Friday, 16 November 2007

It's That Day Again

Isn't it amazing how fast time goes these days?

In some ways it only seems like yesterday that I posted this party piece.

Since then I've somehow managed to write 180 blog posts, receive 1,000 comments and welcome over 16,000 readers here for over 30,000 visits.

To everyone who has supported and encouraged me on the incredible food journey of the past year, my sincerest thanks.

To celebrate my 19th birthday, my parents took me for lunch to Islington restaurant Morgan M, where chef/proprieter Morgan Meunier is living proof that the French really can cook modern food at the very highest level - not just over-complex, traditional, cream-laden dishes.

The year was drawing to a close, but there was still plenty of time for some new food discoveries before I cooked the Christmas dinner. Shopping at Borough Market and posting the results as my first ever Flickr display was one I recall with special pleasure.
A year ago today I'd just started work experience at Gordon Ramsay's The Boxwood Café.

I was still living at home, getting up early each day to make the trek across London through the early morning rush-hour to the Berkeley Hotel.

And when I got home at night it was heads down to work on my Australian Gastronomy project, a major part of my college assessed work for my final year.

I must also thank my food blogging friends for entertaining me at dinner at L'Osteria and for a great weekend shopping and eating at Borough Market and enjoying lunch at Howard's pad.

With winter passing and the days lengthening, the advent of spring encouraged me to abandon comfort food and try more adventurous cooking.

I had great fun cooking and writing up Wattleseed Pavlova in February, Coquille St. Patrice in March, Bacalhau à Braz in April and Papaya, Garlic & Anise Marinated Lamb Rack With Panch Phoron Kabocha & Creamy Garlic Sauce in May.

At the end of my Christmas dinner post I wrote: "I can't wait to plan and execute Christmas dinner for next year." Little did I realise that, one year later, I'd be 700 miles from London, helping to prepare the festive meal for Catalan families and visitors spending Christmas in Barcelona.

Other gastronomic highlights of the past year included feasting on offal at the amazing St. John in Smithfield and entertaining food blogging friends with Peter Gordon at The Providores.

And, last but not least, dining better late than never with Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes at his incredible restaurant Bacchus, within walking distance of my house in Hackney.

But the fun had to stop as I put my head down to complete my Australian Gastronomy Project, cook the Pavlova for marked assessment and prepare for two weeks of non-stop practical tests and written examinations.

And then, on the 9th of July, I was able to announce that I had been awarded a Professional Chef Diploma with Merit.

Meanwhile, I'd been busy researching Portuguese restaurants, looking for somewhere to work after I graduated as a first step on the European gastronomic ladder. Having written to the celebrated chef Joachim Koerper to ask for a trial at his Michelin-starred Restaurant Eleven in Lisbon, he suggested instead that I come and work at his new venture La Gigantea, 600 miles away in Tarragona. Which I duly did.
Although that didn't work out due to the departure of the head chef, I'd had a taste of Catalunya by then and I didn't want to go anywhere else. So I researched my restaurants once again, wrote to Comerç 24... and the rest is history. So today, as I celebrate my twentieth birthday, I'm a citizen of Barcelona and, to quote from the company running one of the largest food outlets on Las Ramblas, "I'm lovin' it" (well, don't be surprised - even in Catalunya many people eat junk food.)

Oh, by the way, did I say "twentieth"? Yes! Yes! Yes! It's the end of my teens.


Acme Instant Food said...

Happy, happy birthday to you! You are quite the talented and driven young man. I can only imagine what you are going to accomplish in the next 20 years. All my best regards to you!

namastenancy said...

What an amazing list of accomplishments for somebody so young. Bravo!

Richard said...

Happy birthday Trig. Can't believe you're so young you git :)

Paulina said...

Muitos Parabéns!

Pelo aniversário e também pelo blog e a forma apaixonadacomo encaras a cozinha.

E até breve...

Julia said...

Aww Happy Birthday Trig! Have a great one mate.

Mike & Liz said...

Happy birthday, Trig. See you in Barcelona tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday have a great thing going and wish you a wonderful year ahead...AP

Sarah-82 said...

Happy Birthday!! Have a fantastic day and I hope the next year brings you just as much excitment :-)

Chennette said...

Happy Birthday Trig! I will not think about how old I shall be next birthday, and instead just congratulate especially since I think you are justifiably happy with your accomplishments to date, which is always the best place to be. Good luck for more successes in the future.

lindy said...

Happy birthday Trig. You are a very clever fellow, with a generous spirit. All the best-

The Boston Foodie said...

Happy Birthday you lazy bastard! Just kidding of course. Congrats. Nice cake btw.

Trig said...

Thank to all of you for your great messages. It's a long way up and I've got a massive amount to learn, but my feet are definitely on the ladder here. There will be some photos of me at work on the blog soon. Cheers!

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