When dining at your favourite restaurant you interact with your host, wait-staff and at times the chef; however, rarely do you witness the hard workers behind the kitchen doors, including the dishwasher. Raymond Jr. plays a vital role on the kitchen team as dishwasher and although he is inevitably hidden from the guest’s view, his contribution is the secret sauce behind a successful day.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario, Ray Jr. is proud to call the city his home. “My parents moved from Newfoundland to Cambridge in 1969. I was born three years later and named after my father,” explains Ray Jr. “Galt, as we knew it back then, was our stomping ground and it hasn’t stopped being my home.”
One of Ray Jr.’s first jobs was a ‘sports runner’ for the Cambridge Reporter newspaper. He would get behind the scenes of the local hockey game and run the final score and exciting details back to the editor to print for the next day – a job that kept him connected to his city.
“I remember reading articles about the Langdon Hall property while working at the Reporter,” says Ray Jr. But little did he know how much Langdon Hall would impact his life until years later when his dad starting working for their head chef.
Similar to many, family is deeply important to Ray Jr. and his dad has been a guiding leader through his life. It was in August 2010 on Ray Jr.’s wedding day that the Langdon Hall kitchen family provided much needed support, and this newly extended family was there again in 2013 when Ray Jr. joined the dishwasher team in Langdon Hall’s kitchen.
“Becoming a dishwasher in a busy kitchen was a big learning curve for me and at first I was nervous about breaking the delicate dishes,” explains Ray Jr. “But I felt supported not only with my dad working beside me but by the whole team.”
Ray Jr.’s days in the kitchen can be long, soggy and tough at times but as he gathers his troops to prep for the shift, reviews the itineraries and number of guests the house will be greeting, he finds his groove and away he goes. Although the kitchen environment can inevitably be hard, to Ray Jr. it is also rewarding.
“We look out for each other, we’re a family,” says Ray Jr. “Working at Langdon Hall feels like home and although my dad doesn’t work beside me any longer I always follow his advice, Respect yourself and do your best, and this includes being committed to my team.”
With his wife Christina and six year old son Matthew, Ray Jr. is grateful to have found a job that focuses on family ethics, both inside and outside the kitchen. He explains, “Being there for Christina and Matthew is very important to me and having a team that understands and values that means the world to me.”