In the heat of the kitchen

Only week two at the Prince’s Drawing School and already we’re fortunate enough to be welcomed into the kitchens at 1 Lombard Street Restaurant this morning. Regulars will remember my earlier interest in foodie happenings whether friends cooking or the quiet nightly activities of the  busy bakers at St John’s Bread and Wine. 1 Lombard Street was another world entirely. A large team swarmed across two rooms in the basement of the very grand former bank, and were extremely patient in putting up with a large entourage of art students getting in their way as they chopped, diced, grilled, washed, strained, in preparation for the day’s dining. They were amazing to see in action. Fast and efficient much like an army regiment, each getting on with their own tasks whilst carefully side-stepping each other. These are some views: a long line of cutting and preparing and some serious pot-washing. Then right into the middle of the action and a long line of ovens and hobs, drawn with heat bellowing out of more ovens and a deep fryer behind me. Lastly, here is Herbert Berger, the Michelin-star Chef Patron, at work preparing grouse. Here he ties the birds with string and tops them with bacon, an act carried out with such speed and skill that it seems like an intimate ritual, he is done within a few minutes and calls his troops to attention as the first lunch orders start lining up.