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Posts posted by SaladFingers

  1. Well, I did ask whenever I finished doing something, what chef wanted me to do next but I certainly didn't come close to doing anywhere near that amount of work. The day's prep was quite laid back until service time, when it went mental and I was reduced to standing back admiring the confusion.

    Cut myself twice inside the first ten minutes but luckily not again for the rest of the day. I tried talking about food and asking questions all the way through. I am hideously quiet though, while everyone else is really pretty loud, which I find extremely daunting and I cannot see them warming to me much.

    Overall, I learned how to make beef/chicken stock (their way), sabayon sauce, fennel puree, celeriac and apple soup, avocado ice cream, ham beignets and canape size shepherd's pie. There are no recipes, so the quantity of butter/cream/water etc etc are vague in my head.

  2. I had lunch there a few months ago and thought it was excellent. All classical combinations and beautifully executed. We went not realising how much it cost though and at more than £40, it was certainly one of the more expensive lunches I've had.

    The good thing about going for lunch though was being able to enjoy morning coffee first then after lunch, wandering off into the beautiful countryside. As a way of spending the day, I can think of few others that can top it, really.

    Later this year, we plan on dinner at Sharrow Bay, staying over then lunch at Rampsbeck Country House on the other side of the lake.

    Maybe not as exciting as the opening of 21212 but still certainly a destination worth visiting as much for the location as the food.

  3. Finally got round to trying the First Floor Café. The place is always heaving, which was true of today with the emergance of Spring showing what appears to be the first major influx of tourism to Windermere this year.

    First thing I noticed was the sheer number of waiters running about the place. Reminded me slightly of Phoenix Palace, you can barely move for them. That said, they were aimeable and their prodominantly East European accents were lovely.

    Considering the chef is supposed to be Stephen Doherty who was head at Le Gavroche when they had 3 michelin stars, I was hoping, as basic as the menu is, that it'd be amazing.

    Tomtato and Basil soup was okay, I mean it was Tomato and basil soup but it wasn't anywhere as nice as what I had in a pub last week.

    Main course was chicken breast, black pudding, mashed potato and creamy leeks. It looked quite pretty but I was worried by the fact that the creamy leeks covered everything on the plate. As a result, I could not detect the flavour of the black pudding at all, nor the mash. It was effectively one homogenous flavour with a veriety of textures. So I chose to keep my side plate of spring vegetables seperate, which were lovely.

    If I worked a bit nearer, I'd probably get fat and make this a regular lunch venue because it is decent value. I was generally disappointed that it wasn't a bit more special, which is my fault for assuming Stephen would have raised it's food above average restaurant level.

  4. I'm essentially one of these high school students you're speaking to. Somebody mentioned nasty personalities and misfits. Are relationships in kitchens intense? I find I tend to prefer working by myself due to having a relative inability to get on with most people (this might make me a misfit). I'm really quite fey and delicate and the idea of working 14 hours a day with 'nasty people' scares the hell out of me.

  5. Tonights was a bit frustrating. It was the equivilent of watching someone make a bowl of cereal. Clare Smyth is head chef of a 3 star restaurant and I really want to see what she can do but the nature of the programme stifles that. At least it gives a few recipe ideas.

  6. Second time of trying to get crackling and second fail! I cut 2 large onions, but them cut side down in a roasting tin. They acted as a trivet for the pork...

    Scored the pork, rubbed salt into it and cooked at 150c for 3 hours, then turned up to 200c for 20 minutes before putting it under a grill for 5 minutes

    Scraped off the top surface to what I hoped would reveal lovely crackling.

    Nope - it's just soft and tastes slightly acrid. I can only presume the skin wasn't dry enough to begine with. Ugh, another wasted 4 hours!

  7. Not been to many Chinese restaurants aside from the casual, bog-standard neighbourhood ones that do a good job of feeding you. Tried Red Chilli while in Manchester and had Five Spice Beef, Shredded beef fillet in Cantonese sauce and hot poached lamb. This is the nicest Chinese food I've ever eaten. One more senior member of staff was wonderful and polite, though a huge congregation of staff members in the enterance completely ignored us. It was totally weird but all uphill after that.

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