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Looking Good in the Kitchen!

April 17, 2012

So me.  I’ve been cooking for nearly 23 years and love what I do!

I don’t think you can stay in this industry if you don’t care about what you do… the Saturday nights out on the town, the birthdays, the weekends away… all gone but it’s absolutely fine because we (the chefs) love what we do.

Over more than 20 years it has changed so much. People are far more educated about their food, how it’s cooked and where it’s from.  In my opinion this has taken everything up a notch in the kitchens that embrace this mind set.

We need to know more, for our front of house staff to know more, so that we can better inform our well educated customers.

The garden we are undertaking – Casa San Lorenzo – is all brand new to me so this is a huge learning curve as to how to plan and grow for the year.  Seasonal and sustainable are words thrown around a lot these days.  That’s a good thing as the more we hear this the more it becomes second nature to us.

We embrace this way of  menu planning & cooking at Centotre and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant and this is what we are striving for every month on our menu changes.  Some months are harder than others to be creative but lucky enough May is a cracking month.

Asparagus – specifically Pattullo’s asparagus from outside Blairgowrie,  Perthshire – is so beautiful.  It’s around for only four or five weeks and will be on my menu in several different ways.  My advice is that as the season is short use it while you can. Chargrilled  Warm Asparagus with a coddled egg dressing, wild herbs and some rapeseed oil… delicious!

I had a meeting with a forager (Ben Robertson) this morning and blew my socks off with the products that he can literally source in our own back garden. Look out for Sea Aster and Black Lovage knocking around our seasonal May menu.  How exciting!

Suzanne O’Connor
Head Chef at The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant

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