How a head chef celebrates Christmas after a hectic day at work

Christmas is a time of joy and festivity for many people, but for those who work in the hospitality industry, it can also be a time of stress and exhaustion. Head chefs are among the most hard-working professionals on this day, as they have to prepare and serve hundreds of meals for hungry customers, while also managing their staff and ensuring the quality of the food.

But what happens after the service is over? How do head chefs unwind and enjoy their own Christmas dinner? In this article, we will take a look at the daily routine of a head chef on Christmas Day, based on the experience of Graham Campbell, the executive chef of The Torridon Hotel in the Scottish Highlands.

A 5am start to the day

Campbell’s day begins at 5am, when he wakes up and gets ready for work. He arrives at the hotel by 6am, and starts checking the deliveries and the stock. He also makes sure that the kitchen is clean and organized, and that the staff are briefed on the menu and the tasks for the day.

The hotel serves breakfast from 7am to 10am, and Campbell oversees the cooking and the presentation of the dishes. He also prepares some of the food for the lunch and dinner service, such as sauces, soups, and desserts. He says that he tries to make everything from scratch, using local and seasonal ingredients.

A busy lunch service

The lunch service starts at 12pm, and lasts until 2pm. The hotel offers a three-course menu, with a choice of four dishes for each course. Campbell says that the most popular dishes are the roast turkey with all the trimmings, the sea bass with roasted fennel and lemon butter sauce, and the chocolate and orange tart with vanilla ice cream.

How a head chef celebrates Christmas after a hectic day at work

Campbell is in charge of the hot section, where he cooks the meat and the fish. He also coordinates the other sections, such as the cold section, where the salads and the starters are prepared, and the pastry section, where the desserts are made. He says that he has to be very attentive and efficient, as he has to serve around 200 guests in two hours.

A short break before dinner

After the lunch service is over, Campbell and his team clean the kitchen and do some more preparation for the dinner service. He says that he usually finishes around 4pm, and then he takes a short break. He goes back to his room, where he relaxes and watches some TV. He also calls his family and friends, and wishes them a Merry Christmas.

Campbell says that he doesn’t eat much during the day, as he is too busy and focused on his work. He says that he usually has a light snack, such as a sandwich or a salad, and drinks plenty of water. He also avoids alcohol, as he needs to stay sharp and alert.

A hectic dinner service

Campbell returns to the kitchen at 5pm, and gets ready for the dinner service. He says that this is the most challenging and stressful part of the day, as he has to serve around 300 guests in four hours. The hotel offers a five-course menu, with a choice of six dishes for each course. Campbell says that the most popular dishes are the lobster bisque with caviar and crème fraîche, the venison loin with parsnip purée and red wine sauce, and the Christmas pudding with brandy butter and custard.

Campbell is again in charge of the hot section, where he cooks the meat and the seafood. He also supervises the other sections, and makes sure that the dishes are plated and garnished properly. He says that he has to work very fast and accurately, as he has to cope with the high demand and the high expectations of the guests.

A well-deserved reward at home

The dinner service ends at 9pm, and Campbell and his team start cleaning and closing the kitchen. He says that he usually finishes around 10pm, and then he heads home. He lives in a nearby village, where he has a house with his wife and his two children.

Campbell says that he is very lucky to have a supportive and understanding family, who know how demanding his job is. He says that his wife is also a great cook, and that she prepares a delicious Christmas dinner for him and the kids. He says that he enjoys eating and drinking with his family, and that he feels very grateful and happy.

Campbell says that he usually goes to bed around midnight, and that he sleeps very well after a long and exhausting day. He says that he loves his job, and that he is proud of his work. He says that he looks forward to the next day, when he will do it all over again.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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