I’m writing this very brief piece to remind you that the Christmas month countdown is here. The season on spending is upon us!
I spent yesterday morning doing a mad dash around town, which always sucks and is super stressful! But, I stopped for a coffee in a small local coffee shop and it instantly relieved me of what was about to be a break down!
Ive said it before and I will say it again, probably next Christmas, because I think it is so bloody important!
Go and buy from local businesses, small businesses!
Stop for coffee and food in local places.. Make a difference! Be a shopping superhero!
Also, I feel like Christmas is the time for markets, farmers markets and local Christmas markets.. Seeing stalls and stands make me happy and buying from them is even better!
Anyway, let me know who and where your going this Christmas (especially if your in Cornwall)
As you may or may not be aware, it is mental health awareness week and I felt a very strong urge to write a little bit about my mental health. Sometimes it’s not OK. Sometimes it’s a bloody mess and guess what.. That’s OK.
A smile can hide a thousand thoughts and life gets in the way of happiness or stability sometimes.
Work stress, family stress anything can throw a spanner in your mental health and sometimes you don’t need anything at all to set it off, you just wake up one day and feel like that’s it!
I struggled in kitchens with these feelings because unfortunately I feel that (like many other industries) there is this toxic masculine approach to feelings. It’s not OK to show your stressed or upset. If you cry your done! Have you ever seen a man cry in a professional kitchen? I bet not and if you have I bet no one talked about it again. Have you ever seen a women cry? Was she called a emotional girl? I bet.. I’ve seen it and I’ve had it said to me. The fact of the matter is that.. That is bullshit!
Life is messy. High end, stressful, long hour jobs like being a chef.. Are messy. You are doing amazing.
It’s OK to be OK.
Take some time, breathe some fresh air, talk to people about how you feel, no matter how embarrassed or wierd you think it is and if you have no one to talk to you can send me a message and I will listen!!
Take this opportunity to change an industry with openness and love and compassion.
Take this opportunity to change the way we look at mental health. We wouldn’t expect people to run around with broken legs so why expect it from someone with damaged mental health.
Love to everyone inside the hospitality industry suffering in silence and big love to everyone outside of it feeling the same.
Happy Easter from everyone here at Food For Thought HQ! Which is mostly me and a 6 year old and a sleeping person.. But still, it sounds cool and professional right? 😂
I’m currently chained to the stove, cooking my amazing (if I say so myself) roast leg of lamb with white wine, mint, rosemary, anchovy, lemon and lots of seasoning! It will be in there for about 4 hours gently marinating and turning into delicious fall off the bone goodness!
We are doing quite a small, very springy roast today with carrots and asparagus and all that lovely veg that comes with April seasonal change.. Although, it is not actually that nice outside so we are still gonna have roasties and loads of gravy and.. Yorkshire puddings! Controversial I know, I’ve had this conversation a million times.. But I have them with any and every roast! Don’t agree.. Let me know! Do agree.. Let me know!
Also, big shout out to everyone working in the industry today! Making sure everyone has some lovely foodie times with family and friends.. You guys and girls are awesome and we love you!! 😘👊
Anyway, have a wonderful day and feel free to send me your pictures of food. I love them! 🐑🐇🐣
It’s a bit like the child’s story.. Down the dark dark village there is a dark dark road and in the dark dark road there is a car park and by the dark dark carpet there is Penrose kitchen. Blink at night and you’ll miss it. Luckily for us, we made the right turning and found our way inside. The building was warm and relaxed with a sense of style.. 100% an extension of the owners Samantha and Ben.
Can I firstly, make a point of saying that it has been a really long time since I have received such brilliant service. Genuine conversation and interest in our opinions and lives. Very refreshing. This followed by beautiful food from Ben meant that we were really in for a treat.
We started with gin. As always. Followed by some truly excellent starters, I had the Mushroom Orzo (do you know what that is? I didn’t!) then the main of Seabass with PSB and black pudding and potatoes. It was delicious and everything you can expect from someone as experienced as Ben.. Seriously impressive CV!
We decided to share a couple of puds. I was full already for the flavours out of the kitchen had impressed us so much that we went for it anyway. Chocolate brownie and panacotta to share.
Overall the dining experience was excellent and the service was also great. I was however disappointed that there were not more people to enjoy it.
I haven’t really been writing review on this blog page because it doesn’t come naturally to me, however I felt it really important to try and get word out for the guys at Penrose. They are following their own ideas and dreams and all though the road has been bumpy they have chosen to go ahead anyway, not changing for anyone and honestly I see absolutely no reason why they should!! The place is lovely , the food is perfect (nice to have some fine dining style in Truro) and they have something really genuine about them. It was almost like having dinner with friends! I can not wait to go back and try the lunch menu!
I always found it so fascinating before going into hospitality, how people looked up to TV chefs as celebrities.. Paying money to go to festivals and demos, taking selfies with chefs and buying every book or watching every show they made. Chefs are cool and sexy right? They are dangerous, they play with fire and they can create stuff. People worship the likes of Jamie Oliver, Delia and Anthony Bourdain.
I think it all started with the likes of Marco pierre White.. Giving us this in depth look into the mystery of the hidden kitchen. A place we’re a very specific person worked. People who drink and smoke and swear, work with knives and have no families or friends outside of their world. Chefs were like criminals who could make art with food. Suddenly that was cool. Chefs were brought more into the limelight and glamourized. The title of chef gained instant respect and interest.
When I told people I was a chef, I was met with expressions of astonishment sometimes.. “wow, a chef that’s amazing”. People wanting to know what started you off and why you do it and wanting to know about hours and stress and schedules.. How the other half live. The ones who refuse to do a 9-5 but instead go down a different and more difficult path to express their passions and creativity. Sometimes you could drop it into conversation and gain the attention of a whole crowd. It was crazy.
The truth is… Chefs are rockstars in a way. They are creative and driven and they work really hard. They sacrifice a awful lot in the name of providing a nice experience for others. They are in control of stressful situations. TV chefs make it look easy but it’s not… However, the look on people’s faces, is rewarding. The respect is rewarding. The instant gratification of knowing that somebody is impressed with your job is nice.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it all sometimes, including those reactions.. But, that’s not the way the world always works. So for now, I shall keep doing this, in the hope that somebody is reading it somewhere and cares, even slightly about my opinions.. That would make me feel like a rock star.
Yes i’m the person you roll your eyes at when you are in a restaurant or pub. The person who you judged the minute i walked into the room with a child.
Great. Another romantic meal ruined? shouldn’t kids just be banned from these places? urgh.
The thing is.. there is absolutely no reason why i should get this reaction. I have every right to take my brother (who is 5.. and loud) wherever i go.. unless you have excessive booze or sex on your menu. obviously. But hear me out. life doesn’t stop when the kids are around and so it shouldn’t.
In Europe and many countries abroad, kids are welcomed in to the night life, the restaurants and the culture and why the hell not? why do you have to grow up before you can sit and chat and laugh with your friends and family. Why do you have to sit down and shut up, don’t look at anyone else or make any kind of scene. We went out for a family meal this week. 3 Adults and 2 children at 6.30pm on a Friday night, they dressed nice and we enjoyed a family meal. Yes, we had the kids that jumped around (he was excited, we dont get to go out as a family often) , climbed under the table and didn’t want to eat the dinner he ended up with. We had the child who isnt very good at sitting down and shutting up. Yes, we got the looks. quickly handed some colouring in the hope that he would calm down. Judged from other tables. Yes, it bothered me, put me on edge and made me feel like i had done something wrong or spoken some unspoken rule.
If we had been loud enough to disturb other tables, i would have understood. But we weren’t. People just assumed that we would because it was evening and there were children… How is it that i dont have to apologise for a loud adult friend drinking and laughing or a group of adults eating and celebrating who as a collective are louder than normal but i constantly have to apologise for a child, who is being completely harmless and being exactly what they are meant to be, a child?! The fact of the matter is that we paid just as much money if not more than some of those people and we have the right to take children to a restaurant to enjoy good food and good company.. so why, in this day and age, should children been seen and not heard when out at dinner?
Kids lives should be broadened and enriched with all sorts of experiences, including going to dinner and trying new places and new foods. I am very unhappy to admit that i select places to eat based on how child friendly they are. It sucks.
Step Up UK. I wanna take children to dinner and it not be an issue!! who’s with me??
It’s not dirty talk. It’s real talk coming up right now.
I spent my three or four years or however long it was in kitchens being called things like darling, love, dear, babe and even sugar tits.
Being called naggy or bossy if I had an opinion on something. Working doubly hard for half the amount of respect..
I’m not a raging feminist I don’t understand why feminists need men to burn for what they’ve done, that’s kinda crazy. I just want people to be seen as equal, I don’t think it’s fair that because women are seen as more likely to have family or develop other distractions that get in the way of work. But it’s true.. I support my family, as you all may know and i would opt to do fewer, longer days to accommodate for that. I would work 3/4 14 hour days – that’s up to 59 hours! In three days! But I was looked at as a part timer, a little girl who couldn’t hack doing “real chef hours”
When I first started training, I met and fell for a chef in a higher position than me. If I had known that it is acceptable for people to make the ludicrous comments they made about me in that time.. I would never have done it! I was a younger less experienced chef, dating an more experience higher positioned chef. I was also being recognised for my abilities at the same time. Unconnected. No one else saw it that way.. “extra practise at home? Did (no name) Teach you how to handle meat” “we all know what you did for that mark”
Guess who was called a slut. Not him. Me. I was 20..and it knocked my confidence, it made me doubt myself and my ability as a chef, it haltered my progression!
I look around my profession and there is a very small amount of women. That’s no shock.. I see female head chefs and I wonder how much they had to sacrifice to get there… How much extra they gave, how hard they had to work to get to where they are now! I have known women who have had to move all around the country, working harder to get more information to be taught things that people don’t want to teach anymore. (but that’s a point for another day)
The first time I moved up in a kitchen, some one made a joke about who I had given a blowjob to, to get this step up.
Now don’t get me wrong, not all male chefs are like that.. Some of the men I have worked with have been inspirational. Some have them have helped me grow and learn and progress without prejudice.
I guess the moral of this story is to be more like them. Be a good guy! If your in a kitchen with a woman, be the guy who jokes with her not at her expense.
If a woman’s place is in the kitchen.. Than let us be in the kitchen!!
Hey if you have any kitchen related stories, get in touch! I’d love to hear them!
Last weekend I spent some time down in Falmouth watching chef demo’s and tasting fantastic street food! I also did some sample tasting and spoke to some of the local suppliers who had gathered to the tent situated in event square.
Demo’s included Arty William’s from The cove and Michelin star chef Chris Eden from Driftwood.
Granted.. I was only there on the Sunday (damn responsibilities) but I had a great time. St Michael’s Hotel and Spa were definitely the starts of the show, with there Oyster Bar, Champagne Bar and Fresh Seafood Kitchen in the corner of the main marquee area.
There was one down side for me though.. I hate Oysters!
So lunch for me was a wild Cornish venison tartiflette – potato, venison, and cheese. (find out more about the Cornish Venison Co. and follow them on twitter here) Honestly what more could you need!
Music was provided by Suzi Mac (wow what a voice!) and fun was had by all!!
The foodie blogger weekend is over but I still need to recap on day 2 -Sunday! Great fun. We started off by watching a little gluten free baking with Made Marion! Very interesting considering my recent attemp at being gluten free. Read about that in my previous posts 😘
We then went over to See the legend that is Jack Stein work his magic on the main Theatre stage. He made a beautiful Cod dish with chard and sweet corn, which you can see on my Instagram.
Next, playing the sample game, which isn’t very fun with a fussy child so I just took it upon myself to eat double the amount of food to compensate (my waist line hates me) I was so inspired by all the incrediable produce around! Cake, cheese, chillis, gin, beer biscuits – you name it, they had it there!! If I had the money, I would have bought one of everything!
I wondered around the outside farmers market and street food stand and settled on Strawberries and cream and Nutella topped churro – not the most nutritious lunch I know… but damn tasty!!
We returned to the main stage for my amazing friend and inspirational pastry chef/junior sous chef of Fifteen Cornwall GRANT GOODSON(imagine that name in sparkling lights) he did some interesting and pretty incredible tasting gastronomy – homemade goats whey sorbet and candied fennel and a bunch of other things I didn’t understand but still wanted to eat!
After being amazed, inspired and genuinely the happiest I have been in ages… my weekend came to an end. I loved it and going back to my normal day job seemed like the worst thing in the world to me this morning (no offence) I realised that I really have to kick my ass into gear and push this blog thing to the next level. Networking, making connections and generally talking to like minded people has been awesome!
Thanks to all the The Great Cornish Food Festival.
looking forward to the Christmas markets and Festivals! I’ll be there! Forcing my opinions on you all once more!! 😘💁🏼🔪
Or more like everyone else’s day two but i was ill on the Friday!! BOO!!
However, I started off the day feeling much better and realised nothing was stopping me from getting involved in the biggest foodie event in Truro!
It is worth saying that Pretty much all of Truro was packed into the tent and getting to see much of anything for more than a glance was hard! I’m hoping it will be slightly calmer tomorrow! However, I still loved the immediate impact from walking in. The smell of food and the sound of talking, selling and of course the demos on each end.
On one end, the deck – a much more relaxed atmosphere, very small and opened out so people walking past outside can get involved, we saw Nick Evans from Rick Steins Seafood Restuarant preparing a beautiful and simple stuffed Mackeral recipe.
We later returned to the deck to watch James Strawbridge make a super cool (pun intended) ice cream cake!
But before that, we pushed our way over to the theatre stage to watch Tom Hunter from the Scarlett hotel and Nick Hemming from the Heron Inn (a personal favourite with a view to die for in malpus) both doing perfectly crafted plates for their demos. And yes I loved every minute, but perhaps more importantly.. I saw a face, a few in fact. Blasts from the past.
I saw Karl Jones, my chief, the head of the apprentice programme at Fifteen Cornwall. The guy who makes it happen. The guy who allowed me to learn and experience everything I did. He made me feel like I was still relevent, still important. Still loved! Although the years of fifteen are behind me, I have not been forgotten and seeing the apprentices out there today helping, made me remember the glory days.
I wish I could relive them.
But I can’t. So instead I used this time, to feel inspired and to connect and grab as many contacts as I can. I have created a new dream, I pine for the chef life but let’s be honest. It ain’t gonna happen! 9-5s don’t exist in catering, but for the first time in ages I felt the urge to take a step back to it. To be involved. To create and produce.
I will find away to be more involved in cooking, writing and everything I have passion for. Because damn it I loved it. And I have friends in high places that I intend to ask for help from.
Plus, when you get asked to come in and inspire the new fifteen cornwall apprentices, it kinda throws you into a mini power trip! 😂😂💁🏼
Everything I do from now on is gonna be aimed towards my goal. Cook or write about cooking. Full time.
Anyway, ill post pictures of things and be less profound tomorrow sorry!