Monday, 31 March 2008

Welcome to the real world


That's it. Exams are over and for the next three weeks I won't have to make the long journey over to West London every morning. However unlike when I was a student the first time round, I won't be spending my holiday drinking and getting up late with a hangover. For the next week I'll be working in restaurant kitchens, real live ones that have paying customers and everything!

Monday to Wednesday I'll be working at The Palmerston in East Dulwich doing a lunch shift and two evening shifts. The Palmerston is an above average gastropub whose kitchen is run by former Bibendum head chef Jamie Younger and for the last three years has held an AA rosette for its cooking. Dishes on the menu include Duck and Pistachio Ballotine with Apple Chutney and Cornichons, Line Caught Plaice with Samphire and Mussels, and Grilled Calves Kidneys with Red Wine Radicchio Risotto.

I'm going to be working as the third chef, looking after side orders and desserts and today I learnt my way around the kitchen, prepping ingredients for the a la carte, putting together a special Banana Sticky Pudding for the lunch menu and managing a few of the veg side orders that came in over lunch. It's great to finally find myself in a working kitchen and from plating desserts to picking individual leaves of coriander, I loved every minute of it. On Friday I move on to another kitchen, but more on that another time...

8 comments:

James said...

Welcome to reality.

I always remember being shocked by the speed at which you have to work once you're getting paid for it. It took a while, a trip to casualty and a few hundred burns, but once you get it, it runs like a dream, and you forget that most people call it a job.

Alex said...

This must be great, and getting to move between kitchens sounds like a brilliant way to try out different work environments.

And getting to look after puddings, too! :)

Helen said...

That sounds like a great experiences. I have been known to patronise the Palmerston so I might pop in!

Pete said...

I thought you might be a Palmerston diner, Helen. Order some french beans tonight and you'll know they've been lovingly handled by my fair hands!

Trig said...

Good luck - I'm sure you'll enjoy working in a real kitchen. Even though I had plenty of experience in a "realistic working environment" as a student, nothing quite prepares you. But James is completely right. Once you learn to get into the "zone" it becomes much easier. And believe me, it's a real privilege to get paid to do what you love.

Pete said...

James, you're right, the speed is something I've never experienced before (apart from in my practical exam last week!) but the adrenalin rush of service is quite amazing.

Alex, unfortunately looking after the puddings is less enjoyable than eating them, but hey I'm happy to have been given the responsibility so early on.

Trig, thanks for your good luck message. You're gonna love where I'm going next...

Anonymous said...

No, don't say it...you mean you're going to Versailles?

Anonymous said...

Hey glad to hear the course is going well. Do you have a facebook site? Be cool to keep in contact. Mine is Claire Wells
clairewells62@aol.com
http://schnitzel.wordpress.com
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