Its not too dark but was a little naughty. I was heading a small restaurant in Wiltshire and we were advertising the fact that the owner had a huge garden and was producing a lot of the vegetables for the menu ‘from garden to plate’. A very famous trade magazine came to produce a feature and we trotted around the grounds collecting the goods that were ready for picking. This included some lovely green beans. I returned to the restaurant where I was to produce a meal using some local lamb and the vegetables. When it came time to plate I couldn’t find the beans. The sous chef had served them to a previous table. I quickly gathered some Kenyan green beans and served the delicious dish to the editor and photographer who lapped it up. When I went out to see if they had enjoyed the dish they mentioned that it was super but the star of the show were the beans and how you could really tell the difference with them being so fresh! Made me chuckle!
Sirocco at The Royal Yacht Hotel
My darkest moment was when I was working at George hotel on the Isle of Wight which was a Michelin 3 rosette restaurant and we had 35 in the restaurant and 80 in the brasserie and we had a power cut and 1 of the chefs walked out that evening, it was pandemonium. For a young chef it was as if the head chef had turned into Satan and the kitchen had become hell the aggression was indescribable and no one left that evening the same person. Thankfully things have changed a bit now!
Dannys Catering & Dannys
My darkest moment was whilst serving a massive outside catering for x 750 VIP diners at Fort Regent and running out of gas half way through the service. Luckily I know a few people and could pull some strings, but the sheer panic for the first ten minutes was horrible. We did end up serving everyone to rave reviews.
Literally? It’s got to be inside the walk-in refrigerator when the power goes out! But on a serious note it’s when, on a rare occasion, one of our kitchen team get injured; Burns, cuts, etc. Just horrible.
My darkest moments were when we first started the business. Stress levels had reached gargantuan proportions, new business, no money, massive loan, new baby, no sleep, running office from home (with baby), pressure from financial backers to reach targets, finding my way through the quagmire of business administration procedures, creative drive on overload, desire to impress customers on overload with big, big dreams, and all the above in partnership with my passionate and equally creative husband Damon. The temperature in the kitchen was dangerously hot and the air filled with the worst kind of language on a regular basis as we battled over timing, presentation, special requests, changes, quality, menus, prices, staff the list goes on and on… It was nasty, and all with the man I loved. You’ve got to have “balls” to be in this business and succeed but you’ve got to have a special bond (some may say a disturbingly crazy bond) to do it with your husband and not end up in the divorce court! We don’t do any of that shouting at the hot plate anymore, we are still together goodness knows how, that’s love I guess.
Over the years there were a few “dark” moments, but nothing over the top. There’s been the “usual” flying pots and pans through the kitchen, Head Chefs loosing it with other chefs (me included). Then there was the ‘learning curves’ a long time ago… small cuts and burns! I recall a couple of times, during service and with a few orders in, we had a power cut, not only in Jersey!! It happen’s in England and France too. Those were DARK moments!!!
Cooking at a function on an industrial BBQ because of a power cut, we had a generator for lighting. Some of the guests were crying because it was going so badly!