I didn't exactly "cooked" for her but I've prepared her cold starter. Can't really remember the exact dish but I was so honoured to make the salad dish for her.
Who am I talking about? I had the honour of making salad for Mrs Margaret Thatcher. I was hoping to make Tony Blair's portion but they assigned me to make for the dear lady instead. Anyway, it was quite an experience cooking for someone famous.
The restaurant I used to work for was a favourite with many famous people. Bill Clinton ate there when he visited London few years back. Who can resist the breathtaking view of the London Tower Bridge right in front of you while you dine beside the River Thames and the stars above you? Sure the meals start at 50 pounds. But I guarantee it's the most romantic experience ever.
Back to my cooking experience... was it nerve-wrecking, you might ask? Not exactly. My head chef and sous chefs were going berserk. Making sure everything is up to standard and with extra garnishes. For me, it's just another dish. Not too special but as always made from the heart.
I wonder how many chefs out there have such experiences of cooking for someone famous? And how many of them have the same mentality as I do? I always maintained the attitude that every customer is unique and every dish is special to each one. So I should not make this dish more special or sub-quality according to who I'm serving.
The manager at the bakery I used to work for hated my attitude. For him, as long as everything is done. He doesn't give two hoots about how nice each product looks. I was put in charge of viennoisseries production, making something from 200 to 400 danish pastries of 5 flavours or more each day. I told my boss at the bakery, every viennoiserie is a work of labour. Handmade and individually decorated. To the customer who bought the pastry, it is an individual experience. So why shouldn't we make sure that every apricot danish look consistent? They can't look exactly the same as fruits do vary in sizes. So consistent quality is vital in baking industry.
So much for my experiences, what do you think of my attitude? Do you think I'm wrong from an employer's point of view? Get everything done as quickly as possible or making sure there's consistent quality?