Nepo kitchen revisited 2016

TUI Family Life F&B congress Mallorca, Spain

An intensive two weeks or so planning and preparing for TUI’s annual executive chef and food & beverage manager congress, this year it was in Alcudia, Mallorca. Two back to back conferences with company strategy, cooking workshops and theory on the agenda. In the kitchen we had a big focus on vegetarian & allergy dishes, giving the chefs the tools to manage this ever-expanding guest segment.

Kitchen support chef at TUI’s Family life resorts

The season start up again commenced with resort visits, concept adherence and quality control at every step, my season started with a trip to Kerkyra, Corfu, the resort just a short hop skip and jump from Corfu town. Then off to Alykanas on the island of Zakynthos A few days of great sunsets and beaches make this a favorite destination, but we were looking to help a new partner assimilate into the concepts and not a relaxing Greek holiday. Then back to Mallorca with an introduction to some of Spain and Mallorca’s larger hotel chains that we are working with, Hipotels resort at Sa Coma on Mallorca’s east coast, a big buffet with big volumes of mixed European customers and then Grupotel’s resort at Cala Milor, another big resort with an all-inclusive concept built on a super beach front, I spent a few days here with the kitchen team, I also visited another Grupotel resort this time at Capparot on the island of Menorca, an island of rocky beaches, stone fences & low bushes, don’t forget to try the local Mahon gin or famous Mahon cheese if you go there. Later in the season I was also in Ibiza with Insotel at their Taridia Beach resort, this trip again with TUI but this time with their Sensatori brand, a little more up market a little more adult orientated, a real luxury resort built into a little sandy cove a great place for an escape, fantastic sunset bar and Spanish grill restaurant, drenched in holiday relaxation

Pane Fresco Stockholm, Sweden

Deep diving into the Italian restaurant culture at the expanding Pane Fresco concept in Stockholm. I was working hands on and documenting the kitchen operation at Pane Fresco and their focus on authenticity. Not only did the ingredients come from Italy, but the chefs and many of the waiters as well. My task was to create menu and recipe uniformity that would allow Pane Fresco restaurant to expand and deliver equally good Italian food of high quality in their new restaurants.

Working independently

The pros and cons involved with working for oneself are many, on the positive side is the networking involved with old colleagues and acquaintances from previous jobs. The Stockholm area is full of well-run businesses who are glad to have an extra chef who can hop in from time to time especially during the summer period, from my perspective it’s great to keep up to date with new techniques and practices. The quality of the younger chefs in quality driven restaurants in Stockholm is more than reassuring.

Barbecue Blues team

Earlier in the summer we competed in the Swedish national barbecue championships in Gothenburg, we came a respectful third place overall, a stable result as per our results in 2015. Towards the end of summer, we competed again this time at the Grill and Barbecue European championships in Bremen, Germany. Once in place in Bremen we had a big help from the German company, BBQ Scout, grill specialists who sponsored us with grills and barbecues without them it wouldn’t have worked.

Beef brisket, chicken and side dish, dessert, fish and side dish, home country cooking, pork shoulder and pork ribs were the competition criteria our brisket tightened up and was a letdown, but we managed to fight back with our other dishes and managed to win first place with our fish dish, totally we managed a fourth place in a field of thirty plus, a result above our expectations and with the win as European Champions in the BBQ fish dish as icing on the cake, we were very pleased.

Idre FjällI, Sweden

Together with some professional colleagues we were contracted for the winter season 2016-17 to help Idre Fjäll ski resort move from an entrepreneurial food & beverage operation to be able to manage their own restaurant units. Winter resorts are full of details which demand complicated solutions. Not only is Idre Fjäll a winter playground but the resort has over the past couple of years developed a summer seasoned rivalled by few, mountain biking, trekking & rafting are on the activity list during the warmer months.