A look back at the last 12 months! Now & then…



This time last year I started at High Timber restaurant going head on with the Christmas rush and with a menu not of my own creation. 
It was a challenge for me to get my head around as I was cooked someone else food which I had no experience with and had not trained the chefs on. 
I went in to the kitchen with an open mind ready to adapt ASAP. The team already knew what they had to do they just had to produce it to a whole new standard. 
Small amounts of tweaking was needed to the menu to cater for my own tastes but not a lot. It must of been hard for the team in place to except change at such a hard time of the year. 
Like I said before the team was strong and they knew what they were doing. Very quickly it felt like I had worked with them in the past and I just blended in. 
Leading up to me taking the role of head chef at Hight timber it me took around 3 months to secure. 
A few months before I was made redundant in my last role due to the building being sold to new owners and not wanting to carry on with the business that was currently in place. 
I took a month out to spend time with my family before I went out in search of a new head chef. 

The search was difficult at times, as I was being offered roles that were not the level of cooking I wanted to be at and not of the role I was looking for. At most times I was repeatedly told in the kindest way possible to “stop chasing a role I was not ready for” these people clearly did not know who I was and what I was capable of producing. 
First of all I was not chasing a role I was not ready for, I was looking for a role for me to fill and get my journey of food knowledge back on track.
I had more than enough experience to head up my second head chef role but people kept offering me roles that I did not want. 

There are many chefs out there with lesser experience than myself that are younger than me, in head chef roles and may even own their own restaurant. 
I’m sure they were told that they would not be given a chance to, but I bet they thought differently about them self and pursued what they wanted to achieve for their future self and career. As do I. 
“Cook is very important to me. It’s my expression of an artistic creation for the diner, that I express with the upmost joy in producing for them”

So my second festive season has come round at High Timber. Exactly 30 days and counting to Christmas Day.
As chefs this is the time for us to get our heads down and get into an even more strict state of mind to get through the next 3 weeks of kitchen life. 

For most,if not all us chefs, this is the worst time of year for us, with large tables, functions and 2-3 different menus for people to choose from. 
At this time of year I see it as an eye opener for my team and I to work harder in producing food for our loyal and first time dinners to eat the food that we create and work so hard in preparing. 
Throughout the next few weeks we will cook for them and hopefully give them a Pre Christmas meal for them to talk about and for them to come back in the new year and become new loyal customer and try out our new seasonal menus. 
Good luck and push on. 
If you are working in the hospitality industry as Back of house or Front, how do you mentally prepare for the festive season rush?
You can also follow my food knowledge journey on Instagram @mircelmcchef