Sometimes, here at The Little Pickle, we are lucky enough to get to go on a little work holiday to beautiful locations where we get to do the job we love and also make the most of our down time in the aforementioned locations. The last few weeks we have been able to do just that!
We have spent a lot of time in Val d’Isere in the French Alps over the last six years but it is still a delight to go back to our ‘mountain home’ and see some familiar faces. The transfer from Geneva along the valley to Val d’Isere it quite a long one but the final ascent from Bourg St Maurice brings back memories of being a chalet chef making the weekly drive down the mountain to go shopping for the next collection of guests.
For this work holiday we would be working with our old friends at Scott Dunn; the luxury travel company we once worked for in France, Spain, Austria and Portugal. We had been asked to assist with chef training which happens continually throughout the season with new chefs that have arrived that season. It is extremely rewarding to help train up new chefs; see them progress, their confidence building and their hunger for new dishes and ideas. As well as working with new chefs we sometimes get to work with old friends on a special dinner, we got the chance on this occasion to work with Chris an extremely talented chef who always tries to push the envelope and do something a little bit different. It is great to be working on someone else’s menu sometimes to give you a different perspective and some fresh ideas.
The wonderful thing about being a chef training assistant is that you get to talk about food with lots of passionate, eager new chefs and help them achieve the dishes they have imagined or researched. Going from teaching one chef to french trim a rack of lamb, to making canapés for a party of 14 or setting the perfect panna cotta. It is all interesting and all forever changing from one thing to the next. All intertwined with some wonderful skiing conditions (the best in years apparently!) and some great restaurant meals to top it off!
Val d’Isere will always hold a special place in our hearts and no doubt we will be back again but not during this season; so if you’re lucky enough to be out there, enjoy those great conditions – and please be safe.