I read over my first week’s post from Ballymaloe near to my first day ‘anniversary’. It struck how wonderously awed I sound, like a child on Christmas morning. It also struck me that I make no mention of the actual food or cooking! This year, instead of walking through the kitchen garden in chef’s whites, I was bringing Mr. WB home from A&E, both in our pyjamas (all better now, thank God).
Anyway, I didn’t mention it, but I remember on my first days in the kitchen thinking ‘I’ll never work in a restaurant kitchen’. Drying dishes the night of the pop-up, I thought ‘I’ll never work in a restaurant kitchen’. And now? I’ve just finished my first week…working in a restaurant kitchen. Paradiso‘s restaurant kitchen, to be precise.
I’ve peeled, prepped, pureed, chopped, baked, scooped and sieved my way through five evenings. There’s been a burn or two, which I haven’t even registered at the time. I’ve gone from never using a blowtorch to browning Baked Alaskas with gusto, and plating 40 desserts in one service.
It’s an amazing experience, not least because I get to eat the same food as the customers! Little do they know, as they sit chatting and laughing, that inside, seated on the stepladder beside the freezer, is a rookie chef enjoying the same plate of beetroot risotto (albeit in a 10 minute break).
In fact, I think every diner would appreciate their food all the more, were they know the time involved in the kitchen preparation!
Well, it’s hard to believe that it’s over seven months since I finished my 12 week course in Ballymaloe Cookery School, and I’m definitely a lot more settled than in my previous Limbo Land post. The allotment has been bearing fruit (literally, you have no idea how many raspberries are in my freezer), and I’ve been using orders of work for ‘fancy’ dinners at home.
Not only that, but I decided to try out my new skills in the outside world too, in the form of a stage (rhymes with ‘Taj’, trust the French to make things sound fancy!) Continue reading “What to do after Ballymaloe”
Regular readers are probably wondering what’s become of the allotment. There’s been a conspicuous silence since it was last mentioned in April.
There has not been a conspicuous absence of work though. Looking at the photo below, I think you’ll agree that Mr. WB has done an amazing job.
In the absence of a drone, I shimmied up a ladder to give you a good view: Continue reading “Allotment Update!”
The second part of Litfest….
Once you get beyond individual diners and restaurateurs, you may enter the murky world of the food industry. If you’re of the opinion that ignorance in bliss, don’t listen to Joanna Blythman! Continue reading “More Food For Thought”
It may be a cliched title, but Litfest 2017 certainly did provide food for thought, and plenty of it. I was lucky enough to be volunteering and got to see plenty of the action between shifts. Continue reading “Food for Thought”
Springtime is definitely apple blossom time. Of course, I’m so delayed writing this that’s it now summer (not that you’d know it from the rain outside today)!
One of Mr. WB’s favourite lines is ‘I know a guy’. Example: me talking about getting a marble slab to roll pastry, Mr. WB- ‘I know a guy’. (He does- guess what I got as a Christmas present!) Continue reading “An Apple A Day…”
On Saturday 19th November, the 12 week students ran a pop-up restaurant in Ballymaloe Cookery School, fundraising for Slow Food International. I’m even later writing about this than Darina was in The Irish Examiner! Continue reading “Week 9 1/2: Pop Goes the Restaurant”
There were plenty of good things this week. Monday’s demo was a list of ‘student requests’ ranging from pho bo to bagels (and ignoring my query of whether a gluten-free version was possible). Bravo to the teachers for packing a phenomenal amount of recipes into the afternoon and still managing to finish by 5.30. Continue reading “Week 12: All Good Things”
Look at the colours in this! (and ignore the bad lighting due to my shadow…)
Pop your leftover red cabbage from Christmas in with some finely sliced/shredded vegetables for a colourful, tasty and healthy ‘leftovers’ dinner. Continue reading “Rainbow Stir Fry”
Well, life is full or surprises. Not only did Wednesday bring afternoon tea at Ballymaloe House, but also an invitation to supper at Tim & Darina’s as a ‘thank you to the students involved in the pop-up restaurant event on 19th Nov (yes, I know, I still haven’t written the blog post about it). Continue reading “Week 11: Days of Wine & Roses”