Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What a weekend that was, it is good to be a chef.

Well we have just completed the busiest weekend we have had at Hadleys since I started in late April. We fed just over 500 people from Friday - Sunday night just in functions. Then we had the restaurant, room service and around 130 people in for high teas so it was all go. Friday night was the big one with 3 dinners and a cocktail party. I take my hat off to my team and the front of house team as the whole weekend went very well. All functions were well organized and ran very smoothly. The temp staff we had in from our sister hotel and a local polytechnic worked very well. It is such a buzz when you have a big day, or in this case a big weekend, when everything just clicks and you can stand back at the end of the night and say that there was nothing I could have done to make this go any smoother. It has been a long 3 months but we have Hadleys pointing in the right direction now so we are looking forward to a busy lead up to Christmas. And not to forget that little thing of opening Hadleys Collins Street as well. We are in the final stages of planning the fit outs for both front and back of house. Busy designing the kitchen and food outlets, getting quotes and the other 100 thing that come with opening a new outlet.

We are adding some more staff to our teams now as demand grows and this is allowing me to spend the time required to manage what we are doing and giving me the time to plan where we want to be. We have had 2 groups of hospitality students come in for a behind the scenes look at how a hotel works from a local polytechnic this week. The 2 groups were divided into 2 sections those that want to work front of house and those that want to work, of course where all the fun is, in the kitchen. So I met with them first and gave them a look around and a brief lesson on what we do at Hadleys and what we will be doing with the new development. Then showed them through the kitchen were they got to see what a kitchen looks like after a busy breakfast and lunch service. Also this gave them the chance to ask any questions they wanted. It was a good intro for them and also gave us a sneak peek at those students who were serious about making hospitality their career.

One of the questions that I was asked was " what are the benefits of being a chef " for me this is an easy question to answer. For one if you apply yourself you can always get a job, you can travel at home and abroad and you will get out of this industry what you put in and it can take you far indeed. I will be traveling to China and Japan in a few weeks to organize some purchases and see a few concepts that we want to implement in the new development. And for me being given the chance to do this is one of the best perks about my job. I would like to thank the owner of Hadleys for putting his trust in me and giving me the chance to be so involved in what is going to be a fantastic development. So I will be having a ball with any free time I get in China and eating as much street food as I can and taking as many photos as I can for my blog. Tokyo fish markets here  I come, I do not care what time I have to get up I can sleep on the plane on the way back. I have a shopping list a mile long and my staff keep adding to it on a daily basis. As long as I have enough room left for a knife or two for me and something nice for Mrs Chef then all is good.

I have added a new page to my blog called ask the chef. Now I do not want to sound like a know it all but if you have any culinary questions then just ask and we will see what we can do. Also lets swap and share recipes, photos and dinning experiences. I am very keen to get some old recipes for sauces, jams, chutney and relishes. And any recipes for hams, salami and meat curing in general, especially prosciutto as this is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. This page is for general information and the sharing of knowledge so lets give it a go and have some fun with it. I was asked not so long ago why I shared some of my so called chef secrets. Well as far as I am concerned food is about sharing and not just the dinning experience. I like to know the story behind the products that I am using and I like to pass this on to my team and guests as well. This gives everyone a greater understanding of what and why I use some of the products that I use and also gets the name of some of my producers and products out there as well. Some one may eat at Hadleys and in a few months be somewhere else and recognize a name of a supplier or product and remember that they enjoyed it and try it again. Then it is win win for everyone from the producer to the customer. If someone asks me how or why I use something or how do I do that then I will always pass on the information.

By the way the cheese is going nicely it has a good layer of white mould growing on it and it starting to ripen from the outside in. We could not resist and tried some last night great taste still developing and a bit chalky inside but on the way. I will post some photos of the cheese soon. Can not wait for China and Japan.     


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post dad. Cant wait to see your China and Japan photos, congratulations on getting another oppurtunity through work to explore over seas. Any chance of a trip to London? Good idea with the new page too! If I plan any big meals I will be sure to ask you for tips.
    Why does only Mrs Chef get a present? I think Mini Chef deserves one too :P

  2. Well mini chef, Mrs Chef said that if you were at home with us then of course you would get a present. But because you are tripping around Europe and the UK the present buying duties fall to Mr B. But I will have some sushi for you at the Tokyo Fish markets. Love your photos, care package on the way to you keep it hidden and do not share.
    Love you.

  3. I miss sushi! Asian food has not really made it to this curry (and dirty chicken) loving land yet. Give it another 10 or 20 years and we'll see. Brayden and I are on the hunt for rice paper so we can make our favorite Vietnamese dish. This is proving quite difficult as there are no Asian markets on this side of the globe. I will have to scour Sainsburys on the weekend.
    I had my first Paella experience yesterday. I am in love. I will be making a trip to Spain in January now to embrace some more Spanish delights. I will post some photos to your sharing page in the next few days.

  4. Hello Mini Chef. Strange about the Asian food scene. If you google chinatown london you will find what you are looking for. Paella, thats my girl, when you get to Spain you must try the jamon and send lots of photos. Do not forget the cider bottle.