Being 21 at the Ivy the transition from the Sheraton was challenging. The Sheraton was old school militant fine dining whereas the Ivy was a whole new world. The kitchen was always so quiet as only the Executive chef and senior chefs would talk.
Entering the kitchen of the Ivy I felt like I was in an organised Picadilly circus, it was evident from day one that it would be survival of the fittest. With this culture I quickly learnt that restaurants and hotels are completely different businesses, hotels shift patterns were different from split shifts to split days off whereas restaurants are more longer days and routine.
During my first service at the Ivy I had the pleasure of working with Alan who was the executive head chef at the time, on my first
shift he was on the pass, I was working also with my good friend Martyn. Having Alan on the pass was petrifying but the mood was quickly lighten by Martyn who is and has always been a great character to work alongside.
I remember working in the Veg section at the time and as most other chefs will know this is not the most desirable place in the kitchen to be. I struggled with my first service big time, the kitchen was so different and I wasn’t used to chefs shouting at me for food. However watching Martin with his energy and enthusiasm it gave me the motivation to carry on and with my eyes on the sauce section as my prize, I put my head down and grafted to work my way up in the kitchen.
Two years went by seeing a lot of chefs come and go and in the blink of an eye, I had spent all my money on socialising as most 23 year olds do. Going out all night long and going straight to work in the morning became the norm however I still saw myself in the veg/cold section of the kitchen with the odd function and it was at this time I told myself I am better then this and sought out my place on sauce elsewhere…