Friday, 14 September 2012 00:00

Time to say goodbye

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My last day. Wow. Has it really come and gone that fast?

As the morning fills itself with sardine guts, scales and pin bones I can't help but smile a little bit. I am happy the challenge of language barriers and hand signals is over. At the same time, I made it. I am happy and proud of myself, no matter what anyone thinks of me in the kitchen, for me, I did it.

It's hard to believe in March I stood on the stage at the CRFA food show holding this trophy which was a ticket straight to Spain! For me, the win was the victory, winning my first competition and the second part was an experience in Spain. I couldn't have imagined then what I have experienced now.

This kitchen has showed me how a little elbow grease goes a long way. It glistens of stainless steel and expensive tools which everyone treats with the most respect. A vacuum sealer, thermo blender, ice cream machine, and everything else in between! I didn't come from a kitchen with the best of the best tools, I'd say I was more of a Nona! Using my bare hands to try and accomplish what these renowned chefs can do with their tools.

I am going home with the Spanish tortilla in my back pocket, some badass croquettes, a feel of the famous faba dish and a whole lot of elbow grease to bring to my next challenge.

Marcos and his family have a special bond with food. It's a passion, they are there everyday making sure the restaurant is exactly as they want, even grandmother (the former chef) comes in and checks things out. I want the same passion, not someone who just owns a restaurant and is never there. I want my own Casa Gerardo.

I hope for all those who followed my blogs you have enjoyed reading about each physical, emotion and mental challenge I have experienced. I hope one day, that is my kitchen people want to come work in.

Cheers to everyone who read along! Thank you for reading! Until the next journey. XO

Thursday, 13 September 2012 00:00

Say cheese!

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It's nice that things become familiar after so much watching and little talking. I know where to get myself started in the morning. I also know who needs what and how to hand gesture my way through tasks.

Marcos is off to London tomorrow to do some work for his restaurant. Excitement fills his voice. I can only imagine the feel of owning another successful restaurant! I will definitely make a visit there upon my next visit to London.

I got some great insight today for a lot of dishes which Xune prepares. His English is the best and easier to understand and he is in charge of their famous dish! Also getting to sample some delicious manchego cheese, my personal favourite cheese! So glad it is available in Canada. I can picture myself beach side in Barcelona eating this cheese. Great memories!

Off to a soccer match tonight and can't wait to feel the vibe through the stadium. It's not just a sport, it's a love, passion and adrenaline rush!

Can't believe tomorrow is my last day in Asturias however looking forward to the heat and sun of central Madrid :)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

A little taste of Canada

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Another awesome day in the kitchen! Hard to believe my journey at Casa Gerardo is coming to an end.

It's been such an amazing experience, however think I will be happy to be back in an English kitchen upon my return!

I asked to help clean the fridge and as I approached it I was looked at like a crazy woman. Oh the deep fryer!! That's not a fridge! Haha!

We had a tennis team request the restaurant for dinner today so it was a nice double shift today :) A special menu for them though which was great as I got to see some new foods come through the door! One being Canadian prawns! A little bit of home in the north of Spain :)

I also got to try some amazing cheeses which were produced in Asturias today, they are very well known for the produce from cattle here, so the cheese is delicious as you can imagine!

I have managed to sneak in a weekend in Madrid for myself this weekend as I would love to see, breath and dine in all the culture I can through the whole of Spain. It's amazing to have seen the Mediterranean coast in 2009 and now the Atlantic and central this year, I feel like I have truly stomped through a good chunk of Spain!

My room mate and I have also been taking great care of each other, each night when we get home, one of us will cook dinner. Last night was garlic prawns and pesto spaghetti!

Tomorrow night I will also get to go to a soccer game in Asturias, I think that had to be on the bucket list while over here :)

Monday, 10 September 2012 00:00

Has it been a week already!

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Hard to believe how fast this week has gone, it's been a blur of words I don't understand, new food, new people and a mass amount of energy to get through it all.

September is a slower month for the restaurant which is nice for me as I have a chance to see things in a slower motion.

I am absolutely exhausted from this week, but good tired. This experience continues to test me everyday whether it be mentally, emotionally or physically. I can't imagine what the busy months are like at Casa Gerardo…insane I assume.

Looking extremely forward to my day off tomorrow, hoping for sand, sun and fun in the city. Not to mention some tapas!!

Today I had a chance to ask about a lot about the recipes, everything is measured to the exact weight to ensure consistency. I love the simplicity but elegance of every dish. Like a simple shucked oyster which is served with its juices along with garlic oil and cider vinegar into a warm plate topped with pork belly pieces.

Each day brings something new I get my eyes on and maybe a Spanish word or two ;) I am teaching English and learning Spanish VERY slowly. I was always a hands on girl, not so much languages and mathematics, but these are all things to overcome and build a stronger me.

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