A chef's diary with Ruth Hansom, August 2017

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st August 2017

Young National Chef of the Year 2017 winner, Ruth Hansom, has been giving The Staff Canteen a monthly insight into her life as a chef at Michelin-starred the Ritz as well as many other exciting opportunities she is set to experience in the coming year.

This month Ruth explains what she'll be doing with the apples she's collected from her apple tree and we find out how her recent pop up at Rathfinny wine estate in Sussex went.

So another few months of great weather (okay it was been broken up by a few torrential down pours and hurricane like winds) but you can't have it all!

Ruth Hansom's sister's wedding

Ruth's sister's wedding cake
Ruth's sister's wedding cake

I went home for a few days in July to celebrate my sister's hen do! She has since been wed, the food was amazing - top work Richard Edwards! I was in charge of the cake which seemed like a light responsibility, but on the eve of the wedding being told by my control freak sister (she may say organised) that the cake is the only thing she has not had total control over; I began to panic! Luckily I got it to the venue unscathed, not too shoddy eh?

Using the apples from her apple tree

While at home I was also amazed to see how well my apple tree was doing. Upwards of forty apples, I couldn't believe it. When I was 13 I asked my parents for a poly tunnel for Christmas, I know what you're thinking - nutter! Little did I know the hardest ultimatum of my life so far would follow, "you can have a poly tunnel, but you have to get rid of your trampoline." What?! I loved this trampoline but without a moment's hesitation I said, deal! That summer I got to work planting everything from green beans to my very twig like apple tree. After moving to London every year I would enquire about this tree and began to lose hope after years of unfruitful harvests. But this year they all came at once! Now, let the cider making, pie baking and chutney jarring commence!

Pop up at Rathfinny

Pop up at Rathfinny
Pop up at Rathfinny

August came and I had my Pop-up at Rathfinny wine estate in Sussex to plan for. The venue was stunning; their tasting room set in the heart of the vines, that were bursting and ready to be picked. The estate also make their own gin, Seven Sisters, which I can confirm makes a fine G&T. Both the Friday and Saturday night sold out and with help from my friends Mark and Emily in the kitchen and Ashley and Nick front of house, we put on a good show. I loved every second from meeting the small suppliers to being challenged to get 36 hot mains out of the small kitchen with minimal playing space, but together we did it. The evening began with some great English sparkling wine so I felt it only right to keep my ingredients British. I think it's really important to support the smaller British suppliers and when doing a pop up for small numbers this can be done without exploiting them. I'm so really intrigued by the growing quality of British wines...you should be too! If you haven't tried one before I strongly recommend it!

Last bit of useless info, I've also moved house this month and I'm really enjoying making it homely. While I know this is not an interior design blog, if like me you pop one too many corks and open one too many spirit bottles you should totally make use of them! If not send them my way!

Ruth Hansom
Ruth Hansom

Ruth Hansom is a chef at The Ritz Hotel in London. Ruth is no stranger to competitions having competed in the Young National Chef of the Year contest twice, before winning the 2017 title. Ruth has been at the Ritz for three years where she started out as an apprentice before working her way to become a chef.

Former Springboard FutureChef winner always knew she wanted to be a chef. She was just 15 years old when she came to London and competed in the FutureChef final at Westminster Kingsway College where she later studied.
She became a Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate in 2014 and is regarded as ‘one to watch’ in the industry.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 31st August 2017

A chef's diary with Ruth Hansom, August 2017