Chef Allan Pickett - me and my blog

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th July 2011
Well if you are wondering how I got started with writing a blog, grab a cuppa and take a seat. Let me tell me a bit about my self, I currently work at a restaurant called Plateau in Canary Wharf and I've been here for around a year and I am loving every minute of it. I've worked at a good selection of restaurants in London as either as head chef or lower ranking positions, places to high light would be Orerry, L'escargot, Aurora at the Great Eastern Hotel (now Andaz). I have also worked with some truly amazing people like Michel Roux, Chris and Jeff Galvin to name a couple. I don't think I was destined to cook really, I loved being out side as a child and would wander off aimlessly for hours, or I would happily potter in my granddad's shed, tinkering with the nuts and bolts in his many Old Holborn box's or sawing pieces of  wood that were laying about. My Nan was a great cook and so is my mum. I have very early memories of me and my sister covering my Nan's kitchen walls with cake batter (we did laugh), my Nan was really easy-going, so it was wonderful to have lots of time with her when I was younger. She was pretty easy to please, so making her things to try out was always good practice. I remember once she was so proud when I asked for her advice regarding the ins and outs of sweet pastry making, while I was at Thanet college. I have said before it was a choice of either gardening or cooking, but I hate the cold so cooking won over. One of my favourite kitchens and memories, was at the Orrery in mid winter, It would be snowing outside and the fish section salamander would be beating down on my neck, that was a really nice feeling of being snug in a warm place, but also being able to see the seasons come and go. There is a lot to be said for that as a chef. We are normally in a basement somewhere, I had a lot of happy years there which was mainly down to Chris being such a great guy to work for, oh and meeting the future Mrs P. My blog at http://chefallanpickett.wordpress.com/started from an idea that I've had been wanting to move forward with, for what felt like a year if not more. At around the middle of June this year (2011) I seriously felt that I had enough ideas and I was cooking at  enough foodie demonstrations, college visits etc, that I would be able to write about by experiences. The problem was I hadn't actually found a way of doing it. You can pay someone a couple of hundred pounds to create a website for you, but it only gets 2 updates a year. Pretty crap really, so in my mind not a very good representation of oneself. What I needed was something that would allow me to up-date my site everyday, if I had the time. I wanted to be able to do a mixture of things with the site, I love to be busy and my role at Plateau enables me cover lots of different areas of cooking and hospitality. I spoke to a good mate called Simon Part at Part & Co and after a 10 minute chat, he pointed me in the direction of another associate of his, a guy called Gary Ingram at Eat Live Breathe who offered me some advice and told me to look at WordPress, as it may be able to solve my conundrum. The one thing I didn't want to do, was to have to pay anyone to upload information that I had written or change the site for me. So after having a look at WordPress I was hooked straight away. It was really easy to set up and had a site looking ok after a couple of hours of working on it, (and with no fees attached). Most of the photos on the site are from my iPhone, so I can load them up very easily from the my phone and then add in the written part later if I want. I get some decent stats considering how long the blog has been going and I'm really enjoying it. It's really funny but the most unlikely people will give you feedback. My ONE piece of advice if you are going to do it is spell check vigorously. I'm not the best writer in the blogging world, but other really experienced writers will pick up the little mistakes, correct them before you publish. Oh yeah and like me, buy a thesaurus, it will pay dividends in the future. I have to say a special mention to Simon Part really, if it wasn't for him, then I would not be in this position today. I'm sure one day I will be able to pay him and Gary back. Happy blogging! Read my Blog or follow me on Twitter

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th July 2011

Chef Allan Pickett - me and my blog