2019 revisited Nepo Kitchen Consulting

NEPO Kitchen Consulting AB

So here we go again out with 2019 and in with 2020 hope you all had a great festive season and are ready to crack on in the new year.

Just a quick recap on 2019 interesting and fun projects and challenges with Nepo Kitchen Consulting from last year.

Fresh cold water crayfish from the Tasmania 

After months of planning it was time to move back to Åre and prepare for the alpine world ski championships, we recruited 35 chefs, local as well as international chefs through contacts in Poland, Greece, Spain, Norway and Denmark.
With a total of 7 kitchens spread over a 3 km area of winter terrain & serving 4000-5000 guests per day logistics became the major challenge. It’s all about logistics and the operational flow.

Part of the menu planning was to include as much local produce as possible and to support local industry, on one of our special tasting buffets we featured charcuterie from Jämtland among other game meats, one dish that captured everyone’s interest and curiosity was the Bear "tjälknöl". an adaption of a traditional cooking/curing/preservation process from the Laplanders we also featured Jamtland charcuterie such as smoked deer, elk, wild boar, rein deer heart and local pork produce combined with forest condiments featuring rowan berries, currants, cloud berries, lingon berries, seasonal apples and pickles as well as Icelands eye catching fresh wasabi which was also a big wow factor.

A catch-up month with some follow-up from Åre and planning for the April F&B congresses. March was also a chance to refill the batteries with some days off and do the social rounds.

Side & Croatia:
Turkish shish kebabs on the grill in Side 

Directly after the snow in Åre I moved my focus back to the Mediterranean preparing for the annual TUI Family Life food and beverage conferences.
The first seasonal congress was in Side, Turkey at the start of April for the Best Family concept and featured ca 30 chefs from 15-20 resorts from Egypt to Spain.
A green egg BBQ company in place and operational in Croatia
Following directly after Side were two Family Life congresses in Rabac, Croatia, approximately 40+ executive chefs and food & beverage managers attended the 2 Family Life events with delegates ranging from Turkey to Spain.
It was great to catch up with some of the returning chefs and meet some new members in the TUI Family Life group helping them to get ready for the coming season.

Freshly made baklava
Ephesus & Side:
Buffet presentation in Side Turkey
At the end of April, I was back in Turkey at a new resort rebranding in Ephesus, a huge resort with its own waterpark, I was hoping to get a look at some of the local arkeological history, but as so often happens there’s no time to play the tourist. After Ephesus I was off to Side again for another new Family Life resort rebranding, hands and concept training during the intense visit, great to see the well-made local food at it best.

Mallorca & Menorca:

After a few days back home, I was off again this time back to the Mallorca one of Spain’s tourism meccas. To the Alcudia region a favourite tourist destination for decades, from Alcudia a short hop over to Menorca a slower and less intense and in your face destination. We enjoyed a great local meal at Es Moli De Foc in a nearby village. 

Crete & Kos:
Carob trees Crete  
Caldera beach visiting two resorts in one, coaching in the team at the start of their season and some work with their Greek taverna concept, after Crete off again this time back to Kos for a week with some hands on a la carte work in Mamari beach’s Greek Taverna and their Green and Grill theme restaurants. Good to see the building progress in the restaurant and their new hot buffet stations, they will make it better and easier for the guests and all concerned.
It always seems to be nice and hot at Mamari beach resort luckily, it’s blessed with one of Greece’s picturesque iconic beaches.

Truffle deliveryJune

The long-awaited Truffles from Manjimup, Western Australia started to arrive, we had a couple of early deliveries of these world class products with some fresh produce arriving, excellent truffles 24 hours after sorting in Australia they’re for sale in Stockholm.

We also did some rock and roll catering with Lynas foods for some summer concerts and festivals in and around the city.

In June we received confirmation of our participation in the Stockholm Tennis Open later in the Autumn. What a great Challenge to work towards.

Crete- Eloundra Breeze:
Back to Crete this time to the eastern end of the island to Eloundra. A new opening a lot of hands on concept training and follow up from the earlier conference training in Croatia.

Aegean Blue Rhodes is a large resort at Kolymbia on Rhodes, coaching the team in their buffet presentation and hands on training with the menu and food presentation in their Asian restaurant.

Båstad, Sweden:
Study trip to Båstad Tennis to assess their food and beverage offerings and how we can plan the logistics around the Stockholm Open.

cathedral in Porto
We had a quick look at the new Boeira Garden Hotel and of course Porto, Portugal's second city. Porto is now a re-emerging tourist destination served by a modern airport and with an easily accessible transport system. A great short break destination offering sunshine, culture, architecture, imposing churches, and a glimpse into the past all at humane prices, 1/2 the price of other competing northern cities.

Porto is full of good pastry shops, cafés and street entertainment, what would a visit to Portugal be without a meal of grilled sardines. We saw the locals grilling on the street as well as on their balconies. Another Portuguese classic is bacalao, dried cod or ling fish, available in every restaurant and even as a fast food alternative.

Sätra brunn:
During august I got the opportunity to work at Sätra Brunn a health spring/spa that has been in continuous use for more than 300 years. Sätra Brunn consists of 80 historic buildings set in a 60-hectare property, Tranquillity, beauty, rest, activity, care, gardens and the proximity to nature are all on the menu for yourself indulgence. Enjoy also a variety of seasonal local activities and traditions in the restaurant.

A kitchen makeover was on the cards including
  • Kitchen economy
  • Create a kitchen and restaurant economy “key drivers’ template”
  • Inventory processes routines
  • Kitchen purchasing routines
  • Menu calculations - create new menu calculations templates
  • Standard hygiene controls
  • Rostering & time keeping
  • Analyse the existing kitchen machine park
  • Help out in the kitchen where ever necessary
  • Check out the kitchen computer and create an administration and organization plan
  • Look for any visible between departmental communication hiccups.

Tennis Stockholm open
Planning work on the Stockholm Tennis Open continued during the month.

Tennis Stockholm open:

Nepo Kitchen Consulting was involved in all the catering aspects of the ATP tennis open at Stockholm’s Kungliga Tennis Hallen.

What a great venue, get up as close as you can to the players and the action you can really feel the tension and atmosphere. the stadium itself is in fantastic condition a little "stadium" time capsule, well maintained, comfortable, well-appointed and with unrestricted vision for all in comparison to the modern cement and plastic stadiums.
Our fast food kitchen, was also a temporary kitchen, built with the focus on speed of service, 5-6 hot dishes, so the spectators could get back to the tennis ASAP, it worked well, and we were catering for about 800 hot meals and 500 cold meals on our busiest days.
Nothing is possible without a great, flexible, ambitious and experienced team, Thanks team.

Cannoli in Florence
Off to Bologna & Florence for a week or so in October A chance to catch up on and get a little closer to some Italian food culture, the food may be great and tasty but its not inspirational it all seems so bogged down in tradition and poor presentation.

An interesting tip is a trip to a balsamic vinegar museum.
Take the tour slow the museum and tour are full of background & cultural information.
You'll think twice before buying your next supermarket balsamic. The museum is situated in Spilamberto just outside Moderna.

river reflection Florence

For the best lunch in Florence try the Mercado Central de Florencia, its full of locals and tourists, here you can browse around and select exactly what local goodies you'd like to try. Relaxing and comfortable seating make it perfect for grazing between the food stalls and pop up restaurants.
Greve in Chianti lies in the middle of Tuscany and is surrounded by rolling hills and vineyards, the Enoteca Falorni wine shop is well wort a visit here you can buy a tasting card and taste away the best that Tuscany has to offer. Macelleria Falorni, the charcuterie boutique on the "prime side" of the main village square is well worth a long study perusal, a butcher charcuterie shop with a long history full of old and interesting photos plus an over indulgence of all that’s good from the region, don't forget the cheese cellar downstairs.
Italy abounds with cafes and great coffee, pick me up sweets aren’t far away, they look great and some taste as good as they look, others you know you can get the same dessert of better quality in most cities around the world, almost makes you wonder how they can be so protective of their heritage and allow that quality and ambition to slip unnoticed.
Pisa & the Tower is a bit of a must for many people. the constant crush of meandering tourists reaches a pinnacle around these magnificent buildings. Religious tourism isn't just for the believers but only for the believers with deep pockets, if you are planning a trip to see these architectural masterpieces take loads of cash. Walking around the area outside the church and tourism splendor you are greeted with a dirty, run down, outdated and congested city suburb, there’s no Italian glam and design here. Tuscany is great, but you won’t be alone.
As many tourists say ABC "Another Bloody Church" 
I got a chance to work with Appenzeller cheese at a food exhibition in Stockholm,
Appenzeller is a cheese with its own loyal fan base, for many Appenzeller needed no introduction a very well-known and respected cheese with an established brand that has over the years built a regular customer stream to cheese counters throughout the land.

Lots of hands on work on the tools trying to keep my eye in and trying to keep up with the young guys.

Gran Canaris, Orquedia resort:
Check in for the opening of the Grand Canary winter season, meet with and bounce of some new ideas with Nordotels executive chefs, it’s always easy to work with good people. Throw in a few days of cooking classes for good measure and the tie really flies.

Back in Khao Lak for a new look at The Family Life Resort, concept coaching and hands on cooking training for the new snack menu and grill restaurant was on the books. Thai taverna seafood menu. What a relaxing holiday destination, great facilities, beach and weather. Not as much fun if you’re working.

Off to Tassie for a Christmas holiday keep your eye out for my new twist on mutton birds “short tailed shearwaters” the love / hate local sea bird and a few other titbits.

Good luck for the future.

Goodbye 2019 & welcome 2020 and whatever challenges you bring.

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