I haven’t really worked in a professional kitchen before. I have set foot into one a few times here and there over the years because of doing “this”. When I was 18, I had a job as a waitress that lasted a day in a cafe before getting fired for twisting the hot water knob thing the wrong way on the coffee machine, therefore, drenching and scorching the displeased manager. Other than that, my professional catering experience boils down to my first ever Saturday job as a 16 year old down at the Burger King tills. They wouldn’t even let me fry the chips, you’re front of house material, they’d say and shoved me in front of the microphone so that I could yell out double whooper with cheese meals.
Decades later, I get my own little kitchen at The Ivy for the day. The stove and oven are massive and there’s three dumb waiters! One for sending dirty things to be washed and two for stuff the real kitchen would send up. All I had to do was to pick up the phone, ask for something and it gets sent up. Amazing!
My assistant, Jasmin and I spent the afternoon in a blissful quiet content prepping herbs and cooking for my book signing evening at the club. I were to demonstrate and hold a mini cooking class for 40 guests with 45 on the waiting list! I had waiters and tablecloths and posh glasses.What a dream!
It was nerve wracking to have hungry eager eyes on me and I didn’t know if I made any sense or if I waffled. I felt a bit lost, out of my comfort zone, where I wash all the dishes and place every plate but really enjoyable to expand a little knowledge into people about Vietnamese cooking.
Thank you so much to Katie and everyone in the kitchen at The Ivy Club for having me, to my dear friend Nathan whose a member there and has set it all up and to Jasmin for always assisting with a full heart.