After a few weeks of living at home and loving the time off to recover from Ballymaloe… I moved to Copenhagen. I’ll be writing about my experiences here, along with fun food spots in Copenhagen and my day to day in the 108 restaurant. I’m here two weeks and I can safely say it’s a fab ole spot for a city break. Or a full on move for anyone who fancies keeping me company ❤
Apart from working a few stages in restaurants during the Ballymaloe course, a few summers waitressing in the Hamptons and my obvious love of food, my exposure to kitchen life was fairly limited. Day one I started at 5 am and it went as well as you may expect it did. There was an assault of information mingled with a fuck load of parsley to be picked. While picking the copious amounts of parsley I decided to try not to dwell on my lack of experience but rather my thirst for all this new knowledge. And in fairness if I fuck up royally what is the worst that can happen? I get shouted at. I get fired. I have to move home. And fail at my second career attempt. Gah!
Now when I pick parsley everyday I keep insightful thinking to a minimum. Clever right?
Apart from all the parsley and watercress we pick to use as garnishes for the salads and for oil infusions, I do get to cook actual food surprisingly enough. As one quarter of the AM team we are in charge of staff lunch and dinner every day. For 45 people. Mainly all chefs. Great craic. My day consists of a lot of prep work like chopping vegetables, preparing salads and reinventing ways to serve shaved apple and beetroot left over from service so that the chefs think I have done something new and different when in fact I have not. We fillet fish (IT’S AMAZING HERE!), joint meat and develop sauces. With so many chefs in the kitchen, it can get stressful but it is a good kind of stress that I think will help me improve on time management, cooking techniques and balancing flavours. I have learned so much from some of the senior chefs in 108 already and it’s only been two weeks. The main thing I have learned is if I think there is enough salt, there isn’t, add more.
Here is a link to 108’s menu https://108.dk/restaurant/ Some days I stay late to see service and learn to plate dishes. Needless to say my first cucumber accompaniment to the Monkfish on the bone main left a lot of be desired. Junior sous chef Marco basically said he needed me to be better and I think that is fair enough. It’s a one star Michelin restaurant and they let a lemon like me plate a dish. I practiced with his help and now I can plate the cucumber dish pretty fast and with less disgruntled faces. WINNING! I’m super excited to start on service in a few weeks and I feel I will have more of an idea of what I’ll have to achieve day to day. I may just get a smile out of them someday!
The days are intense, muscles are sore and limbs are tired but my mind is racing and it’s a pretty cool feeling. I’ll keep you updated each week with anything I find inspiring and fun!
Happy Sunday gang,