After cooking at The Bristol Old Vic with Michael O’Hare on MasterChef, I knew I wanted to go to 'The Man Behind The Curtain' and experience the food and the whole creative process of his restaurant in more detail. One of the huge joys earlier this year was that I was able to do so back in October. He and the restaurant certainly don’t disappoint.
I knew when I walked into the kitchen this was going to be an unusual and amazing week. Not many times do you hear Hall & Oates being blasted full volume with a team of young and very ambitious chefs working in such a relaxed and completely focussed way.
I was so nervous I had my new shoes on (complete with forgotten price tag - how embarrassing!) and as I said it was all about Michael and his cooking and inspiration for a week. I probably failed the first day when I professed to not love Hall & Oates but I learnt so much: The menu is eclectic, fascinating and pushes boundaries whilst retaining some really wonderful comfort elements that we all love.
The chefs and the whole team were so generous in their attitude to me. I keep saying I am not a chef but a home cook and whilst acknowledging that, they shared their knowledge and time with such generosity.
My pastry is now certainly coming on leaps and bounds after my time at Pollen Street Social and The Hair Metal Chef. I learned different techniques and also so much about time saving skills and working in a smarter way and without a doubt... Presentation. To be allowed to help at the pass was an incredible ... The pressure the standards are so high. I apologise for the times I messed up but so appreciate being allowed to muck in.
After my week, Michael very kindly invited me back to experience the food from the other side as a diner. I love that the chefs bring out the food and interact with the diners; it adds a real personal touch. My daughter Rebecca and I had the most amazing meal and the wine pairings were truly inspiring. I am trying to write this without giving any of the surprises away, so when you get a table I will not have put any spoilers in. So, I am sorry if I'm a bit hazy on menu details... Suffice to say the meal was one of the best.
I have to mention Charlotte and Adam Rasburn. Charlotte is a fantastic front of house and Adam hats off chef. And huge thanks to rest of the team... You're all awesome!
Finally Leeds. I loved it. What an amazing city
I know Michael has other restaurants in the pipeline too and can’t wait to try them out when I go up to see Rebecca.
Thank you for having me. See you all again soon.