Back soon…

I have to leave San Francisco earlier than expected to go back to the UK, but hope to be back in 2010 with more food, photos and news…

First course…

Chez Panisse continues to amaze and teach me more than I could have ever hoped. The chefs I work with are utterly inspiring, making the most incredible food night after night, with smiles on their faces and minimum fuss. Why aren’t all restaurants this way and how on earth did I get lucky enough to […]

Back in the Bay

I’m back and have found San Francisco (and its inhabitants) as gorgeous as ever. Sunshine, beautiful views, wonderful people, great food and a few days of rest and fun before heading into my first stage at Chez Panisse. One of California’s best-loved and most-respected restaurants, it has an impeccable ethos, serving the finest sustainably-sourced, organic, […]

La Fin

After 182 days, 1,000 dinners, 700 breakfasts and 1,800 hours in the kitchen, my stint in France is coming to an end. I’m looking back at the past six months and trying to sum them up… but I just can’t. I arrived not really knowing what to expect, yet it became strangely familiar almost immediately […]

“C’est normal”…

… a frequently-heard phrase in these parts – but it doesn’t mean exactly what you’d think it does. For the French, it’s more a way of saying “of course” or “don’t mention it”. But I hear it so often that it has made me realise that what I hold as “normal” has taken on a […]

All creatures not so great and small

Mother Nature has a funny way of reminding you who’s boss… For any city-dwellers imagining that the countryside is the place for peace and quiet, think again. Once the hotel gets full, we ship out, so I have spent a number of nights staying with our lovely farming neighbours, Monsieur and Madame Regourd. They live […]

The end of the world? No, just the start of August…

So, I’d been told that the weather can get a bit unpredictable in August, but this is truly ridiculous… Having been lured back to Toulouse, I spent the day roaming the city in glorious sunshine. When day gave way to dusk, it brought a change in the weather as the clouds rolled in and the […]

The heat is on

Chefs have a complex relationship with heat…  Too much and the food burns, too little and nothing ever cooks.  A few degrees out and a dish can go horribly wrong – especially true when tempering chocolate or taking sugar syrup to the right stage, but also the difference between deliciously pink or overdone meat.  The […]

The view from here

All in all, it’s not a bad life, really…  The sun’s out, the guests are happy (they gave up worrying about their waistlines a couple of days ago- it’s best just to go with it, really) and the food’s working out nicely.  Orlando and I did our weekly cookery demonstration this morning – we showed […]

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