Dish of the Day: Stories from Duck and Waffle
When your restaurant is 40 floors up a tower and open 24/7 your kitchen can be a surreal place, with weird and wonderful people of all types trickling through the door at every hour. It can be tiring, it messes with your body clock, you drink too much coffee – but one thing is for sure, it’s never boring.
2:45am, winding down after a manic Saturday night in October.
I’m at the side of the pass, on my laptop trying to jig my rota around after two chefs fail to show for work, one calls in sick, and one was, well, it didn’t work out. After 18 hours I’m not as sharp as I could be, so when David Seaman walks past with a casual ‘hi’ and I reply with an ‘evening’, obviously caring more about my laptop screen than anything else (school boy hospitality error), I missed the opportunity to shoot the breeze with a childhood football hero. He has a wander, drink in hand, checks the view, chills and leaves.
3am, cold Sunday night in November.
It’s freezing outside but that doesn’t seem to bother the man who has just walked into the restaurant wearing Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirt with flip flops and a long, long beard. We think he must be wasted on something. He slips out a laptop from his satchel, orders a still water and a few raw dishes. Starts working away. Stone cold sober.
4am, Tuesday night, a very cold January.
Some people, who could barely stand, were not permitted up in the lifts to the restaurant, for obvious reasons. They tried ‘Dan said it’s cool’ which obviously didn’t work. ‘Dan just text me, said it’s all good’ you don’t have my number. Then ‘Dan’s going to fire you’. Not cool. Then ‘Dan’s a ****’, maybe, but you’re still not coming in.
Afternoon Monday, February
‘Excuse me, what sort of discount do we get as it’s cloudy?’ was the question our hostess was hit with. Well, it’s safe to say that left her speechless. Once she realised it wasn’t, in fact, a joke, she tiptoed around the awkward response of we-don’t-control-the-weather; but next time I’m having tea and biscuits with God I’ll bring it up.food, restuarant
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