Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Explorin' a city on your split

Cambridge is a city which is bursting with history, unsurprisingly as I have found out. Alongside the history is a wide range of modern art, ancient museums, chapels and some of the biggest universities in the world. I have found a large number of fellow Irish over here working in the industry too.
Everyday we start work at 7.30am and work through our lunch to about 4.30 and split to 5.30 then work the dinner service till 9 and leave for 11.30. Its a long 15/16 hour days that would take the toll on you if you didn't get out of the kitchen and explore.
Great St. Mary's chapel -
The tallest point in Cambridge

Apricot sourdough baked daily in the pastry section
A typical day for me starts with getting the bread mixed and into the proofing oven before getting ready to knock out the MEP for the day. Our mise en place is always a very fun list because all sections will work together to help get everybody finished on time for service. What I like most about working in Alimentum is the fact that we get whole animals, fish, vegetables etc in, there is no pre-preparation of produce before it comes in. This allows everybody in the kitchen to constantly learn from Chef Mark.

Each lunch service is at 12:00 and from 11:30 to 11:45 we have a briefing which will bring all staff together before service, run through the lunch bookings, new dishes, whats running low, a wine tasting and finally finish with a coffee. When it comes to service everybody runs their own section, so far i have spent the majority of my time on pastry while still spending time on garnish and larder.
Pear, Toffee, Hazelnut
A trial dish

After lunch we clean down, scrub the floors, take 5 mins and then begin to prep once again. Nailing down essential dinner place, as well as prepping each section prepares one item of staff food for the 5 o clock dinner. recently we have put so much effort into our staff food as we believe it reflects in your performance at dinner service.

Cleaning these beauties before dinner
We go through the evening briefing at 5:30 - 5:45 with the same schedule as morning the have service from 6-9.30, then have the same routine as after lunch, take 5, wash down, scrub the floors and then clear our fridges and freezers. so they're empty for the following morning. We finish at 11/12 and go home back in to start the grind again the following morning.

By Luke McLeod
@Restaurant Alimentum
Cambridge, UK

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