Kitchen Rat learns Dishoom's secrets and has a staffing chat with Tom Kerridge

11 September 2019 by
Kitchen Rat learns Dishoom's secrets and has a staffing chat with Tom Kerridge

Keys to the Bombay kitchen

To the launch of Dishoom's cookery book From Bombay with Love and a frank confession from executive chef Naved Nasir. While co-founders Shamil and Kavi Thakrar raved about the encyclopaedic compilation of everything that makes Dishoom, Nasir lamented giving away the keys to the kitchen, including the restaurant's signature black daal and bacon naan roll.

"It's difficult to give away your hard-earned recipes," he told those assembled at the launch. "And I'm upset about it. We've given away everything in the kitchen. There are no secrets. Even our chilli jam, which I'm most upset about. There are 100 recipes, some of which have been handed down through generations."

Run out of luck

Celebrations of Australia's destruction of the England batting order were dulled for Peter Lalor, cricket writer for The Australian newspaper, when he was charged more than £55,000 for a beer in Manchester's Malmaison hotel. While Malmaison says it has launched an investigation into the error, this rat would put forward the theory that a cricket-loving staff member decided to off-set the ducks of England's top order with a few (550) monkeys from the wallet of the opposition.

People V profit

It has been a year since Tom Kerridge opened Kerridge's Bar and Grill in the Corinthia hotel, and the chef acknowledged that at first his people strategy caused some concern. The chef staffed up, expecting employees to be seduced away by the next big thing, but he admitted: "When we opened we thought we'd lose a load of staff so we overstaffed in the kitchen, and three months in the P&L suffered because everyone stayed."

With most operators bemoaning the impossibilities of recruitment – one hotelier told Kitchen Rat that if they turn up for interview and can talk they're 80% there – I don't think Kerridge can expect too much sympathy.

In memorial

This week we stop to remember an esteemed colleague who came to an unsavoury end in a burger restaurant in Texas, US. Video footage showed the rodent darting across the counter – no doubt searching for titbits of hospitality news – before plunging into a deep-fat fryer. The restaurant closed, I assume in mourning, and has now reopened.

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