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We kicked off truffle season at Mitsukoshi Nihombashi’s annual French Fair last month with a pop-up restaurant featuring an all-truffle menu.
Our team of alumni and chefs showed off some of Le Cordon Bleu Japan’s technique and flair, putting out home-made truffle sausages, omelettes with fresh shaved truffle, and truffle panna cotta.
It was also a chance for our new alumni to experience the pace of operations in a high demand, pop-up environment. And in our open kitchen pop-up, guests saw all the action, turning on the pressure for our alumni-chefs.
We spoke to Joyce, one of the alumni-chefs, about her experience:
Q: What was the most challenging over the six days?
The biggest challenge was that it wasn’t a regular restaurant or classroom kitchen. You don’t have everything you need where and when you need it. As a result, it constantly drives you to adapt and come up with creative solutions.
I was in charge of one of our hot stations, firing sausages. We had limited stove top space, so when we get 15 orders in at the same time, it’s a lot of on-the-spot stove management. You need to keep everything hot, prioritise as the orders come in, and make sure everything comes out well. We eventually reorganized our mise en place to reduce the amount of stovetop time per order, and it helped a lot.
Q: The most rewarding?
For me, I’ve changed my career to become a chef, and I sometimes wonder if I’ve made the right choice. This was my first kitchen experience after graduating and I got to work alongside my chefs, not as a student but as a teammate. This taught me a lot: you have to be humble, trust your teammates, and always keep learning.
It was gratifying when our chef told me he was happy with how I did. Knowing that my chef trusts me as part of the team me made feel I have what it takes and that I made the right decision changing careers.
Our pop-up was also an open kitchen. It was extra pressure having the customers see everything you do, but you get to interact with them, see them smile when you make something nice. That makes it all worthwhile.
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