The kitchen from within


As chefs we often ask ourselves how our clients view our work. Here I want to give you my view of the kitchen from the chef’s perspective, so you get an idea of just how much your gastronomic experiences are valued as part of our job. Immaculate white aprons, big-name chefs in print and on TV; perhaps it’s not surprising that at times one forgets about the hard-working group of people who sometimes spend more time in the restaurant kitchen than they do at home.

The ritual begins at seven-thirty in the morning when the cooking fires of Collage are lit. Charcoal, pastries, Iberian ham and recently baked bread; things start to take shape in time for our first clients, who arrive at the establishment at around eight.

This is when we really get going here at 4 Gats. In just 15 minutes the sights and sounds of the kitchen can be felt: the knives are flashing, pots and pans crashing. Soon after, our suppliers and allies in this culinary adventure arrive.

The first aromas of sofritos, soups and roasts appear in the kitchen. The machinery is set in motion.

It’s now nine-thirty and our sister restaurants L’Auca, Melic del Gòtic and Sumoll are opening.

We have cleared the first stage of this long race. At one o’clock it will be time to really get to work. Our clientele enters the restaurant hungry and perhaps in a rush. They want to have a nice lunch and enjoy the chance to forget all about work. Everything must be perfect at this time: the sofrito prepared, the soup on the stove, the fish, meats, pasta and sauces ready to go…

Like the calm before the storm, now is the last chance to take breath. It’s midday and all activity in the kitchen stops for a while so we can all sit down and have a meal together. It’s a welcome break from what we know is coming next.

All too quickly the moment is past and we are once again donning our aprons and putting the finishing touches to the kitchen that is about to swing into action. Every day is like the first.

It’s like a player stepping out onto the turf at Camp Nou before a big game. It’s in moments like these when you can really feel what our job is all about.

If we have not done the groundwork, we could have a long three-hour slog ahead of us. If, however, we are prepared, organised and coordinated, it will just flow by and when the shift is over we will feel that personal satisfaction of a job well done that we crazy chefs have. Oh yes, we’re mad as hatters.

The pots and pans are picked up, washing up gloves are donned and the cleaning up gets underway. The storm has passed and the utensils and work surfaces must be spick and span before we can leave.

It is now four-thirty and we step outside for some much needed fresh air.

Tick tock, tick tock.. Time flies and the afternoon is drawing to an end!

It is now after seven and the kitchen again takes shape after the afternoon break. It starts all over again and once more the morning’s hustle and bustle is repeated, this time until midnight.

Coffee and tea, knives and forks, pots and pans, laughter and tension, friends and companions, fun and creation, all in a day’s work. This is our kitchen!

It’s now one o’clock in the morning and the fire goes out at 4 Gats. The kitchen is sleeping. Tomorrow is another day.

For today, time is called in Grup Ferré!

 If you don’t get the small things right,

what hope is there for the big stuff, like the cooking?

Gordon Ramsay

 

Jordi Anglí is head chef at Grup Ferré. He trained in the Hofmann school and actively participates in the media. He has been presenter of the Plats programme in Estil 9 TV.