2017 revisited Nepo Kitchen Consulting

NEPO Kitchen Consulting AB

Goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018, all the best for Christmas and the New Year.

We’ve had a fully packed 2017 with many interesting projects and challenges, here’s a little recap.

A rainy day at the pool Mai Khao Lak
The second week of January I was off to the Mai Khao lak resort in Phang Nga region of Thailand, flying into Phuket and taking the hotel shuttle north to Khao Lak. 
My assignment was to check it out and have a look. The kitchen was in a bit of disarray after some staffing changes, the newly re-employed executive chef & I worked through the 6 restaurants and 3 fast food outlets in time for the predominantly Scandinavian winter season.

A clear day at top lift at Idre  

Idre, our winter season in Idre the Swedish ski resort in southern Jämtland continued, commuting from Stockholm two weeks on-two weeks off January through March. There were 5 of us that shared F&B and restaurant quality supervision. Our major tasks were to revitalise the resorts restaurants and assist the management to re-establish their restaurants under their own direction after many years of out sourcing.

Shop view from a local deli in Mallorca
Preparation for the annual TUI F&B and executive chef conference at Mallorca was ongoing during February and March. As well conference planning collecting in and casting a crucial eye over the menus of 20 or more summer resorts scattered around the Mediterranean was also in full swing. Are they following the established restaurant concepts? Is the variation on the standard buffets up to standard? Reconfirmation of outstanding issues and updates were the major tasks.

Tile at Mallorca harbour, I wonder what they catch here 
All the conference preparation culminated at Alcudia Pins on the Spanish resort island of Mallorca, four back to back workshop conferences with hands on cooking training and theory, Italian, Asian, sushi workshop, children’s food, allergies and vegan/vegetarian options were covered during the intense weeks. All in all, about 70 delegates attended from as far afield as Thailand to Cape Verde islands.
We also looked at and presented the 

Rolex S plank with chicken fajitas skewer

Rolex S planks to delegates, what a great product, suitable for buffets, pool areas, high volume presentation catering, where breakage costs can be crippling Rolex planks are a cost efficient and more than viable alternative

Octopus stew on the simmer in Sardinia
Down to Oliba in the north-eastern corner of Sardinia for a week to be present at the opening of the Janne e Sol resort, an ochre rendered resort tucked away on the beach, it’s almost feels like you are in a nature resort. A great kitchen featuring a new buffet and of course Pasta but here its prepared and cooked suited primarily to buffet presentation

ensuring that no over cooked pasta finds its way on the buffet, another highlight was the whole roasted yellow fin tuna on the carving station this was very popular with all the guests.

Octopus pots on the beach at Isla Christina
Then back to Spain again, a new area for this visit, Flying into Faro in Portugal then ducking across the border through the orange groves to Isla Christina to the Islantillia resort, the Isla Christina area on coast in Andalusia is dominated with the local Spanish market, what a challenge with all the Spanish guests arriving for breakfast just before closing time, then for lunch and dinner also just before closing time.

rice pudding pots with a little extra in Croatia
In June, I was down in Croatia at the picturesque seaside resort of Rabac, the Croatian coast is picture perfect and very relaxing it seems to be far from the maddening crowded tourist meccas of other European beach destinations. The property was a new opening and we focused on buffet diversification, vegan and vegetarian options.
In June, I also started working a little extra at Lynas Foods and their “American style” barbecue trailer, if you want to smell like smoked ribs or brisket for a week then I can thoroughly recommend this work.

Jerk Chicken on the BBQ trailer
Service in Bulgarian, not for the faint hearted
In July, I was down in Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, my first visit to Bulgaria and to eastern Europe for many years, a new resort again, the landscaping wasn’t really finished but the rest of the resort was up and running and busy from day 1 opening implementation and quality awareness and control were the measure of the day.

Then back to Isla Christina and Islantillia resort again, this visit was during their high season the whole coast was full of local Spanish tourists down to enjoy the family orientated coastal resort, an interesting resort destination with no exploitation or party scene, only family holidays.
During July 1 also started working out at the idyllic Stockholm’s archipelago island of Nässlingen, a few shifts here and there just to keep me in practice.

On the car ferry our to Nässlingen, we had to slow down to let the bigger boats through
August was a quiet time with an opportunity to take some summer holidays. I picked up some summer some relief work out in Trosa a picturesque summer holiday town on the eastern coast of Sweden about 75 km south of Stockholm.
With some free time, I decided to go back to school as I’d been working in Spain on four different occasions during the summer I thought I’d be a better communicator if I picked some Spanish, so I’ve managed two adult basic Spanish courses during the autumn, I’ve learnt enough to know I’ll need to carry on so I’m planning two do two more courses during 2018.

Sunrise at Alcudia Pins, Mallorca 
During September, I had no big assignment so I again picked up some extra shifts out at Nässlingen, in Trosa and with Lynas Foods, also during September is Sorunda Grönsaker’s farmers market, what an inspiration for our local Stockholm restaurant industry.

Mushrooms at Sorundas farmers market 

At the end of September, I travelled back down Mallorca, again to the Alcudia pins resort for an assessment and quality control week.
October was a busy month picking up regular extra shifts again in Trosa,
I also worked with Lynas foods doing the crew catering for the Rolling Stones concert in Stockholm. I took the night of and went to the concert with my Family, what a great night.

Khao tom

In November, I found myself of to Thailand in an implementation, menu reviewing role, I even managed to squeeze in a swim in the fantastic warm waters at Khao Lak, even if it was an intensive work assignment the change of environment is almost like a holiday.

Back to Stockholm again and of to Dublin the next day to visit an old friend at his restaurant “O’Connells” in Dublin. A long time ago Tom and his team did a Savoy hotel theme week at L’Escargot the restaurant where I was working in Stockholm, later we did a Swedish promotion at the champagne bar at London’s Savoy hotel, in our branch its great too catch up with old friends and even more special after so many years.
Afternoon tea presentation Canary Island

I also particpated in a chef’s congress in the Canary Islands for the Nordotel chain, we looked at their coming menus their purchasing as well as doing some mandatory cooking classes.

There were also some extra shifts down at Trosa just to top off a busy month.

December has been a planning month with a focus on January, February and March with a couple of bigger challenges in the pipeline both at home and internationally. I’ve also
been working on the Swedish Christmas at Trosa Stats Hotel before heading off to Christmas in Western Australia where I’ll be visiting winery’s and truffle farms.

Christmas hams at Trosa 
Good luck for the future.

Goodbye 2017 & welcome 2018 and whatever challenges you bring.

There's more information in some of the individual blog posts & at
in English at. www.nepokitchencomsulting.com
and Swedish at. www.nepokitchenconsulting.se


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