Vines Village Café Irish Chef Thriving in NZ
As part of Food Month at The Irish Times, Irish chefs working abroad tell us about their jobs. Francis Nolan, from Baltinglass, County Wicklow, is head chef at Vines Village Café in Blenheim, Marlborough.
Dublin-trained Nolan says the Vines Village Café specialises in nourishing breakfasts, coffee, wine industry catering, tasty lunches, private functions and events.
“I start work at 8am and begin by checking the bookings, setting up the kitchen for breakfast, setting up the preparation needed for the salads and cabinet food,” Nolan explains. “Usually the bakers are already at work making the cakes, slices, scones, and desserts. I have to prepare the à la carte, and make sure all the chefs and front of house staff are ready to go for service. Service begins as soon as the first order comes in and we can do up 400 meals a day. After lunch service I have to make a prep list for the next day, ensure the kitchen is cleaned properly and order food for the next day. I also will check the kitchen garden for fresh vegetables and herbs.
“We are lucky to live in an area rich in seasonal fresh produce such as vegetables, meat and seafood. We are close to the sea and the weather is great most of the year. Most of the ingredients are the same as at home. I have cooked with paua, a New Zealand abalone, clams and whitebait, which are a bit different than in Ireland.
“Do not miss Marlborough [when visiting New Zealand], for the amazing choices of food and wine and the fantastic weather and scenery.”
Original article by The Irish Times, November 30, 2017.