Dear diary: the reflections of a chef de partie working in a Michelin-starred kitchen

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th September 2014
This is the latest in a series of quarterly diary extracts from Camilla Waite, a young chef de partie at Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow.  June 10th Our First Dish has been revamped -  instead of a shallot tart tatin the dish has been tweaked, the Sept-1-croppedpastry is now cooked between trays for a thin disc of pastry with the ultimate crunch! There is then a layer of smoked mushroom duxelles over the pastry base full of flavour, the shallots are now braised baby shallots and blowtorched to caramelise; finally the endive, thin ribbons of culatello, dorstone goats cheese, slithers of truffle and nasturtium leaves areall nestled together on top of the tart served with a cep velouté. Delicious!!   June 21st Sept-2-croppedA new dish has gone onto the menu, Hampshire watercress soup which is vibrant green!! It’s served on the side in a beautiful glass jug; the marrow is marinaded with thyme rosemary and garlic, and blowtorched to a deep golden brown, then served on top of a chargrilled sourdough toast brushed with a marmite butter, topped with caviar, alongside sour cream, parsley crisps and a parsley purée. The flavours are amazing together!   June 27th The monkfish dish has changed; before with a veal shin salad now with an aromatic duck leg confit, with chilli, ginger, hoi sin and sesame seeds. The monkfish is coated in 5 spice seasoning and Sept-3-croppedroasted in foaming butter, served with duck consommé flavoured with orange peel and anise that we call a tea bag for that last added oomph to a gorgeous broth. It also comes with a pick your own salad  - a varying delight of chicory, baby gem lettuce, radishes, spring onion, smoked duck breast, cucumber and duck crackling  - absolutely gorgeous!   July 5th Paul's been looking at changing the cheese course from a board with biscuits to a single cheese dish plated in the kitchen. The idea is to change the cheese and accompanying ingredients during the seasons to present the cheeses when they are at their best; our first cheese is Cashel Blue, an Irish cheese with a creamy texture and mellow flavour  - this is served with sourdough croutons, blueberries, red vein sorrel and a bramley apple purée. It’s a cheese lovers delight and for those who aren't so keen, give it a go it may surprise you! Sept-4-croppedJuly 18th Summer’s officially here!! Kids are starting their holidays and the restaurant is packed! Here's to a busy summer.   August 2nd It's official Paul and Emma have picked up the keys to Padstow Townhouse! The 18th century building has been in their sights for a while now and there are big plans; expected to be ready for spring 2015, the house will have 6 luxury rooms with all kinds of treats, taking the care and attention to detail used at number 6 to the townhouse for an ultimate accommodation experience, along with having parking too. The kitchen team have been up and seen the building and it is going to be something quite special. August 20th  A Night with Paul Ainsworth at Casamia is here - a nine course tasting menu and we've got a few gorgeous dishes on the menu!! Paul and our sous chef Chris have gone to Casamia for the evening. A few of our dishes have been made for tasting menu including: Porthilly oysters with apple and fennel salad and salami; Sept-5-cropped Hampshire watercress soup with bone marrow, parsley purée, sourdough toast, sour cream and caviar; Day boat cod with port isaac crab, grilled leeks and fenugreek; Lamb loin with scrumptious dried tomatoes, English feta and aubergine; Ham belly with foie gras, sweet red peppers and smoked almonds; Cashel blue, blueberries and bramley apple purée; Our chocolate dish with pistachio cake, caramac sauce and dark chocolate sorbet. The night went really well they had a great time!   Sept-6-cropped     The last few months have been busy and great fun, can't believe it's September already, hope you've had a lovely summer, into autumn we go! 1st September  Food and Travel Magazine Awards tonight and we are cooking the main course alongside Jack Stein who is doing the starters and Angela Hartnett who is doing the desserts. The team has been working hard getting ready for this meal catering for 210 guests and we are serving confit short rib beef from Warrens butchers with deep fried bone marrow, braised shallot, shallot purée, parsley purée and mashed potato.   Camilla-Waite-small   Camilla Waite has been a key member of the team at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 for two years, working her way up to chef de partie. When she's not cooking up a storm, Camilla enjoys seeking adrenaline rushes, whether it’s trekking across Nepal or sky diving to raise money for Cornwall Hospice.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 4th September 2014

Dear diary: the reflections of a chef de partie working in a Michelin-starred kitchen