Arriving for day one was more nerve racking than the interview. I was dropped of at the guard house and escorted to the kitchen.
Chef was waiting to greet me and showed me around the kitchen and introduced some staff. I will not use names but descriptive words to refer to the staff.
Kitchen assistant, old bitty. She was part of the antique manifest for the building and baked biscuits, cakes, Sunday roast and generally moped around waiting for retirement.
Kitchen hand, hairy ears. Minced around cleaning, tidying, washing and sniffing for new meet(not meat). He lived very close but was often late and under the weather.
The comptroller, sarg. As an ex-military man he liked to feet he controlled a tight ship, it was very tight but generous at the same time. Wonder if he every found out who photocopied their ass on the office machine?(roflmao)
The head footman, johnny from karate kid. Tall tanned blonde single and openly available to anything.
The head cleaning lady, oh! Really. She tried eyebrow waxing as a girl and it never grew back(maybe you don’t wax the whole thing) so with no eyebrows what is a woman to do? Of course draw them on, just a bit to high and curved, like someone saying ‘oh! Really’
The Sargent at arms, gas guts. Did you know drinking bicarbonate soda and water helps relieve gas. A very official position for an elderly decorated Sargent.
More staff to meet. Stay tuned, or not!
This week I had the privilege of working at Brisbane city hall. Arriving to the kitchens I was meet with the sparkle of a new kitchen, wow. I can see that the new food safety and general safety rules have made big changes to how kitchens are designed and operated. All areas have been sectioned off and cold rooms are interconnecting. Arriving with no idea of what where who or why made only the arrivals time a known for me. I was met by the executive chef who greeted me and instructed me to dress and report back, after with he introduced me to the executive sous chef and away we went. The exec sous chef and his team were responsible for preparing and serving the main course for 160 people that evening for dinner, as well as some prep for days ahead.
I was immediately given a recipe and instructed to make this by 2 and directed to the cold rooms. After a bit of lost dogin around the place I got to work in the silence of a large kitchen, weird!
The shift went well and the team of chefs were very understanding and helpful, as well as exceptionally talented and driven to achieve. The meals were served by 14 people in two teams very smoothly and the quality above many exclusive al a carte restaurants.
I had a good time, learnt heaps, realised how out of touch I am, touched quality products and meet Brisbane’s finest chefs. If you have the opportunity to eat or work at Brisbane city hall I definitely recommend it.
Well it back to the kitchen for me. While our photography business is growing slowly, it is not paying the bills. If anyone knows how to live for free tell me how.
So I signed up with a local employment agency and have been working days cooking for staff canteen, footy games and soon restaurants. At first I thought I could not do this again after 8+ years out, but everything came flooding back and it’s actually refreshing to cook again. Not sure if the casual thing will last but for now it boosting the income and refreshing my skills. Thanks for listening.
Putting the finishing touches on an 18th Birthday cake. The client was looking for a realistic looking adult cake for her son’s 18th. The cake is a traditional Mississipi Mud with Bourbon. The neck is made from solid chocolate, blended white, milk and dark create a woodgrain appearance. the Body and neck are iced with Fondant and the string made with Sugar Veil. I also sprayed the silver design with food safe color and created the design myself incorporating 18 and vampire or wolf teeth. When delivered the customer was stoked and could not wait to show her son at the celebrations.
Oh crap I got a phone call back to attend an interview. Little did I know the position was apprentice chef to the governor of Queensland. I sure noticed when I was dropped off at the security building just past the massive ornate white gates. Ok a little more nervous now. An interview for a job with the governor is like being in a police line up(I think) you keep running the thoughts through your head about what they will find with security checks ready to say I didn’t do it.
The formal interview went well though and I was invited with the head chef to have a tour. Wow people live like this noooooo I though it was just on tv. What an eye opener, opulence like I had never seen and that was just the staff only areas, I was not cleared to see private rooms. The head chef though was to me a food god in clean pressed whites with an aura that was immediately humbling. I got the job. Why, not because of the interview but my reaction to the centre piece sculptures and vegetable carvings that chef showed.”amazing I want to learn to make these”
Next – first day – meeting the staff
Last Night I decided to cook up some duck. Now the duck I had in the freezer from an unfortunate incident with a fox just after easter. I really wanted something warm, hearty, easy and super tasty. So que the music and away. After boneing out the Duck and leaving heaps of Meat(been year since I boned anything). What do you do with Duck bones covered in meat, yes make stock yum yum. Duck Bones, Star anise, onion carrot and pepper corns shoved into a pot with water and simmer for about that long. The Duck meat trimmed up beauitifully into a nice dice, saute in my favorite Le Creuset Casserole pan until brown and remove. Add onions, carrots both fine slices, Shiitake mushrooms sliced, garlic and some olive oil. Once brown a spoon of flour over the top and mix in. then strain stock and add slowly while mixing until a smooth soup consistency ooooh! smells so good. add a swig of rice wine, star anise Salt and pepper. return the duck and cover with the lid and place in hit over for 20minutes ish. Now the smells in the house remind me of days cooking Duck Confit, basically you render down duck fat, then slowly cook marinated duck thighs in the fat until starting to fall of the bone. One of the best ways to eat duck. After 20 minutes I ripped it out of the oven added a cup of rice and 2 more cups of stock and back to the oven for 25minute. I am telling you it was just perfect, warm, hearty, tasty, earthy and never enough. Hope your not to hungry now.