Sunday, 30 October 2016

Last Blog for a little while!

Fear not, I'm not giving up on you darlings but I have a celebratory milestone birthday coming up and after much deliberation (party, slap up meal, hibernation, face lift!) we have decided to take ourselves off to India and see sights and hear sounds I've only every dreamt of!

Very excited I am too............the jabs have been had (flip me no one said the Typhoid jab would be SOOOO painful!)

Boots the Chemist have been emptied of hand wipes, bum wipes, immodium, rehydrate, paracetamol, savlon, packets of tissues, rennies, anti bite etc etc!! Every time I go over to Boots in Fore Street Salcombe I'm sure they think I've turned into some sort of paranoid neurotic with a very bad stomach!

The camera is fired up with a spare battery, visas have been sought and granted, the spare room slightly resembles a small section of a department store! Paperwork has been checked, re-checked and checked just once more for good luck!

In the meantime the team at the Vic will be ever so slightly (!) received when we finally go as there is a limit to how many times they will patiently listen to me checking with them the 'things to do', 'where to find.........', who to 'phone if..........', 'what to do if...............'!!

SOH has even been seen to be writing his own 'things to do' list - but thats a list no where near as big as my what to pack list! It seems like it's going to be between 32 in Delhi to 19 in the hills of Shimla - so a mix of clothes and shoes and oh my, what shall I be able to leave out so that I'm not over the weight limit??

I'll be back in a few weeks (Older!) with a whole load of photo's, memories and stories, in the meantime our lovely girls and boys at the Vic will be there to look after you and probably give you an update if t'internet is readily available over there.......................

Lots of love

Liz xxx 

Sunday, 16 October 2016

All things team...........

Head Chef Tom
 My life is all things Chef / Kitchen at the moment!! Firstly, please say a huge hello to my new Head Chef Tom Huggett. Tom joins us as a relatively young Head Chef but my goodness what he may not have in years he has in passion for the food he cooks. He is immensely talented and has a great palate, a real understanding of how flavours works together and we are SO excited to have him as our new Head Chef.  

A good background in pubs and hotels, and as you can see he's rather handsome, he has a great sense of humour and he's made himself very much at home in his new role quite quickly. A nice quiet approach to getting things done - I can't be doing with shouty Chefs! We prefer to have Raymond Blancs in our kitchen to Gordon Ramseys............but he's no pushover. 

You may remember me introducing him as a senior Sous back in the summer, and from his very first day we knew we had been lucky enough to have someone very special and talented join our team - who could have thought that he'd actually be leading it so soon! 

We were left in a bit of a pickle for the NYE menu as of course a change of Head Chef meant we had to have a change of menu, but oh my, I am so excited at what he has produced. I think due to a cancellation we have 1 table of 4 now available - so if you're interested I would call us NOW! Because otherwise we are fully booked!!!!

Aaron stirring his Custard
So we look forward to a long and happy relationship with Tom as he takes us on the next step of our journey at the Vic. 

The next Chef I want to talk about is Aaron. 

Aaron joined us about 4 years ago as a general assistant / KP in our kitchen. 

Another quiet soul, he was incredibly shy but very hard working. He showed a desire to want to get on in catering and took our opportunity of a Chef Apprenticeship. 

Part way through his apprenticeship we thought we might part company as he wasn't really displaying the qualities we expected him to show. But a little gentle coaching from his tutors at South Devon College and a lot of support from us got him through whatever it was that was holding him back and he went on to win the Chef Apprentice Cup for most Improved Student. 
Aaron's Fish dish - 

He has continued to work incredibly hard and at 20 is now a FT Junior Sous Chef within our team - he has a lot of responsibility and is an integral part of our kitchen team. Not quite so shy now and with a wicked sense of humour, he's a very much loved member of our team. I'm so proud of him - he never complains (well not in my hearing anyway) he's always a cheery smile, and his cooking has developed amazingly as you can see from this photo of his Mackerel dish -  Grilled Mackerel fillets served with butternut squash stuffed with herbs and panic breadcrumbs, orange infused carrots, a chilli salsa and a sweet mango and coriander puree! 

I'd really like to find another Chef Apprentice to train and bring on just as we have young Aaron.  We pay well over and above the recommended apprentice amounts and it gives a young person a real opportunity of a career.   So if you're a local parent or even a young person reading this - why not contact me. 

Lovely Philly and Jessie
Talking of young people we have had 2 of our team achieve their NVQ in Hospitality this Autumn - Jessie and Philly who are now recognised as 2 fully trained senior team members.  They will be responsible for mentoring and helping to train any new team members.  Both girls have great customer service skills and we are immensely proud of both of them. 

Next one training for Hospitality level 4 (phew) is Asst Manager Jess - so watch this space for her achievements over the next few months. 

We are having some new professional photographs taken in half term so be sure to look on here to see what we are all looking like. The team are starting to go into their winter uniforms of black for the girls (their choice- they like it!!) and smart shirts with smart jeans for the boys. 

The chimney has been swept and the fire is why don't you come and pay us a visit?? 

Till later my lovely readers, 

Liz x