A few weeks back I was lucky enough to spend a service in the kitchen at 2 AA Rosette restaurant The Rib Room.
Ian Rudge (Head Chef) & Michele Caggianese (Rib Room Manager) were kind enough to make this experience happen, and made me feel very at ease when I arrived to begin dinner service. Although I didn’t get off to the greatest start when I turned up in my high heels with no flat shoes, obviously this posed a healthy & safety issue, which saw me running to the nearest H&M to grab a pair flats!
At the ready with my sparkling white apron on, I was introduced to the team who were already busy prepping the best of British cuisine…………..
I pitched up with Stefano, who was about to give me a master class in my favourite food, Pasta, and I was super excited to be making Ravioli. If you fancy giving this a go at home I found this great little Ravioli making kit on Amazon for just £14.41!
First Stefano mixed up some free range chicken breast, chicken mousse and a variety of herbs, and placed the filling into moulds and left to chill in the fridge.
If you are looking for some inspiration there are loads of great ideas here on Pinterest, from Lobster to Mac n Cheese, you will be sure to find a suitably tasty / unusual filling!
The dough had been prepared earlier, but I found this really easy to follow recipe from the BBC Food Recipes, for you to try at home.
Stefano told me that all the Mammas in Italy use their trusty rolling pins, so if you’ve not a got a machine, get to rolling mamma. He couldn’t stress enough that the perfect ravioli comes from ensuring the pasta dough is thin enough.
Grabbing the chilled filling he removed it from the mould, placed carefully on the pasta sheets, leaving enough space in between to cut around, and ensuring all of the air was out between the pasta and the filling, before cutting in to perfect parcels.
Having watched the master, it was my turn to have a go. Stefano presented me with a piping bag full of mash potato (because we are practicing, and I could mess this up) and taught me how to make three different shaped parcels. I surprised myself at how well they turned out, feel free to take a guess at which are mine!?
Time to get my hands dirty (okay so not actually dirty as I wore gloves). Rob was wrapping duck in potato….. WHAT? Mind blown, I need this contraption that zaps a potato in to….Spaghetti. It’s real name is a Spiralizer and The Telegraph have tried and tested the best, so definitely take a read before you purchase one.
Things were about to get a whole lot more serious. I needed to select a dish from The Rib Room’s menus to cook. With over 54 dishes, YES 54! I was totally stumped. Given Stefano had taken me through the process of making the Ravioli, I decided to see this dish through to the end.
Jelena kindly took the lead on this dish, setting up a pan of seasoned water ready for the Ravioli to simmer in for 6 mins, grabbing a chicken wing to glaze, with separate pans for the bacon bits and mushrooms. We were off, and it got hot really fast, to the point I thought my make-up might melt off my face, the grills where kicking out some serious heat!
There was so much happening, but one thing that really stood out was the communication between this team, the precision on timing and bringing the whole plate together, it really is like you see you on the TV. In all honesty, I couldn’t keep up and as we neared plating up time I slipped round the other side of the counter to watch a masterpiece being built.
Such a great team, a lot of fun, sweat and hard work, creating some amazing food, thank you for letting me in to your kitchen Chefs!
So next time you go out to eat, don’t take for granted as many of us do, myself included, just how much work goes in to creating the dish that sits in front of you. From the menu creation to the chefs that are running around ragged behind the scenes to please your palates.
If you fancy trying The Rib Room there is a great offer here from Travelzoo, you’re in for a real treat, bon appetit!