The A-Team offer a warm welcome to our newest member, Junior.
Junior is Lao/French, hails from Paris and has previously worked with my family in the UK. He joins the team under the supervision of King, who will be teaching him techniques for the Teppanyaki Table.
Saki, Kuchi, King and Junior behind our Sushi Bar.
Like in every professional Kitchen, every cook depends on his or her colleagues. Timing is essential. Every cook knows his responsibility and understands that he is a vital component in the chain of events that will lead up to the final dish.
During the hours of Service, we all speak an unwritten language, we all understand each others gestures, if the whole scene were to be played out in silence, the end result would be the same. Team Work is the key and underlining current that defines the Laocook Team.
Above, we start the assembly of the dishes.
Kham and I continue. The plates are hot and each element of the dish is has been separately cooked and timed to arrive at the right moment.
The four dishes (still hot) are almost ready to go.
A lovely piece of Sword Fish “Toro” which has been sealed sits on top of individual crispy Sweet Potato Chips, Blanched Young Asparagus crowns the dish and adds a vibrant colour.
The finishing touches have been added and a Spicy Tamarind Sauce is carefully spooned over the fish and the dish is ready to go.
King selects only the best cuts of Beef taken from the Tenderloin or “Solomillo”.
Whilst the Beef is being seared over a very hot grill, the rest of the team prepare the dishes. The Beef will be served within a Crispy Potato Ring, painstakingly made by Kuchi.
Each cook knows his task and everything is carefully slotted in to place.
The dish looks simple and elegant, but a pleasant surprise awaits the diner. When the diner cuts in to the food, a warm Heavy Coconut Sauce with Red Spice will ooze out. Enclosed within the Crispy Potato Ring are Sesame Oil Blanched Pak Choi Leaves (not stalks) with Onion and Baby Spinach Leaves (mixed with Oyster Sauce, Sugar and Light Soy Sauce). On top of the leaves are Vinegared Mushrooms, Butter Fried Young Carrots and a Garlic Confit Clove. The Beef has been seared and is served Medium Rare and Pan Fried Foie Gras rests on top.
Though we love to prepare simple dishes with minimum fuss, sometimes we just “let loose” and like to combine various flavours and textures. The dish has been thoroughly thought out. The “Crispness” of the Potato Ring is a contrast to the “Softness” of the Leaves, whilst the “Tang” of the soured Mushrooms cuts the “Fattiness” of the Foie Gras, the Carrots and Beef add texture and body, the Garlic Confit adds a welcome pungent element which is all bound together with the Coconut Sauce.
With so many ingredients to put together, each one having been individually cooked, you can see how Team Work plays an important part in our job. It has taken a matter of seconds for the dish to go from start to finish, all the time the plate remains hot and the ingredients “at their point” or “en su punto”.
Every day during our Morning Meetings we share ideas, some are good, some are great and some never make it on to paper. Sometimes we come up with an idea that is too good to waste. We work on it, test it, eat it, bin it, then try again. Only when we think that it is good enough to be presented do we put it on our menu.
Next time you go to eat at an elegant restaurant, spare a moment to think about what goes on behind the “swinging doors” that separate the restaurant from the kitchen, if your cooks have put in half of the Effort, Team Work and Love that we do, you are guaranteed a memorable meal. 🙂
“I love it when a plan comes together!”.