Revisited NEPO Kitchen Consulting 2022






NEPO Kitchen Consulting 2022




NEPO Kitchen Consulting AB
Another troubled year in the world, in Europe our year was dominated by political challenges. Our industry is still struggling to survive while our social infrastructure still fights with the covid virus, energy cost and the uncertainty which the war in Ukraine has bought with it.
Here is a quick recap on my 2022.
January.
Still working in Dubai at “The greatest show on earth” world expo 2020
I spent many weeks systematically roaming through all the pavilions at expo 2020 Dubai “on my days off and after work”
Which is the best national pavilion, how does one rate them all?
My list of the best pavilions that participated in the world expo 2020 is 
Best pavilion overall:
Japan.
Most interesting large pavilions, not ranked in order:
Germany, Pakistan, UAE, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Israel & Singapore
Most interesting smaller pavilions, not ranked in order:
Benin, Cambodia, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Jamaica & Mali

February.
A get away option from Dubai’s big city pace is a Desert Safari, there are lots of alternatives to select from we were lucky and experienced a well organised and almost colonial expedition. No desert bashing yobo, nuevo riche fake Rolex burn out.
But be prepared even if its 40 degrees during the day take a jacket as it cools down much further than you think.

loomis dried lemons on the left,  black lemons on the right, blanched and oven dried.

I also found a cooking school, while passing through exotic destination I find deep diving into the local cuisine and culture is the best way to build an understanding and experience the destination, you can’t see anything if you walk around with your eyes closed. I learnt how to make Fatayer, local samosas & pizza snacks/starters.
http://www.bigarenakitchen.com/2022/03/fatayer-middle-eastern-savoury-pastries.html

March.
We borrowed a duck press from our pavilion ambassador & taught ourselves how to make the super traditional and pretentious classic “canard a la presse” we ate it as staff lunch and went on to make a couple of exclusive dinners where we made and presented the dish before customers. A great experiment and leaning by doing challenge.
http://www.bigarenakitchen.com/2022/03/pressed-duck.html

During March the Expo started to wind down with a closing date the 31 of March. With the lessening effects of corona pandemic, the expo was proving extremely popular with the locals and was very busy, our business at the pavilion was also starting to wind down, we managed a super organised and synchronised closure of the Swedish Pavilion into the closure. There was an eerie feeling walking around the expo grounds the 1 April, from 250,000 people to 0.


April.
Straight after the Expo in Dubai closed its gates I was off down to Tasmania where I visited some suppliers among others the Tasmanian oyster company, a great company with a great focus product and exports reaching beyond Australia’s main cities to many Asian destinations.
Oyster harvesting, southern Tasmania

May.
Back in Stockholm again the consultant chef hustle begins again, remaking network contacts after being away for seven months, returning customers start to drop in a gain, just like I wasn’t away at all.

June.
With a late summer holiday booked my focus was working through the summer. I started as stand in ex chef at Best Western Hotel Gio in Stockholm’s Solna suburb. A great little hotel with an Italian flavour in the kitchen. I combined this position with a sprinkling of network gigs.

Italian gnocchi with king prawns

July.
Hotel Gio with an Italian theme continued.
I also started as a volunteer, an organisation called yrkesdörren, I became a dörröppnar, “door opener”. A voluntarily role as interview coach for non-Swedish people who need to bridge the communication gap and find work in the hotel & restaurant industry in and around the Stockholm area. I feel gracious that I have a chance to repay my earlier career mentors from years gone by.



August.
Hotel Gio continued, linked with a little more kitchen economy and control. As the new executive chef that I was a stand in for started I worked mainly with stock and inventory questions a couple of days a month.
I was asked to test the newly released Jealous Devil charcoal, great BBQ charcoal that packs a punch, chunx, bintchotan and briquettes, this quality charcoal has started to make inroads into the local market and will push its inferior competitors out of the awareness market.

Jealous Devil, red hot on the grill

A little summer break in the French riviera is just what the doctor ordered. We stayed at Domaine Rabiega a vineyard situated a few km outside of Draguignan & Ca. 90 km west from Nice and in Antibes, Antibes lies somewhat in the middle of the French Riviera.  headlands little coves and beaches teaming with locals and riviera tourists. The water is warm, and the beaches are well looked after, “there’s money in them
there beaches”
 
Herbes de Provence, centre piece at the market in Antibes old city 

September.
During September I continued working within my network as well as my role as kitchen financial advisor at Hotel Gio.
I picked up another parttime hands on advisory role at Engsholms castle a privately owned castle south of Stockholm, an in-between role helping both the kitchen and linking in the management, a very rewarding role where feedback and encouragement can make large differences.

October.
October found me continuing working within my network. My roles at both Gio Hotel and Engsholms castle continued as well.

November.
During November we started preparing for the traditional Swedish Christmas smorgasbord that was being planned for Engsholms slot, a fantastic environment and presentation with a focus on local produce and game.

late autumn, idyllic Swedish country side at Engsholms castle 

Also, during November, I worked with the returning Swiss cheese gig at the Stockholm food and wine festival, promoting both classics Gruyere and Appenzeller.

December.
December in Stockholm is always the full steam ahead Christmas smorgasbord, this year I was out in the countryside at Engsholms castle. Plus opening and closing the month at Hotel Gio.

Now at the end of 2022 I’m looking for new, challenges and interesting roles, 
There's more information in some of the individual blog posts on.
www.bigarenakitchen.com


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