Somerset House. A pivotal place in England’s history since the 16th century. An iconic London building overlooking the Thames, and now home to Skye Gyngell’s blooming new restaurant Spring. We came along for their early staff meal, and talked with Sous Chef Dor about what the staff meals mean for the working team.
REFLECTING ALL OF THE SEASON
Spring is about blooming, colors, sun, warmth and happiness. We want these elements to be reflected in what we do here, and what we serve: the best produce available in the UK. There’s a farm in Herefordshire, run by a couple, Harry and Jane, who supply a lot of it. They farm biodynamically, which means everything is planted according to the moon and seasons. I had never before seen produce like this!
SPICING IT UP
I’m Israeli, and try to put an element of where I’m from into my Staff Meal. Our region is affected by so many cultures of food; colors and spices that are not the norm here in the UK. So it’s fun to bring these surprises into the food for the staff. I’m also proud of Jewish food, and want to share that. Today for instance, the dessert we had, Malabi, was a favorite of mine from when I was in the army and I would go and buy it at roadside canteens.
NOURISHING BODIES & FEELINGS
People here work very long hours, and at times it’s very stressful. So staff meal is a time when we get to share food with co-workers and how we feel about each other. It is about nourishing people, not just filling a hole. I try not to make anything too heavy, since this can impact service and make the day go slower. I also like to do vegetarian-based meals, which doesn’t leave anyone out. I’m also mindful of the environmental impact of the over-consumption of meat and fish
TOPPING OFF THE DINNER SERVICE
We have a staff drink to celebrate the end of dinner service. It’s a time the front of house gives to us in the back. If we didn’t do a great staff meal they might take longer and drag their feet in getting the kitchen’s drinks! So there’s an unspoken dialogue between the front of house and back of house. It gives us another reason to treat each other with respect.
THE STAFF DISH
Couchette salad with pine nuts & souk
Foutouch salad with zatar
Strained yoghurt with douka
Malibee, milk cream & rosewater dessert
Find them here!
Special thanks to Colin Godecke The Story Developer