The Chopping Board
The first few months of this year were a quiet time. After a hectic 2014 of quitting my job, leaving the US, 3 months at cookery school, I was ready for a break. I spent a lot of time at home but there's only so much dinner-cooking and dog-walking one can do. By the end of March I'd reached peak relaxation levels and was ready to get focused again on my next steps. In a throwback to my time at Google I decided to set some personal goals for the 2nd quarter. I needed to get clear on what I wanted to work on.
My 3 months at Ballymaloe was the best time and money I've ever spent. But it can be overwhelming in the range of options it opens up. I knew I wanted to work with food in some shape or form and in January and February I did a few trials working a day or two in kitchens in Dublin and London. I realized that working in a restaurant kitchen is not for me! What I enjoy most is hosting and cooking tasty meals for friends. Ballymaloe gave me a whole new perspective and appreciation of the importance of eating good food. Enjoying a good meal (and wine) with friends or family is good for the body and soul. On a high level, I'm passionate about making delicious, nutritious food accessible for everyone. So, how do I make a living from this? In the longer term I want to create a food delivery service, delivering quality, freezer-friendly meals to people who don't want to compromise between quality and convenience. Right now I don't have the facilities to run this, but I'm working on it. In the meantime I'm cooking for small events and parties. And so, in April The Chopping Board was born! When I looked back at some of my early photos on this blog I noticed that lots of the shots were taken with the food on my wooden chopping board, it's my favourite piece of equipment!
In the past few weeks I've been helping out two other caterers and Ballymaloe ladies. This has given me invaluable experience and a real insight in the world of catering. It's bloody hard work! Lots of lifting, carrying, food shopping, driving and IKEA trips (and that's not even the cooking). I'm falling over food containers and serving platters in my kitchen. But I've loved it all and hope to do lots more.
Yesterday I catered for a friend's Christening. 30 people. It all went very well. The menu was..
Baked Irish Salmon with Mustard and Dill Mayonnaise
Madras Chicken Curry with Cucumber and Mint Yoghurt
Potato and Spring Onion Salad
Carrot and Courgette Salad
Mediterranean Tomato Salad
Crunchie Sticky Banoffee Pie
Belgian Chocolate Biscuit Cake