A tough decision
At the beginning of February, I began my adventure to the lake district in North England. My destination L’enclume located in the small village of Cartmel. L’enclume is a three Michelin starred restaurant which is part of the culinary superpower company of Simon Rogan, a modern legend in today’s food scene. Anyone who knows me knows how excited and passionate I was about getting an opportunity to work in an establishment like this. I moved into a small one floor flat in Grange over sands which is a ten-minute drive from Cartmel. Grange over sands is a beautiful little town with a population of just over 4000. The infrastructure and layout of the town feels as if you are in the 18th century with an abundance of old stone buildings. It is a place where everyone knows everyone a friendly smile is always around the corner. I moved in on a Monday and started on the Wednesday. All I can say is wow, what a kitchen, the restaurant is based in what used to be an old Blacksmith workshop Lenclume is actually French for anvil which is a metal tool used to shape things. The signature dessert is a caramel, apple and miso mousse which had the anvil shape pressed into it a nod of respect to the buildings origins. The team were so friendly, and I was shocked at the youth in there they really invest in the next generation I met Simon Rogan and got a warm handshake and a friendly welcoming. The restaurant serves 20 courses for around 40 covers on a Tuesday and Wednesday, and then from Thursday to Sunday do an extra 40 people for lunch which is basically just a shorter tasting menu. The kitchen is set up so well and everyone was at such a high level. Unfortunately, after the first week I just found out of place in the restaurant the level they were at just was not somewhere I was near at this moment in my career. With a heavy heart I decided I was not ready for the three Michelin star madness of L’enclume, so I returned to Ireland at the end of the week. I won’t lie when I returned I was a bit lost after speaking so excitedly to everyone about the restaurant it was tough to face up to the reality of the situation. I gave myself a few days, and with some great help from the Erasmus co-ordinator who put me back on track I was ready to try again fortunately a place in the Europa hotel in Belfast opened up and I got in. in the next blog post I will take more about the new experience.