Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ending 2016

Today was quite busy in the bar, being New Year's Eve and a Saturday and all, and we had a special New Year's Eve menu going on. This included some new starters, mains, and desserts in addition to some regular menu items, as well as an amuse bouche and a special petit four. Luckily we were finished service by midnight, so all of the front of house and back of house staff got to enjoy a glass of champagne before finishing clean-up and going home.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Restaurant Pastry Plates

Today I was in the bar just for one day, and am happy to report I got to do a lot of prep without needing to ask how it is done and getting it right! I also got to participate more in service, including doing the bread, cheese garnish, pear plate, chocolate plate, mignotties and learning the other plates.
the chocolate dessert in the restaurant

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pastry Prep and Such

Just another day on the bar pastry section trying to do as much pep as possible, filling orders, cleaning, and trying but still failing to please chef.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another Day Off

It's a little odd to have 3.5 days off, one day of work, then another day off, but in this industry you take them when you can get them. Today I went on a long walk, here are some photos from it:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Today was your typical, it's-after-Christmas-now-but-still-before-New-Year's-still-busy-holiday-season rush. We all worked extra long shifts today, for me, from 10a.m. until 12:30a.m. Since we had been closed the past few days, we had very little prep done. The bar needed to be ready for service by noon; the restaurant, 6p.m. There was a lot of running around trying to get as much done as quickly as possible. And to add to it, it is a busy week with a lot of reservations booked every night.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Warm Boxing Day

Today I was off again as the hotel was still closed so I went on a long hike again because it was a warm and sunny day!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Dinner For One

Here are pictures from my Christmas dinner for one. Other than that today I also took part in a Christmas Day swim at the beach for charity and skyped my family.
Mini chocolate brownies with strawberry glaze,
salted caramel chocolate ganache, candied kumquat,
chocolate crisp, and sea salt.

Garlic potato and onion gratin

Glazed roasted carrots

Broccoli and tomato salad

Brussels Sprouts


Spiced Crispy Onions and Potatoes

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Turkey Roll

The entire table

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Feast Preparations

Today I went all out in preparing food for Christmas dinner, just for myself. I made a garlic potato and onion gratin, lazed roasted carrots, broccoli tomato salad, spiced potato and onion crisps, and chocolate brownies. I will show you the feast tomorrow! I also had another virtual gift exchange with more family back home.
A sneak peak at tomorrow's dessert...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Break Begins

Today was a weird day at work, as in, I didn't really do any work. I was in at 9am, which is strange enough in itself. Breakfast wasn't very busy, so I didn't need to help the breakfast chef out. I put away two food orders (I don't know why we are getting food orders the day before we close for the holidays). Chef didn't show up until two hours late, so I busied myself with organizing the fridge and cleaning out the fridge before the holidays. Then I helped prep staff lunch, and do a few other prep jobs, then went home at 2:00/ Chef even sent me home with some food for my own Christmas dinner!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Concluding The Christmas Menu

Today was the last day of service in the bar before Christmas. It was fairly busy, but there wasn't a lot pf prep work to do since we would be closed for several days. There was more going through fridges to see what should be kept and what should be put to a different use.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Virtual Christmas Gift Exchange

Today I was off and my family back home was exchanging Christmas gifts with each other (as we do a few days before Christmas every year). So I was able to skype them during that time and open some gifts from the package they sent me. It was nice to see everyone together, even if I could not be there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Orders, Orders, Orders

Today I felt like I was the packing/shipping person. I was the one who had to collect, decant, organize, and record all the orders that came in today. It began with a big order of dry goods, then moved on to a huge produce order, dairy order, bread order, and meat order. It didn't take too long though, I also did prep and had quite a few orders in the evening - a lot of tasting menus! The environment in the bar is very quiet and laid back these days - with the restaurant shut down and most chefs already off on holidays.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Happy Days

'Happy Days' is an expression they use here which basically is the equivalent of saying, 'great' or 'right on' or 'very good then'. Or something. Here's an example: 
"Could you please portion the cheesecake next?"
"Already done."
"Happy Days."
Anyways, today was all happy days - it was fairly quiet in the kitchen with only a few staff members on, the rest of them on holidays. I got lots done, and lots done right, and the environment was more laid back than usual.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

One Day Off

Today I spent mostly resting since I only have this one day off and am working next week since most of the others are off on Christmas holidays. I also spent today tinkering with the wifi, trying to get a better connection, which is why my posts have been so inconsistent the past few days.
Kind of a cloudy day, but I'm not complaining when I see
photos of 5 feet of snow and -30 temperatures back home

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Last Service Before Christmas

Tonight was or last service in the restaurant before Christmas and it was busy - with 69 covers - basically our maximum capacity. We had eight tasting menus booked, 24 tables of two, three tables of four, a table of one, a few important customers, and a few special dietary requirements. But for the most part, service went very smoothly, at least on the pastry side of things. We didn't have to do too much prep work, since it had been quiet the past few nights and we would be closed for a while after tonight, which gave us plenty of time to focus on afternoon tea prep for tomorrow. It was a late night with lots of extra cleaning to do. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bar, Restaurant, Bar, Restaurant

This week had been kind of a strange week for me in that I am alternating locations every day - bar, restaurant, bar, restaurant - at least I am on the pastry section in both locations. I am used to being swapped around the two locations, just not so much in one week. Anyway, today I was back in the bar, and it wasn't the greatest day. It wasn't too busy, but the prep just wasn't going so smoothly for me.
When you get a huge order of prawns in and find all
these random sea critters in with it!!!
Catch of The Day Special, anyone??

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Off Season Begins

Today I was back in the restaurant on pastry. We haven't been very busy lately except on the weekends so there isn't a lot to do - just the usual everyday stuff and making sure enough prep is done. We are also closing soon for a Christmas Break so we can't get too ahead on stuff. This gives is time to do things right, focus our attention on some smaller details, and get a lot of cleaning done.
It sure doesn't look like winter!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Today I had a lot of cleaning and organizing to do since I haven't been at work in four days, and the bar pastry section was a bit, well, confusing. The day went by very quickly with plenty of mise en place for me to do - both in pastry and on the savory side. I kept myself busy making crumble, panna cotta, marmalade jelly, popcorn ice cream, vanilla cream, cheesecake cream, cheese garnishes, gingerbread crumble, salad, balsamic reduction, potato wedges, coleslaw, red onion marmalade, baked potatoes, stew, along with other cleaning and organizing jobs.
this is the strangest way I've ever seen to 'cut' hard-boiled eggs
for egg salad mix, but it works!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Staff Christmas Party

Tonight was the annual staff Chrsitmas party. It was held at a restaurant in the next town over. There was a lot of drinking, some singing, dancing, and gifts, and a three course meal. 
The meal consisted of a choice of appetizer, choice of entree, and plate of tasting desserts.
Appetizers were: Cream of Mushroom soup with Creme Fraiche, Black Pudding with Apple Salad, or Mushroom Risotto with Peas and Rocket.
Entrees were: Traditional Turkey and Ham Dinner with Cranberry Sauce, Bacon Wrapped Pork Steak with Cashew Stuffing, and Grilled Hake Fillet with Almond Butter Sauce.
Dessert were: Coffee Meringue, Shortbread cookie with strawberry and cream, Butterscotch Profiterole, and Chocolate Prailine Cheesecake.

The venue



Monday, December 12, 2016

Rainy Day

What did I do today? Not much. It was rainy and not nice for a walk.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beach #4

Today I discovered beach number four. I thought there were a lot of beaches close to my house back home, but being so close to the sea here, this is the fourth beach I have found within a forty minute walking distance of my house! It was a sunny, very warm day for December! Can't say I am missing winter at all.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

New Christmas Menu

Today we introduced out new Christmas tasting menu, which features four mini starters, a selection of main course, and four mini desserts. Today was very busy for me, as we actually did quite a few covers so I had a lot of orders but I also had a lot of tasks and prep to keep me busy as well. I just kept moving all day and had a pretty great day!
From making a chocolate tart, to cutting brownies, making ice cream, peeling potatoes, chopping onions, candying oranges, compressing apples, unmolding parfaits, making vanilla cream, making spice cake batter, traying up pastries, and more!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Very Early Night

Today was a bit of a strange day. The hotel had a group of fifty people that rented exclusive access of the hotel for today. They ate in their own time in the bar for lunch, and dined as a group in the restaurant for supper. That meant that the bar closed for service at 4pm. We did a little more prep work and clean-up, but got to leave work at 8pm!!
bread & butter pudding - Christmas edition

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Calm But Occupied

Today was not very busy either and I did not have a lot to do, but I did manage to keep myself occupied with tasks, both pastry-related and other, all afternoon until service time and then I began the nightly cleaning routine. It was a calm, but pleasant day.
you know your eggs are organic when
they come with the feathers still attached!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Deep Cleaning

Today was not busy in neither the bar nor the restaurant. I got all I needed to do (plus more) and I either got it done quickly or just didn't have that much to do, because it didn't take long at all. Then I got to do a lot of deep cleaning - the standard task in kitchens when business is slow.
I just thought this frisee looked really cool

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Not Busy But Productive

Today was not too busy, so even though I felt like I was moving at a slow pace, I got a lot done including:

  • berry puddings
  • piping and baking petit four cakes
  • making scones
  • making tomato marmalade
  • making egg mayonnaise
  • slicing corned beef
  • peeling onions
  • peeling potatoes
  • cutting fries
  • picking herbs
  • dicing tomatoes
  • breading meatballs
  • cleaning out dry storage
  • vacpacking items
  • plating dessert orders
  • preparing fruit
  • spinning ice cream
  • and more!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Christmas Decorating

Today I decorated the house for Christmas, did a bit more shopping, then went for an evening walk on the beach.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Christmas Shopping

Today I had a day off so I went Christmas shopping in the three village shops.
The first shop was very regional and featured a lot of framed artwork and prints along with some knickknacks.
The second shop was a gallery, souvenir shop, and sold a lot of home knitted wool clothing.
The third shop sold a lot of ornaments and art, both Christmas and non-seasonal, and also offered customers free snacks - mini quiches, a selection of cheese, crackers, and grapes, mini cocktail sausages, smoked salmon sandwiches, mini raspberry cakes, mini mince pies, chocolate cookies, and chocolates; along with nonalcoholic mulled wine and champagne. It was like a free afternoon tea in the shop!

Tonight I also made traditional Dutch Feast of Saint Nicholas cookies with my Dutch roommate. The pfeffernusse turned out very well!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Keeping Busy

Today I was back in the restaurant on pastry again and had quite a good day. We did 65 covers and I kept busy all day during prep - knowing what jobs to do and how to do them. I got to make bread, scones, cut fruit, prepare, cut, wrap, and box birthday cakes, roll nougat, make sorbet, and more.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Christmas Party

Today we has an evening dinner function for 65 people featuring our Christmas menu so that was exciting. I got to prep some of the dessert components, which was a trio of desserts: chocolate brownie with vanilla cream, egg nog cream, and chocolate garnish; frozen raspberry parfait; and apple crumble with popcorn ice cream, candied popcorn, and ginger spice crumb. I also got to help with plating and serving the appetizers and entrees and side dishes.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kind Of Out Of It

Today I was feeling kind of out of it. I was in the restaurant on pastry and it wasn't busy we only had twenty covers in tonight. I didn't screw anything up but I just didn't feel I was giving my 100% effort. I did a lot of my usual tasks such as cutting fruit, making three types of bread, making chocolate ganache, making sorbet, making ice cream and other small tasks. Then I did a lot of vacpacing and cleaning in he evening.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Today was another quiet but good day. I was scheduled to work in the restaurant, but they had one extra person on pastry doing a trial day and another extra person in the restaurant staging here for three weeks so they sent me to go help out the bar. I did a bunch of pastry jobs and made sure everything was in good shape, along with some other cleaning and odd jobs and at the end of the night, everyone had to pinch in and do some inventory which involved weighing a bunch of product. This meant we stayed later but it was still an early night.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Very Quiet Tuesday

Today was extremely quiet. The restaurant was closed as it is every Tuesday, so it was just the bar, and we only did 25 covers all day long. There was only me plus two other chefs in. I was actually getting bored for once. I did all the prep I needed to do, but was well stocked with everything else and didn't want to get ahead of myself and end up having to throw product out. So I did a lot of cleaning and was still bored, but the good news was I got home early.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Pets!

So, long story short, a neighbor here is gone away for seven weeks and asked me if I would house sit for them and take care of their cat and two chinchillas. Of course I said yes, and am very excited to have three pets for a little bit. They are all very friendly and affectionate, and fun to play with. Also a great stress relief for after work!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Busy Sunday

Today was brutal. I don't have the numbers of covers we did today, but it was extremely busy. The problem was, it wasn't consistently busy all day long either, it came in long, crazy bursts that gave you seven orders at once and made you run out of prep while having zero work space to top back up. I was mostly doing the pastry section in the bar, and there was also an afternoon tea session going on in the restaurant today. I didn't really have much time for prep work between orders, but luckily I was well stocked and didn't run out of anything.