"Niles from home" by Simon Dow

Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 15th December 2010
Simon Dow Maitre de Cuisine Kempinski Nile Hotel Cario Where does one start when asked to write a blog about your life and job abroad no doubt at the beginning? so I will start with my interview as this is just as important as the rest of my time in Cairo, First off I am not Anthony Bourdain or Keith Floyd(RIP) or even Andrew bizarre Zimmerman, I am just another Chef in the culinary world embarking on a cultural and culinary trip. If Carlsberg was to make LSD this would be it tripped and far out. My interview was just like your run of the mill interviews you know the token gesture phone call which consists of "how are our you" and I just seen your cv, it's almost like you go into auto pilot with a robotic voice "¦"¦.But all I could think about was when do I fly out (the phone call as I said was just token gesture like an ice breaker). Then with these words "when can you fly out for a cook off "everything changes in split second, I replied "next week I will send you my flight details" (as the company pays). I flew out to Cairo and was met at the airport by the GM's driver in nice BMW X6 oh yes only the finest for this chef , sunglasses on lotion applied lets drive my good man. Now in this instance the driver is your best friend he will open up instantly and tell how things are really so it's almost you start conducting an interview of sorts yourself to get a feel for the place the people and the mentality, attitude of the city. As we drove from the airport and having a good pow wow and getting on handsomely. I felt I was really prepared for the next 3 days of interviews and the cook off I had a good insight into what the GM was like the Exe chef F&B director also. When I seen the hotel and the kitchen my ass fell outta of me it, there was nothing there, and I mean nothing it was the classic example of can you picture this "¦.."urrrrhhh NO" ok think of this way can you picture it now "¦.."eeerrrrhhh No" just not feeling it my good man. So with that I went off to meet the chef brief and short we will talk over dinner , done sorted went back to the hotel where I was staying and chilled out thinking about the pending cook off , Anyway went to dinner to at nice grill restaurant and had a good chat with the chef and also the F&B director, the outcome was positive, good 2 down one to go. It's almost like a military operation where you have to eliminate the enemy to get to the grand prize and the man who holds your fate in his hands. Anyway the day of the cook off arrived so I went to the GM's apartment in nice part of Cairo, cooked and served a 4 course meal. Cook off's are a bit like a dinner party aren't they very pompous affairs. Any way I cooked and served the dinner then joined the Gm at the table and before I knew it the red wine was flowing, I feeling nice and relaxed and still the wine flowed and still more wine. By god this man had a bottomless bottle of Vin rouge. Then low and behold the question that every interviewer asks where do you see yourself in five years time "¦"¦"¦"¦"¦Well sir I probably be in 5 minutes time on your floor under the table "¦"¦"¦"¦silence feel to the table  ooops wrong answer ok try this one "In five years time I probably being wearing flip flops and shorts running my beach front bar with bottled beers and cooking fresh shellfish & fish on my bbq" "¦"¦and again wrong answer double whammy , oh the demons of vin rouge"¦ I need a rescue plan or an evac out this is going down the shitter quicker than England's world cup bid. Well flew back home the next day and within the week I had a contract so now to negotiate all the bits and pieces and for some twisted reason the GM really liked me for my personality. Ah yes job done now to move to Cairo and meet my team and implement the great culinary concept they were talking about "¦"¦"¦"¦.next time oh yes there's more to come and it will make you laugh cry and appreciate what you have "¦"¦But in the words of Alexw "Oh but the view"
Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Executive Chef 15th December 2010

"Niles from home" by Simon Dow