Continuing the theme of watching talented people at work, it was great to see Angela Hartnett running the pass at York and Albany last night. The Maitre d’ told us we had the best seat in the house, and I think he was right.
It was a very quiet and composed kitchen, with the occasional stern looks and guidance from Angela all it took to keep the machine running. It was not the monastic feeling of El Bulli, but was streets away from the shouting, swearing melee we usually see in TV kitchens.
The experience made me realise how little chance I would have of running a commercial kitchen effectively. I did not understand how everyone in the brigade was getting their instructions, nor how Angela was checking that each member was doing their job. The reading out of orders seemed to be very quiet and without response from the brigade, and elements of dishes would appear as if by magic at the right time. The lady running meat and fish would occasionally tick down minutes to ready, but without table or order details.
Not something I could do straight off.
We had a very nice wedding anniversary meal too, much enhanced by watching a team go about its business so effectively. Less enhanced by another hair in Wiffy’s food. She attracts them like jellyfish.