Some things work

yesterday we conducted a cooking class for clients.

Not the best day to spend 8 hours in a hot kitchen teaching, cooking

and cleaning. But a promise is a promise.

They had a great time and I love seeing people enjoy food and wine.

They announced that they were trying to get in for dinner at the 2 star

Michelin restaurant at St Emilion and that they were on a waiting list....

105 euros is the basic 3 course menu which would probably include items

which are not loved by anyone.

The menu to go for would be around 200 euros per person.

Wine...MINERAL water at, perhaps 10 euros per bottle.

The dinner bill for 4 would be way in excess of 1000 euros.

This is the story and the object of telling you about it is to say that it


Why does it work?

Because there is stage managed, orchestrated with some respect and quest for


Long gone are the days when you can import charsui to china.

In order for an enterprise or project to work some effort and focus has to be

part of the product.

Rewards are out there for quality and effort.

We were exhausted.
After cleaning ducks, making the stock,

pastry and then tarts.poached, spiced pears, prawn bisque,

Stuffing mussels, cleaning prawns and showing some

nice little potato ways. We finished with spun sugar and the

family all made sugar cages. After a swim they sat down to stuffed mussels

with a small prawn bisque...then giant prawns ...Split open with a little pesto.

Followed by breast of duck, apple sauce NOT as in pork apple sauce...

oyster mushrooms, pak choy and rossti.


Then lemon Brulee tart...PEAR franzipan tart.

and a fruit soup for the lady who is seliac...

lONG KONGS, passion fruit, redcurrants and


EXPRESSOS or lattes.

crazy mix of drinks....

Pimms included.

They seemed to have a great time and are talking about coming back.

I did shudder at even the thought of spending that amount of money on a 'set meal' (lord, how things have changed since I actually had disposable income in London) but I agree with you Barbara. These restaurateurs seem to be finding the magic formula - the correct market, excelling at their signature dishes and probably a lot of blood, sweat and tears. With restaurants, as in many other businesses, spending buckets on marketing and publicity won't always bring the results - it's word of mouth that will be pushing them up the ranks and making them the desired eaterie for celebratory dinners or 'posh' treats.

And I commend you for going ahead as planned and teaching your cooking class. I hope you had all the fans going! I can't even imagine how hot you all were in the kitchen. Good for you, and I hope everyone enjoyed the results.

I like your point Barbara. I think in this current climate a restaurant and that means everything that goes with it from the welcome you receive the quality of the food and service and the overall feeling have to be worked for.

Also a restaurant should have a direction. It should aim high or low, but should never confuse the two. People want to know that when they go to a restaurant, they know what to expect and not some misguided, misdirectional effort at something not quite defined.

Lets hope we have a cooler day today - got a five hour train trip to Limoux later on today.