I’ve spent a lot of time this week interviewing chefs and believe me there are some pretty rum specimens out there, with some gruesome tales of being driven to the limits of physical and mental endurance in under-staffed and ill-equipped kitchens. It seems that some chefs really do work in a “hells kitchen”.
I wonder how many of the fresh faced youngsters at Kendal College tonight know what awaits them in the real world. They are taking part in a “Hells Kitchen” style competition under the tutelage of Richard Axford and John Crouch in an event generously sponsored by Cumbria Life magazine. As on the TV show the goings on in the kitchen are relayed to the diners via a large TV screen in which we see the young apprentices beavering away in a state of the art kitchen using the finest ingredients. These utterly benign conditions produced, unsurprisingly, superb results. It was good to see their innocent faces beaming with pleasure as they received the plaudits of the diners. I only hope that when I’m interviewing chefs in a few years time I don’t come across any of these same faces with the hollow eyes of the broken young men I’ve been interviewing this week.
The picture shows Richard Eccles, the editor of Cumbria Life, congratulating the winning team.