Love chocolates? The Fat Duck chef Billie McKay tells what goes on inside Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen

Published: November 19, 2017 2:44:29 AM

Blumenthal, who is known for advocating scientific understanding in cooking, was an intimidating figure for McKay as she had never worked in a kitchen before.

We catch up with former The Fat Duck chef Billie McKay to learn what goes on inside Heston Blumenthal’s kitchen.

Who needs more reason to love chocolates? Yet a series of masterclasses by ITC’s luxury chocolate brand, Fabelle, aims to do just that. Fabelle’s Societe De Chocolat was recently launched across its outlets to introduce the nuances of making luxury chocolates to the Indian consumer. While at the launch in the capital, we caught up with Billie McKay, winner of Masterchef Australia 2015, and former chef at The Fat Duck in England, who hosted the class. Twenty-six-year-old McKay, who was a home cook before her appearance on the televised competition, tells us that contrary to what people might imagine, working at The Fat Duck, a three Michelin-starred restaurant, was quite different from being in a ‘hell’s kitchen’. “I was glad there were no plates and saucers flying in the air,” shares the Australian chef, who moved to England to take up the job offered to her by chef Heston Blumenthal when she won the show. As per McKay, The Fat Duck, which has been voted the world’s best restaurant, is run in an orderly and disciplined manner, where things are seldom out of place.

Blumenthal, who is known for advocating scientific understanding in cooking, was an intimidating figure for McKay as she had never worked in a kitchen before. “It was a crazy experience, quite scary to begin with,” reveals McKay when asked what it was like to train under Blumenthal and his team. “I had to learn very quickly as I was put on to one of the dinner courses,” McKay recalls when asked how her training at the restaurant began. She reveals that Blumenthal ensured that trainee chefs repeated what they were taught twice a day for six days a week till they got the hang of it.

As someone learning the art of being a chef on the job, McKay confesses that she felt encouraged by Blumenthal and his team who showed immense patience. She also mentions the skills she picked up from them, such as, “plating, fine piping and the ability to have a steady hand for things that required concentration”. For all aspiring chefs, McKay shares Blumenthal’s advice: patience, professionalism and attention to detail.

Ananaya Banerjee

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