Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The View From Here Is Amazing

On 20th May 2007 I published the post "Mountains And Foothills", in which I talked about a lesson I learnt from my mum. A highly accomplished hill walker in the years before I was born, mum told me how mountains can be harshly deceptive for those not properly prepared for the climb.

My post exactly a year agoWhen a beginner sets out to ascend a hill, she explained, they see the summit and pace themselves to achieve it. But when they arrive at the top there's a shock in wait, because stretching out before the walker is more hillside, with another peak in the distance. At this point, those who had set off at the wrong pace and with the wrong expectations often turn back.

My mother's tale wasn't about hill climbing, of course. It was an allegorical message about professional achievement which, like a mountain peak, doesn't come in one short dash.

What mum instilled in me that day was that in order to climb a mountain you must first negotiate the foothills - reaching one small peak and then setting your sights on the next one. She taught me to focus, self-organise and to give 110% effort in reaching each goal in turn until eventually there was nothing left above but clear blue sky.

At the time of "Mountains And Foothills", I was about to take the final year college exams for my Professional Chef Diploma.

I was incredibly excited at the time because I'd provisionally arranged my very first professional job - one that, ironically, was subsequently to fall through. I say ironically because that disappointment led me to re-evaluate my objectives with the result that I ended up here in Barcelona.

As I write, the pinnacle of my mountain remains a very long way ahead. But yesterday - exactly one year ago to the day since that post - I left the foothills behind me. Yesterday I was promoted to the post of Chef de Partie at Comerç 24. The view from here is simply amazing. It's a fantastic honour and I'm thrilled to have been given the responsibility to run a kitchen section in a European Michelin-starred restaurant. I want to thank Head Chef for having the confidence in a strange lad from Hackney to give me this opportunity at such an early stage. I won't let you down, Arnau. And I want to thank my parents for their support and inspiration, without which all of this would have remained the impossible dream.

Thanks, guys.

18 comments:

Chennette said...

Congratulations!
Very impressive, and well-deserved.
Sadly, any promotions in line for me are just jumping an unseen grade in the hierarchy - I wish they also came a snazzy new title :-)

eatlikeagirl.com said...

Wow, congrtaulations. Wonderful news, and I am sure, very well deserved.

Your Mum is absolutely right and what a great way to convey the message :-)

Niamh

nicisme said...

Oh that's brilliant - congratulations!
And what a great way to teach someone on how to achieve their goals in life.

Sarah said...

Congratulations!!
Mountains and foothills indeed! Your mum is a very wise woman :)

Columbus Foodie said...

Congratulations, Trig! Wow, that was quick, and I'm sure just the first of a number of promotions for you - I have no doubt you will navigate those foothills with ease, and be at the summit in no time flat.

Paulina said...

Congratulations!

You deserve it.

Sarah W said...

Congradulations!

Richard said...

Well done, Trig - congratulations. The thing is, these things don't come as a surprise to those of us who've met you or read this blog regularly.
I think the mountain you're climbing is a big one and when you're at the top, I'll be proud to tell people that I had dinner with you back when you were in the foothills!

Tell us more about your new role and responsibilities as Chef de Partie!

The Landers said...

well done indeed. a great day for you. just a shame that your team didnt show such maturity on wednesday night.

The Boston Foodie said...

Congratulations indeed but with your passion for food I am really not that surprised.

Trig said...

Thanks guys for your messages and sorry I'm not blogging so much these days because I'm so busy at work.

Chennette - next promotion, call yourself "Trini Queen" and see if it catches on.

Becke - it's an awful long way up from here, believe me.

Richard 1 - I'll write something about my work soon.

Richard 2 - What made it worse was that I got out for 10 minutes to watch the penalty shootout in the bar over the road. Then I had to go back to work.

Krista said...

Let me add another congrats to the pile! I hope to get to Barcelona sometime soon and see what you're up to in person!

Trig said...

Krista - just drop me an email and I'll book you the best table in the house.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

I felt quite tearful reading that!
Well done, you deserve it and your parents should give parenting lessons.

Trig said...

Funny you should say that, Amanda. Amongst her other roles as a senior social worker in Tower Hamlets, including child protection and truancy, my mum teaches parenting skills and trains other social workers to work with parents in the local community.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

and I bet she's amazing at it too!

Jeanne said...

How wonderful - congratulations and well done! I love your mom's story too, and clearly it's worked ;-)

ros said...

Many congratulations on your promotion although, like Richard says, I don't think any of your regular readers and friends would be at all suprised.

The fact that you have not only the culinary talent but the maturity to be put in charge of a team of chefs at your age is remarkable. Good luck- I'm sure you'll continue to excel.


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