4th of March 2016
I've been working in Mildreds Restaurant in Soho the last month. It's a busy place in and out, i can't even count how many people work here. The kitchen crew is from around the world: Egypt, Romania, Brazil, Russia, Italy, Senegal, Poland, Equatorial Guinea. I have always loved the sound of foreign languages and accents.
Our day starts at 7.45 am with preparation work for the day. It is 4 hours non-stop cutting, chopping, packing, bringing, washing, blanching, boiling, frying, carrying, searching, asking, answering and laughing.
From 12-4 pm is service for the day shift, then from 4-11 pm for the night shift. I have mostly been in the ''set up section'' which is considered the hardest place in this kitchen. Every new chef starts from there. In first four hours I set up my corner and the sous chef´s mise en place. It's not an easy job, you have to remember a lot, make lists and carry stuff back and forth. Heavy stuff. No one ever said that it is supposed to be easy to start working in a kitchen in the heart of busy London, so I've got nothing to complain about x)
Service time in the set up section is pure concentration. At least for a beginner like me. For people that have been there many years it probably seems quite amusing to see how new people cope with their assignments and how they take the heat. A few chefs have worked there around 10 years, I can't even begin to imagine how much fun they are having teaching the new staff all the time :D Maybe it's a bit sad for them also to see people coming and going but what can you do. Eternal cycle of life.
This kitchen really feels like an organism for me. The struggle and the heat is of a real beast. The centre-frier-lift-check-operator of the kitchen is usually Naz or Marcelo, they keep the wheel going. Victor and Mohamed do the rest. And basically no women there. (Renata left soon after me.)