25.01.2020 – Morale

There’s nothing more important than high morale in the kitchen. Showing up this morning at 8am, I wasn’t sure if I would actually make it through the 10 hour shift looming over me, having only had 3 hours sleep. It absolutely flew by and I can only thank my dear colleagues for being such great companions.

I often think it’s funny how we, especially chefs, spend more time with our colleagues than anyone else, yet we don’t get to choose who they are. I feel honoured to have such a strong team, who know more about me than anyone else, and pull me through thick and thin. In the four months i’ve been at Ottolenghi, I have learnt so much about the importance of mingling with those outside your usual circles and boy have I learnt a lot about different cultures and upbringings. The closer I get to my team and the hear about their trials and tribulations, the more I realise how sheltered my upbringing was. If I hadn’t had the chance to befriend the people who I would have otherwise never met, I probably would have lived quite a naive life.

You see, the great thing about the kitchen is that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve come from, and how many qualifications you have, as long as you have a passion for cooking, you’re in. You could start as a kitchen porter with no qualifications and broken english and there’s nothing stopping you from working your way up to head chef in a matter of years. The mix of people that make up a team is absolutely fascinating and I really don’t feel you experience this in many other workplaces.

As common knowledge to many, the kitchen can be a highly stressful environment and sometimes i can only thank my Ottolenghi family for getting me through, we’re all in it together and look out for each other like brothers and sisters. I am very grateful. So there I was at 8am, staring at the clock, wondering how I will get through, and next thing you know, it’s already 12pm, i’ve decorated all the cakes for the display, made 25 muffins, 3 pizzas (Saturday is pizza day for staff), 10 portions of chocolate mousse and 22 chocolate teacakes! And suddenly i’m not at all tired anymore. However we did stop for a little pizza break before continuing on with the rest of the day. We don’t always have time to stop for lunch so it’s nice to cherish the moments when we do.

That’s all for now,

Grace x

Screenshot 2020-01-25 20.20.57

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