Creative & Projects, UK
When I came to write this piece, I had the realisation, that 2017 is my 30th year working in hospitality.
Day one, twelve years old, I walked into a commercial kitchen for the first time. Dinner prep was in full swing but I didn’t get the chance to take it all in, instead quickly becoming acquainted with the dishwasher. The pile of dirty pots, pans, mixing bowls and chopping boards was already out of control. And, before I knew it – service had started! Even with my head in the sink I could feel the intensity level ramp – movement and noise everywhere. As starters made their way through swing doors, to an unseen restaurant, a new wave of pans hit.
“I NEED THOSE BACK NOW!!”
It felt relentless. Servers dumped plates, cutlery and glassware with frightening regularity. Tray after tray after tray. I was sinking fast. By the time coffee was being served I’d amassed an Everest sized collection of dishes. I thought I was going to be there all night.
My saviour came in the form of a young commis chef. He was less than happy about having to bail me out, and he would hold a grudge for months to come.
Hospo lesson no.1 – if you don’t pull your weight, the team suffers. There have been many lessons since and there will be many more to come. Let’s see what the next 30 years bring.