Thursday, 30 November 2017

Eating out, Staging and Hard grafting in the kitchen!

Jeruselum Artichoke & King Oyster
Chocolate & Cherries
One factor that made me choose Cambridge over any other city was the fact that it is on London's doorstep while still having low renting & living costs. With London being so close I always had the idea of staging on my mind. The question was; where? I have many friends working in some nice spots such as the Dorchestor, Core, the Royal Society, Tonic etc but I chose to stage with Dave Pigrim at the Royal Society. The kitchen is based in Carlton terrace which is about 3 minutes from Buckingham Palace and as you can imagine everything is very grand in the area.

Apple Martini
The kitchen itself is quite small, mostly because it's space has been taken up by the most amazing equipment you could imagine from 3 pacojets to an uncountable amiunt of thermomix's to even a plate jockey! I was in heaven on this stage. When Dave showed me around the whole building I was amazed by the sheer size of the place and how nice some of the rooms were such as the marble room, as you can imagine is all made of marble. He told me that the rent for one quater is £925,000! Although money is no problem for them they do recieve a 70% discount as they're a charity.

Midsummer House - A 2*
restaurant is in this tiny
house with a conservatory!
While on our placement I celebrated my birthday and as every year Willy, the Jr Sous, and I go for dinner together on our birthdays. We always pick nice places such as Eleven Madison Park, Patrick Guilbauds, Simpsons and added to the list this year was Midsummer House, convieniently located in cambridge about 5 minutes from where I live. Midsummer House is a 2* 5 rosette restaurant owned and run by Daniel clifford. Mark Poynton, chef patron of Aliemtum, was head chef in midsummer for 9 years before opening Alimentum and won their second star. Our current restaurant director Mathew Courtin was also assistant director in Midsummer house, along with my current Head Chef also worked there for 2 years. So with all these connections we knew we would be looked after!

We arrived and before we even mentioned our names Monsieur Imbert was asking us how thungs were at Alimentum and what we would like to drink. What amazed me most was how he knew who we were and where we worked even before i mentioned my name, maybe its obvious that two young guys coming to eat at a 2* are from the industry and thats how he knew but to me it was the most amazing customer service! We went upstairs to what they call the sitting room and relaxed with their suggestion of whiskey, an interesting swedish Hven whiskey.
Then we went to the table, right next to the kitchen with a view into it through a window.  We were blown away by the arrival of the next 13 courses.

To finish off the evening, along with a bill that seemed to cheap to be true, we were offered a kitchen tour, meeting Daniel clifford and Mark Abbot and being showed all around the house was an amazing experience making it maybe just the best birthday so far...

The Team
It was back to the grind in Alimentum after these nice few days out. I have changed sections from pastry, thankfully. Working now on larder and the odd day on sauce, I quite enjoy it. We're a team that's more like a family, the way every restaurant should be,
One Big Family.

Luke McLeod
Cambridge, U.K.

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