Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My First Week at Sur Mesure...

Let me start off by saying it has been a whirlwind experience. On my first day I was introduced to the kitchen and it's inhabitants (mainly chefs) who were very kind to a strange intruder who barely spoke any French beyond the basics. I was paired up with the two commis chefs in larder and proceeded to help prep for lunch service. Thankfully, one of the chefs was English and the other was French but had spent 6 months working in Melbourne at Matteo's so they both were able to help me navigate the perils of not speaking the common language of the kitchen.
An average day started at 8:30-9am and finished around 1030-11pm with a two hour break after lunch service. Prep could include breaking down and cleaning langostines, rolling strips of cucumber and prepping the onions for the soup. All the while other chefs would come over and get me to try parts of their dishes they were working on at the time which was definitely a highlight and each time helped to expand my taste memory and palate.
Navigating the three levels of the Mandarin Oriental was initially a challenge and quite daunting but as time passed it became easier and the amount of time spent backtracking down corridors diminished drastically. Working in new kitchens has it's challenges but with the help of the Sur Mesure team I quickly overcame them and started to find my groove.
Service is quite different from what I am used to back at Donovans in Melbourne, Sur Mesure seats around 40 guests and has just one sitting. This doesn't mean there is room for slacking either because each plate sent to the pass must be as close to perfect as possible with requires an immense amount of focus and concentration.
Overall it has been a very busy week but I am so happy to be here and absorbing all the information I can while it lasts!!

Here is one quick photo I took of an incomplete dish from larder

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