On Friday 27 January and Saturday 28 January Edward Ayling and Lucy Reed carried out work experience at Michel Roux Jnr’s two Michelin starred restaurant Le Gavroche.
Arriving at 2pm ready for prep the pupils were each given a tour of the kitchen by Rachel Humphrey the Executive Chef. They were introduced to the brigade of chefs and shown each section of the kitchen.
Work then began. Cheese had to be grated for the Soufflé Suissesse, and grapes to be washed for the cheeseboard. The next job was in the veg section where new knife skills were learnt in the preparation of parsnips, brussell sprouts and Jerusalem Artichokes. Radishes were also turned into flowers to garnish a starter.
One of the starters Edward and Lucy helped to prepare was Grilled Langoustine, Shellfish Jelly, Black Radish & Radish Meat, and Sea Herbs. They helped to prepare the Langoustines, shellfish jelly and were able to taste the dish too.
Other tastings included a Madeira sauce to accompany mushroom filled pasta and red wine braised ox cheek.
Arancini balls in 16g weights had to be rolled and the shape perfected to ensure consistency. These were trayed up ready for service. Edward prepared the wild mushrooms to be used in the Mushroom stuffed pasta whilst Lucy learnt a technique to ensure the Cheese Soufflé rose and practised how to quenelle the soufflé.
After an afternoon of prep it was time for the staff break. Everyone tucked into cous cous, ox cheek, chicken in a honey glaze and freshly baked bagels and a parsnip salad. There was chocolate torte to finish.
Then service began. Under the watchful eye of Michel Roux Jr and Rachel Humphrey, Edward and Lucy spent time at each section seeing how orders came in, how everyone worked together to get orders out together and how dishes were plated up and presented. Presentation was delicate and intricate. The environment was very calm and everyone worked as a team. It was also interesting to see how the sommeliers chose the wine and advised how it complements a dish.
At the end of the shift Michel gave the pupils a signed copy of the menu, wished them luck, and hoped that they had enjoyed the time in his kitchen.
Edward – “it was a good environment and they trusted me to prepare the dishes explaining how and why it was done that way. I really loved the experience”.
Lucy – “It was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget, I am very grateful to all the staff at Le Gavroche for organising this inspiring experience”.