Friday, 9 September 2011

Reflection and Responsibility: The introduction to the start as a real chef.

    As a chef you are warned about the dependency of drugs and alcohol. After spending one year under the pressure and over the stove, finding myself enjoying the other side of the industry became natural. Slowly it started to break me. Smoking again and drinking regularly, even dabbling in things that shouldn't be, I soon realized that this was the time in my life where another important question was asked, "Is this really me moving forward?"

   The time had come to go to London for my trial. I was more gab than gift, jumped in for the service and showed every bit of my enthusiasm to be a chef . To me this was a huge opening, a door to open doors. However after the trial time had passed with no word from the restaurant and tension was getting to me, maybe even becoming a little broken. Thank god for Madara, my girlfriend, she was the one who came with me to London and still to this day she gives me my strength to be a better chef and above all else, a better man. She gave me hope and the push I needed.

   Months went by without response. So a  decision was made, I needed to grab my balls and tug... We would move to London regardless and hope for the best. Saving up some money.... and borrowing a bit, the ship was set sail and we were moving to London. With no doubt.... a call from the chef was received by me two weeks before moving, the role of Demi Chef De Partie was offered. I couldn't believe it. Not only did I get the job I was looking for, I was also being given a higher role and better pay. How could this happen? What did I do right? Lucky for me there were people who saw potential in me.

  The restaurant is seen as Anglo-Italian. One establishment split into two. The casual Trattoria upstairs and the more dressed up Dinning room downstairs. The unique thing about it was it took in 18 trainees every year from all kinds of backgrounds in order to train them up to work within the industry. It is a heavy role for someone who is basically a trainee himself. But I took it on, honest with every trainee about my background. Doing a lot in a short time with little experience they can learn whatever I know but if they wish to seek out more in depth answers the need to find them with a open mind and will to move forward.

   I have been at the restaurant for over a year and have learned many things. Since that time I have become a Chef De Partie and touched on almost every section. Currently I am a pasta chef in the Trattoria. But have worked on my own time as a fish monger. Worked three weeks with the baker. Gone to Italy to taste the wine and see the food. Helped mentor a group through a one year course to becoming chefs. Spent two days on a farm and even killed, feathered and gutted my own chicken. Now with more responsibility as a chef and a mentor I look forward to the oncoming group. Stopped smoking to.

Big Kev, Master Blockman
  A tutor told me once to always take a step back in role and move up a step in profession. One day I will work in the best restaurants, but for now I'm taking on board everything. Refreshing a bit at my first six months in London. Starting new and working with fish.