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

The Staff Canteen

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.

10th September

We're all very excited about the town house. Paul and Emma are doing a lotcamilla-venison-cropped of work with starting the renovating and sprucing the place up, can't wait to see the transformation. It’s going to be amazing!!

16th September

Dish change: the lamb is going to be changing to a venison dish, venison loin roasted in foaming butter then baked with hay, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Plated with charred, saltbaked celeriac brushed with marmite butter, a red wine garlic purée, celeriac purée, crispy parsley and a thin slice of Lardo, on the side a red wine sauce and a black pudding sausage roll, love it!

27th September

On the 8th December there will be a collaboration with Angela Hartnett at our sister restaurant Rojano's in the square, with chefs Paul Ainsworth, Paul Dodd, Luke Holder, Neil Borthwick and John Walton. The six course tasting menu (each course designed by a different chef) will be served with accompanying wines and everyone will receive a goody bag on departure, it's sure to be great fun!! Head chef John Walton is doing a twist on a tiramisu in a tart, we’ve had a taster and it’s lush!!

14th October

A new haddock dish is going on, parsley pearl barley risotto, poached smoked haddock, lemon confit, parsley purée, haddock sauce, Alaskan nasturtium leaves and a sprinkling of texture at the Paul Ainsworth at number 6table of black truffle, 36 month aged Parmesan and Parmesan crunch, delicious!

21st October

White truffles are in the building and we've got some girolle and chestnut mushrooms in for a special, uber rich white truffle and mushroom risotto topped with a Madeira reduction, Parmesan crunch and a light cep sauce, unbelievable, with a wonderful lasting flavour left in the mouth making you want more and more!

1st November

The lunch menu is changing... The starter is beef tartar. We use aged rump and it is just delicious, served with a crispy soft centred quails egg, oyster mayonnaise, boule de meule sourdough croutons, crisp radishes and peppery blue nasturtium leaves, with black truffle grated over the top at the table, I devoured this when we did up a tester! The main is a new cod dish. Beurre noisette baked cod, curried chargrilled cauliflower, buttery romanesco, popcorn mussels (white wine cooked mussels, de shelled, panned and lightly deep fried, could easily eat a bowl of these!) golden raisin purée, tangy natural yogurt and a curry oil made with a variety of spices, mango and vine tomatoes sweet savoury madness.

One of my favourite dishes, the light curry element against the sweet and tangy freshness in this dish is sensational.Paul Ainsworth at number 6 The dessert is a chocolate torte. A ring of rich chocolate torte, decorated with shortbread, honeycomb, roasted hazelnuts and filled with an ice wine vinegar and sea salt caramel, topped with a milk ice cream, rich but not too much to send you over the edge of comfort, I love chocolate so naturally this is a dessert for me!

13th November

I'm moving sections, saying goodbye to larder and starting on sauce, I'll be working closely with Tom till I’ve learnt the section and then he'll be moving onto pastry, exciting times hopefully I'll do the team proud!

25th November

Two new dish changes today, the short rib has been revamped... Now served with a braised yellow chicory, 3 slices of confit short rib on top which have been glazed with a beef and red wine reduction, pickled shallot and crispy deep fried shallots, on the side is a pot of Boulanger potato and beef tartar, simply stunning. The second dish is the rib eye after 2 months developing and working with suppliers the dish is on the menu and is superb! Roasted in foaming butter on the bone, served on a wooden board with padstow festivalroasted bone marrow on top and onion crunch, the plate is dressed with a mushroom duxelle, caramelized braised baby shallots and a beef dressing, on the side a moreish parmesan pomme puree topped with onion crunch and a caramelized rarebit topping and to finish it all off a delicious red wine sauce.

1st December

The Padstow Christmas festival is coming up this weekend with the collaboration straight after, there will be lots of chefs demonstrating on stage and plenty of foodie stalls to see, it's going to be manic in Padstow, we're getting geared up! Thanks to everyone for reading my blog this year. Have a lovely Christmas and New Year here's to a great 2015!

Camilla Waite has been a key member of the team at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 for two years, Camilla-Waite-smallworking 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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Editor 4th December 2014

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