Luxembourg Day Two

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 24th November 2010
It's actually somewhat of a lay-in today, as we don't plan to leave until 10.30am. The team believe that their results, will be posted on the results board at around 10.00am. The "Full English" is always a something to behold when travelling on the continent, and this Tuesday morning breakfast certainly was something to behold, I personally would like some form of scientific data of just how much egg and I mean real egg as in from the real chicken type of egg, is actually in the scrambled egg, but as with the rest of the continent, the bread is good, and the croissants are very sweet. Our hotel appears to be the base for all the competing British teams with both the Welsh and the Scots teams also occupying the rooms here, the lobby is awash with branded chefs, carrying and lugging boxes, bags and buffet props, many have worked through the night on their prized buffet piece. Breakfast done, it's exhibition bound, with Mr Hulstone, who's braving the cold in a short sleeve chef jacket, I can't work out if he's just plain mad or hard, perhaps both? We squeeze into the car and make the short journey to the exhibition centre, which is less than fifteen minutes away. We enter the hall and make straight for the winners presentation board, Simon is already talking himself down, and is readying himself for disappointment, perhaps in his mind it will soften the blow, if your expecting to do poorly and you do, well you told yourself so. Agonisingly, we're told that the results won't be announced until 3.00pm that afternoon, bloody hell talk about dragging it out! This does however present an opportunity  for us to observe a fresh days offering of what the salon has to offer, with a large emphasis on the English junior team, and their cold buffet display, that many a young chef had prepared through the night. So off we trot, I head straight for the coffee vendors, as it's a good opportunity to practice my poor French, oh and the girls are pretty!!! So double espresso downed and the first table is the American team, now "Team America" as we know does most things bigger and better, the buffet is good, in fact very goods, and there's not a buffalo wing with ranch dip in site! Way d'go whoop whoop!!! Seriously, it's clean, almost minimalist in it's approach, an off white stretched cloth is pulled tightly across the under table, with a centre piece of spot lamps that rise proud and straight from the table, their connecting stems are of varying lengths. Honestly I'm less than sure that either Lawrence or Anna would like this blatant worship to mahogany and straight lines, but hell, I do. Next it's the England junior table, and again it's very impressive, the details are very strong, it's clean, beautifully presented with great skill, and slight of touch, even I can remember back to long nights with fingers stuck together with aspic and a pot of strong black coffee on the corner of the solid top, to keep those flagging eyelids throwing the towel in and allowing tiredness to win it's contest, as they slowly fall ground ward and shut. A few more swift espressos from the pretty sales girls, (look I like espresso, that it's nothing more) and I manage to find my travelling companions, we walk the length of the competing team kitchens, and observe and study their presentation plates which are designed to work in the same way that those restaurants in sunny resorts parade their finest chicken in a basket pictures, to the passing foot trade, of football shirt wearing holiday makers, only much more classy and with micro herbs!!!! It's at this point, that we notice activity and a small but growing crowd around the winning board, I want to use the word frenzied as it sounds good, but it's more leisurely and composed. A man with a clipboard and great power, reads to his assistant, everyone is very English and waits as the coloured stickers are peeled and placed against to the competing countries names. That's everyone apart from me, I push to the front, scan the list, I can see the England result, I turn in haste, and everyone is shaking Simon's hand as someone has beat me to it, and revealed the result, it's gold.  Well done Team England.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 24th November 2010

Luxembourg Day Two