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Posts posted by chefsimon

  1. Hi All

    Its been a while, but heres my 10 in no particular order-Martin Wisharts and Galvins probably top 2, closely followed by Pollen St and Darozze

    1.Galvin at Windows

    2.Martin Wishart-Had the lunch menu but the execution was the best of the year, absolutly perfect

    3.Pollen Street

    4.Helene Darozze

    5.Nobu-Park Lane and Berkley St on a par with each other



    8.Medlar- Food great-Service amazing



  2. I use to work in Shanghai, most peoples stomach take a little getting use to any food cooked in china, most of the hotels have very reasonable priced food offerings

    Crystal Jade restaurant in Xintandi which is a bit of a touristy area does very very good food and safe,reasonably priced always look for the busy places, do not buy anything from the street sellers, that not to say some of it does not taste good, becauce believe me it does but there is obviously a level of risk, as anywhere

    you can eat in very good places for not alot of money

    Only drink bottled water,

    If your going expensive Jade on 36 Shangri-la hotel not to be missed (guess where i worked!!!), plus there all day dining option yi cafe is very good value, 9 live cooking stations and Jean George is one of the best meals i have ever had, chinese wise Whampoa club, think is the name is amazing in the same building as Jean george on the bund

    Mcdonalds is also very cheap :biggrin:

    Have a great trip

  3. has anyone eaten at bordeaux?

    yes, several times, very good deals in the week, very reasonable prices including wine, starters and mains definatly the stronger aspects, pastry a little weak

    well worth a visit, it has never been too busy when i have been,

    my only gripe would be that the service is a trying to be a little stuffy and a bit pushy compared to the rustic regional cuisine, overall i love the place, try the terrines and charcuterie for two!

  4. interestingly have just notice the Chef patissier at helene darroze in London is a Scottish chap by the name of kirk whittle.

    Not a local / hotel hire. It looks like he's also done two years as chef patissier at the mothership in Paris.

    That's quite impressive. Anyone else seen a Brit who's held down a ** pastry gig in Paris before?


    There must be something about Scotland and pastry chefs, i work with a Scottish guy at the moment and he is up there with the best, i ve worked with which includes claire clark and a couple of top french guys, one of them ex gagniere

  5. To quote a former teacher:

    "Here are a couple of simple desserts to throw together when your pastry chefs throws a tantrum and walks out." (Proceeds to demonstrate bavarois, vanilla souffle, creme caramel etc)  :biggrin:

    Exactly the sort of knowledge any good head chef should have!!

  6. ..the previous posters reiterate my point...In the UK the head chef knows everything better...

    I left England as a young man...went to CH and studied as a baker/confectioner..realised I knew bugger all so trained on as a chocolatier/confiseur, realised I still had so much to learn.then worked my way up as a hotel/restaurant pastry chef...attended courses and seminars led by the masters ( Bau, Wybauw, Herme, Ziegler, Eggenschwiler etc)

    Lots of time and energy which were eventually honoured by a couple of great jobs with an excellent salary. I respected the Exec Chefs and visa-versa, even though he knew I was on the same salary as he was..I did not tell him how to make his sauces..he did not tell me how I should enrobe chocolates...mutual respect and team work all round.

    In the UK things are a little different...(not for me I do not work in the pastry anymore) and as for the 70k plus salarys, dont be shy please let us all know where they are as I have a friend who was a michelin 3* pastry chef and is now looking for a job but never earnt anywhere near that salary.

    You re iterate my point about the attitude of the majority of pastry chefs!!!

    Believe me i do not claim to be a pastry chef, but i do claim to have an understanding of pastry and be able to discuss with the pastry chef about pastry with mutual respect! you obviously cannot be a good head chef without an understanding, also at the moment my pastry chef can discuss with me about things in the hot kitchen with mutual respect also, did you miss my bit about building relationships ?

    Your attiude is very much them and us which is not unusal from a pastry chef! when surely the whole kitchen should be working as one team towards the same goals!

    Believe me there are jobs out there that pay that much for pastry chefs, diverse multi outlet operations, as at the start of this topic there are not that many good ones so you want to keep them!

  7. mrs m wasn't keen on the preaching and when he threw away elisha's tomato sauce (a mrs m favourite), that was the final straw.

    I have a few recipes from MPW that uses Heinz`s finest.

    He is also has a leaning towards salad cream!!

    John Campbell uses tomato ketchup in his spiced lentals recipe (Formulas for Flavour)

    For what it`s worth.........Chris Horridge, what a cock!!!!!!!!!!!


  8. lets put a spanner in the works!  firstly pastry chefs in this country can get paid a considerable amount of money (£30k-70k if not more if you are at the very top) certainly at michelin level and have the power to negotiate good deals regarding hours and so on as most (not all) the skill is in the mise en place and construction of desserts so if they train their staff well there is not a necessity to oversee service. 

    But what i really want to say is that it is very rare that i  have come across a pastry chef that cooks what you want them to cook.  Head chefs know more about a complete meal than someone who specialises in one aspect of cooking.


    Thanks for your comment chef matt.  Let's put a second spanner in the works.

    You are suggesting that (some) pastry  chefs are too indepent and their desserts do not harmonise with the rest of the establishment's meal. Should not their head chef have a 'quiet word' with these offenders?


    I think what matt is trying to say very politely is that a lot, if not the majority of pastry chefs are very difficult to work with, which brings me back to my origanal post about how important it is to build relationships and understanding between main kitchen and pastry, please correct me if i m wrong matt

  9. Has anyone eaten at his restaurant and have you come away feeling healthier??

    Yes and no.

    What did you think of the food, leaving the health aspect aside?

    I had the worst meal i have ever had at the bath priory, admittedly it was Jan 07, but i think i would need to be paid to eat his food again, most disappointing meal and whole experience i ever have had in a restaurant!

    everything was poor from food to service but what i really remember is the soggy apple and pear crisps on the dessert!!!

  10. Read this topic and thought I might find out about some new and exciting pastry chefs. Instead no one has really named any new pastry chefs working in good restaurants in the UK. So here goes Gordon Gray at my restaurant. I am biased because I am a big fan obviously, but someone had to start it off. Great breads and desserts. Simple, clean flavour combinations with solid technique. I am very lucky to have him working with me, with pedigree of glenegles, vineyard and Micheal Caines. Gordon has total dedication to his craft as a pastry chef. Well there you go who's next to plug there own pastry chef? :biggrin:

    And your restaurant is ?

  11. The reasons that there are so good few pastry chefs in the UK is that generally the salarys on offer are crap and their is no recognition of the pc as a craftsman in their own right.

    When I  worked as a Pastrychef in Switzerland in hotels/restaurants I was more often than not paid more than the Exec. Chef.. This would be unthinkable in Britain where the pastry chef is seen as 'just another chef-de-partie' on the same level as the veg or larder chef.

    Maybe we should all go to Switzerland to be pastry chefs!Some places maybe the pastry chef is regarded as another cdp, but definatly not everywhere!

    There is only a certain level of restaurant upwards that really needs a dedicated pastry chef, i know a lot of pastry chefs that get paid very well indeed, it is also very important that all members of a kitchen team should gain a pastry knowledge, which happens very rarely these days! it is also important pastry chefs should realise how the kitchen side of things work also, so there is not that divide in the team wwhich can happen quite often between pastry and the main kitchen

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