2 tbsp ignorance 3 tbsp zest for life This recipe changes sightly yearly.
Explain the reasons why mental well-being has become important to you.
Mental well-being is super important for everyone not just hospitality workers. I think anyone who is more exposed to the harsh conditions of work/life balance i.e. myself you have to keep yourself in check a little bit more because your day-to-day life doesn’t normally revolve around the things that are good for your mind body and soul.
In earlier years I’d found myself in super bad situations i.e. chasing the money! Where I have completely gone in the wrong direction in the world and am now on the other side of it wondering what did I do. Finding it super hard to pull positives from those experiences. But chalk them up to experiences.
How do you prioritise self-care and balance it with other responsibilities in your life?
Right now downtime is important for me. I also very much like to keep in contact with the family to have some connection. Spending quality time with my daughter is important.
At this time in my life, I am aware my self-care needs to be better but I am fortunate enough to have a lot of support and love at home.
Can you tell us about a person who has had a significant impact on your life?
I don’t think there has been anyone person or podcast that has had a huge impact on my life. There have been multiple things and experiences that have impacted my life and one of those was the birth of my daughter when I was only 23yo that was very much a big impact. Haha.
What is something you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?
Currently in my seventh month of running our wee cafe so that challenge in itself is exciting enough.
How do you approach goal setting and achieving success?
Write your goal or plan down. Align your path to connect to this goal. Make sacrifices/steps to achieve this goal. revisit this vision of goals numerous times and adjust. And constantly talk about them!
How do you inspire well-being in those around you?
Daily/weekly check-ins. It’s as simple as R U OK? Open dialogue of wellbeing chats, how’s the gym routine what’s your daily struggle? How’s your diet???
What does healthy hospitality mean to you?
A very well-rounded individual or company that has the correct balance of work/life but within those two groups has multiple healthy connections with their peers and friends and family.