A chef's diary with Ruth Hansom, May 2017

The Staff Canteen

This year sees us welcome our newest blogger to The Staff Canteen. Young National Chef of the Year 2017 winner, Ruth Hansom, will be giving us 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 encourages chefs to sign up to the Craft Guilds of Chefs, reveals her favourite plate of food to cook at The Ritz and is determined to abolish the stigma around front of house and the kitchen being enemies.

So I’ve had no crazy trips or adventures to report this month – I know, how mundane. But no, we are still busy as ever and it’s now that we start seeing all the canapé parties and dinners start picking up.

I love the buzz of service but there is always something special about doing a function. Besides, my Chef is always on hand to ensure the standard is second to none and in that holding a royal warrant for banqueting.

In late April I went to The Cost Sector Food Awards. I happened to be sitting on The Craft Guild of Chefs Table and the topic of young chefs arose. I was shocked to hear that they have difficulty signing up young chefs to be members. As part of the guild I am invited to different events and competitions that allow me to talk to other chefs and industry experts. These connections can be so vital in gaining experience or advice. They run numerous competitions throughout the year with both junior and senior categories that give chefs the chance to hone their skills and push themselves. I would recommend to any chef to become a member to receive a warm welcome and a solid base to the industry and the old to offer advice, guidance and well, you know, you’re never too old to learn something new! http://craftguildofchefs.org/

Back to work and back to the classics, every Wednesday lunch time at the Ritz we serve my favourite dish. I know, I know, as a chef you hate being asked the question: what’s your favourite thing to cook? But the Saddle of Lamb Belle Époque the way we prepare it here has to be up there. The lamb saddle is layered with spinach followed by chicken mousse finished with mushroom duxelle. Foie gras and the small fillets are then placed back inside before rolling, tying and wrapping in caul fat. Its Served with pomme puree, wild mushroom fricassee and broad beans. It’s been on the menu since I started (and many more years I’m sure) but I never tire of eating the ends!

May 16, 2017, was National Waiters Day (NWD). You may wonder why I am mentioning this. But the relationship among chefs and waiters is something I feel strongly about. Too many times have I heard about rows between the two or comments about one another. The stigma around the front of house and back of house being enemies needs to be abolished so we can all focus on one thing, making the customers happy! I think NWD is a good way to raise awareness of this and I’ve loved seeing all the events over twitter.

This week I am back at WorldSkills training, this time in Berkshire. I’ve got my standard set up and I’m now ready to tackle the brief – wish me luck!

Ohh I almost forgot! It’s nearly London Food Month! I hope you all planning away! I will be doing a pop-up at the Royal Garden hotel on the June 22 and making canapes on the stand of DS Automobiles during taste of London so come and say hi!

Find out more about London Food Month and how you can book your table here

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.

>>> Click here to read more blogs from Ruth Hansom

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Editor 19th May 2017

A chef's diary with Ruth Hansom, May 2017