Stage # 2: The Clove Club

I did a 2 day stage at The Clove Club, No. 26 best restaurant in the world. http://m.theworlds50best.com/index.htm. Robbin ( Head chef at Fifteen) was able to put me in contact with the Head chef of The CC, Isaac McHale who was keen to have me in.

I worked with the pastry team during prep but helped mostly the cold starters/ entrée section during service time.
Desserts were Tart tatin with crémé fraîche( with vanilla and apricot kernel oil), Sarawak pepper ice cream with Almafi lemonade foam and waffle. Petit fours include chocolate bonbons, barley choux buns filled with vanilla cream and whisky gel and sugar candy filled with Fernet Branca and creme de menthe.
Staff worked from 8am to 1-1.30am in the morning. I did 35 hrs in my 2 day stage. Chefs work 4 days straight with 3 days off. I have to say It was rough, face paced and competitive. The sous chef is 24 years old and others there were younger or around the same age. I admired their hard work, energy, passion and continuous strive for perfection on a plate. An interesting experience but I learnt that working in a Michelin restaurant is not for me. Perhaps If I was in my early 20’s and had that energy.

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The Chefs at The Clove Club at 1.30am. Tired and Happy.

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Stage #1 :St. John’s Bar & Restaurant

I did my first stage ( a French word for ‘internship’ commonly used in the cooking industry where chefs go to other restaurants and work for free) at St. Johns Bar and Restaurant (Smithfield) in London. They are ranked No. 91 best restaurant. They are a iconic English eatery specialising on ‘nose-to-tail’ dishes using seasonal produce.

I had organised with Robbin (Head Chef at Fifteen) who used to work at St. Johns himself and Jonathan Woolway, the current Head chef of St Johns for me to come and do a stage on my day off.

I came in at 8am, I worked in the pastry/Bakery section for one day and there I was making and baking seed cakes, bread and butter pudding, chocolate ice cream, butterscotch sauce, pear sorbet just to list a few tasks. They focus on using seasonal fruit and change their menu accordingly. I learnt more about classic British puddings ( thats what the English call desserts) I don’t know about such as an Eccles cake (they served with cheese-interesting) and oh St. Johns here is famous for their Madeleine’s baked to order. As well as a restaurant, the bakery also sold takeaway jam doughnuts, brownies and sourdough bread.

I finished at 4pm and I was given a loaf of bread to take home! Everyone working at St. Johns were so nice and friendly and I enjoyed my time learning something new there. I realised that simplicity and fresh is sometimes the best.

 

20160913_155503.jpgThe St John Pastry team, Jonathan Woolway & I

Behind is the Bakery section where all the puddings are made and their signature hand written blackboard bar menu that changes everyday.

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Celebrity Chef: Part Onze!

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Jamie Oliver & Moi !

Finally a photo with the Boss whilst at work at Fifteen, London

Super nice and down to earth.

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The Party Eclair

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Strawberry and White Chocolate Eclairs

Dehydrated Strawberry, Violas and Strawberry powder

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Celebrity Chef: Part Dix!

13939315_10157310625555472_5889965338917218400_nGennaro Contaldo

I met him whilst at work at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant, London

Such a nice and super cool guy!

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My Basil Granita

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Sweet basil and Chegworth apple juice

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My first plated (test) dessert creation

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Raspberry infused poached peaches

Basil Jelly

Honey and cinnamon ice cream

basil powder, raspberry tuile, almond and cinnamon crumble.

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