Thursday, 27 April 2017

Learning from Legends (part 4): SERGI AROLA

From the moment I woke up to the moment I arrived at Michelin 2 star La Broche restaurant in Madrid, I felt sick. Putting on my uniform I often threw up and entering the kitchen I would be shaking with fear. A small team of 5 cooked for a full restaurant every day, lunch and dinner, and there wasn’t time to eat, drink water or pee.

The day started at 8am and finished at 1am with 1 day off a week. It was hell. Just when you figured the menu, Sergi Arola would change it and just when you thought you were ahead, someone quit and his work became yours pushing you farther behind. You washed your own dishes, did your own ordering, prepared your own food, cooked it and plated it. You became a machine, a jack of all trades, a soldier fighting in a war that was surely not to be won. Despite the madness, the food was brilliant with technical dishes that required clinical precision and amazing products that reflected each season and formed staples of Sergi’s style of cooking.

Working at the now closed La Broche sure as hell toughened me up and the few who stuck it out and survived left with a masters degree in efficiency and determination and the feeling of really accomplishing something. The worse it got, the more us, the surviving zombies, wanted to stick around to see what happened next.

The intensity of service and the focus required to deliver great food regardless of what may be going wrong is a lesson I will never ever forget and try to teach to my key guys in Cuca. Just minus the fear of death, of course.

Kevin and Sergi Arola

If you enjoyed this entry, do not miss the previous one here!

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