Cory Williams, Operations Director at Medina Foodservice, had the rare opportunity to get behind the scenes at The Royal’s 2 AA Rosette kitchen.
Pictures courtesy of Isle of Wight County Press
Shadowing Head Chef Steven Harris and his team across a typical split shift, he was invited to get a taster of what a day in the life of a chef is like in such a top quality restaurant. Joining the rest of the team, Cory was made busy cooking and shelling local lobsters, cutting and trimming fresh fish, making Rogan Josh curry-filled pasta Oysters and also a gorgeous salsa verde. He also had an insight into the makings of one of the Royal’s signature dishes, a cheese soufflé (which went down very well!) and is keeping the skills behind the most incredible béarnaise sauce close to his chest!
Taking part in a full service and serving a party of 36 plus hotel residents and locals, Steven’s new apprentice also joined him on the pass, where dinner is plated up and checked for quality and presentation. Cory said “Although I have spent a lot of time in kitchens, I have not experienced anything on that scale or serving up cuisine of that quality before. The organisation that goes into ensuring that everything ordered goes out correctly, in a timely manner and perfectly presented certainly is something to behold”.
Some would assume that the environment in a kitchen is full of angry chefs screaming at each other, mentioning no TV shows, but Cory’s experience was thoroughly enjoyable and tremendously insightful; he said, “I really enjoyed it and no one was stressed out at all. There was a nice atmosphere and it was fascinating to watch everything being made even when I couldn’t be hands on. It was great to see how every little thing is all hand made in the kitchen. From pasta to bread, to the little caramely-sugary tubes that are used to dress some of the desserts were all made totally from scratch. The professional chefs do make it look easy – I suppose that comes with experience!”.
Every job has its perks and this one had a major one, as Cory was treated to a full 7-course tasting menu for dinner with his (exceptionally fussy) fiancée, Neva, who cleared her plate on every course which is a good seal of approval!
The skill and attention to detail that happens in The Royal’s kitchen really needs to be experienced to be appreciated, and comes highly recommended!