Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Being a chef... The good,bad and ugly!

When i first decided that i wanted to be a chef the idea of doing for a living what i loved doing at home appealed to me more than i can really say so when i did my apprenticeship everything just really fell into place and it did for a while but then as you start to do it for a while little things start to show through and trust me something that could seem so stupid to anybody else could ruin your day, but yes don't get me wrong there can and is days where the heat and the stress don't seem to bother you but one little knock and it throws everything up in the air. 

Kitchens aren't the places they show on the TV programmes. There hot, there fast paced and stressful places. Gordon Ramsay or your other favourite famous celebrity chef aren't going to be there while your cooking for a million dollar prize or whatever, chances are there is going to be a stressed out,overtired and little bit angry higher up chef watching your every move.  Making mistakes for whatever reason be it stress or lack of sleep will always be a common occurrence and from my personal experience they will happen the trick is not letting it bother you which is ALOT more difficult than it sounds. 

That all being said the friendships and almost the second family you gain from spending 13+ hours a day there in that sort of environment, i wouldn't give up for the world because knowing that every other person in that kitchen is going through exactly the same thing as me so the bonds you build with these people will begin to mean everything to you! There's lots of places on the internet that will rattle off "50 things they never tell you about being chef" which a lot of the time is so negative that people will read them and go why the hell would i want to put my self through this! The truth is for me anyway and i suppose many people will either agree or disagree with this but its the passion for what your doing that drives you forward. Its the same for any career, why does anybody do anything they love? Its the passion for what your doing that drives you every day. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Pollen Street Social

So while i was recently in London i was lucky enough to be set up with a table for lunch in Jason Atherton's 1 Michelin starred restaurant Pollen Street Social and i can say without a doubt its the best meal I've had start to finish.

To start off we were given fresh baked bread with whipped butter and canap├ęs consisting of smoked salmon and cream cheese breads, beetroot gel in a tiny little pastry case and avocado puree on another type of bread i can't remember the name of. (I probably should though)

For Starters I had the cured salmon starter with cucumber and kohlrabi (thats german turnip for those of you who don't know, don't worry if you didn't i had to ask the waitress), Lauren had the smoked duck and pear starter. The salmon was perfectly cured and looked fantastic and from what Lauren said about hers that was also amazing. I think both of us had wished we could have both!!

Before the main course arrived we were served these really cool cups with an amazing mushroom tea as the waitress described it, which tasted amazing.

Onto the main course, i had the amazing braised ox cheek with pearl barley and roasted artichoke with a dashi broth. which i can honestly say I've never had anything like it. Everything went so well together and just tasted so hearty and warming and on a rainy day in London like it was, it was perfect! With Lauren being a bit of a fussy eater she wasn't sure she would like any of the mains so when the waitress told us when we sat down that they'd ran out of guinea fowl and they were changing it to chicken she chose that, you can't really go wrong with chicken!

After an amazing main course and both us feeling full we were in two minds about dessert but decided that we couldn't really not! I chose the rhubarb cheesecake and Lauren chose the chocolate marquise because we both had food envy of each others desserts we ended up sharing! They were both amazing! A really light way to end an amazing meal.

As a little extra as the bill came we were given a little bakewell tart and some sugar sweets, we both thought this was a really nice touch!

So all in all an amazing trip to treat ourselves, all though being in a centre of London it does come at a bit of a expense but it is definitely worth the trip! we both agreed we'd have to come for dinner next time!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Weekend in London


Hi guys. I love coming to London, there's literally so much you can do. The hustle and bustle of the capital sends shivers down my spine. Seriously whether its for one night or one week, your guaranteed to find plenty to keep you busy! 

Roll on to Friday afternoon myself and Lauren caught the late train down due to her having to go to uni! So by the time we eventually arrived we just wanted to check in and settle down with some room service and crappy hotel TV! We'd venture out tomorrow for an amazing day in the big city! 

I'm lucky enough to have some amazing people in my life and it just so happens my head chef has some friends in London that he called to set me up with a table in one of the best restaurants in London, Pollen Street Social. *insert oooo's here* The food was amazing. ridiculously so. After eating here it's definitely something I can now well and truly tick of my bucket list. 

One of the starters. Smoked salmon with radish/pickled kohlrabi and herbs

So after an amazing lunch we wandered  around London until it was time to get on moving back to the hotel and get ready for that night! After all they say the west end waits for no one...

Before heading along to the theatre we were given a little bit of advice to go grab a cocktail before going to see Charlie and the chocolate factory so we ended up in the really cool little place called the blind pig which did some of the most amazing cocktails I've ever seen. Odd but amazing! 
Espresso and stout shaken with ice. Like I said odd but nice! 

After that we took the short walk along to the theatre to go see Charlie and the chocolate factory. If you're in London and not sure what you want to do then I suggest you go spend a couple of hits of your life watching this absolute masterpiece! You won't regret it! 
View from our seats in the theatre. That's a long way down...

So after a really relaxed day it was time to jump in a cab and head on back to the hotel for the night. 

 We deliberately booked a late-ish train back up to Newcastle so we didn't have to rush around so on Sunday we just went to this really small cafe grabbed a coffee and some breakfast then just wandered around harrods and did a little bit of shopping! (All the generic touristy stuff!)
I love coffee art! 

So all in all a really relaxed couple of days away from work and everything else! I can't recommended everything I've mention in the blog enough! Go to pollen street social, go have cocktails in the blind pig and go see a show! 

Remember it's all about you! Enjoy yourself and everything else will fall into place! 

Comment your favourite things to do in London and don't forgot to follow me on social media! 

See you guys next time!