I am delighted to announce that Charlene Basan has officially taken over as Head Chef and my new No.2 after nine years here at One Great George Street.
Charlene was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where she grew up with her older sister Rene.Charlene’s father is a Civil Engineer and her mother ran several businesses including a building supply company so perhaps Charlene was always destined to work at the Institution of Civil Engineers HQ?
After studying Business Management, Charlene had a career U-turn and decided to pursue her first love which had always been cooking.
To my surprise I am often asked if I go down to the food markets in the morning to buy the kitchen’s produce for the day’s business. When they ask me I’m sure they have visions of me strolling through a French style street market in the soft but bright glow of early morning sunlight with a flat wicker basket over my arm exchanging pleasantries with Pierre the butcher and Jacques the fishmonger: so tell me monsieur, what blessings has Mother Nature delivered you from the ocean this fine morning? Loup de mer? Wonderful, I shall create a wonderful special on the menu this very lunchtime.
I am sure that there are some small, stand-alone restaurants where something similar to this may happen, but this rose tinted illusion is the creation of T.V. chefs with heavy ladles of artistic licence for dramatic effect…
What do I mean by non-negotiable deadlines?
Well, in the kitchen there is no chance of getting away with lame excuses when it comes to serving up food.
Our customers are, quite rightly, very demanding when it comes to food service, and if I say that we will be serving ‘this meal’ at ‘this time’, then that’s how it has to happen…
Goodbye for now festive fare…
Hello blindingly fresh fare!
Is it me or does it feel like Christmas happened about 6 months ago? In truth I have only been back at work for a few weeks and all I have to remind me of the festive season is an extra spare tyre round my middle and a very, very light wallet. I will say, however, that the 2016 Christmas Brasserie One and banqueting menus have already been written and should be available soon for any of you wanting to make a disgustingly early booking.
Like me, many people will be carrying around a bit of extra timber at the moment and January has always been the time when the ghost of Christmas just past is enough to make us half-halfheartedly adhere to those equally half-hearted New Year’s resolutions about trying to eat more healthily.
That’s the way it goes isn’t it; January self-loathing followed by 11 months denial?
Well I’m very pleased to say that many of our customers have a far more enlightened and modern attitude to food and this has been reflected on the new One Great George Street banqueting menus. Gone are the days when organisers would just saturate their delegates in sugary snacks. I don’t know about you but after the crash following a sugar hit I just want to snooze.