Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts inaugural Alumni Food tour London, england September 21 - 28, 2016
\"Travel changes you. Asyou move through thislife and this world youchange things slightly,you leave marks behind,however small. And inreturn, life - and travel -leaves marks on you.\"- Anthony Bourdain
Borough MarketThe first official day began with aten minute walk to Borough Market.Smartly, we visited on a Thursdaymorning, allowing us to have closeto an hour at Neal's Yard Dairywhere cheese monger Nick both fedand taught us plenty about Englishcheese! A jaunt through the market properfollowed with customary Pimm'sCups for all. Here we saw freshBritish produce (from currants tosamphire and everything inbetween), sniffed black truffles,feasted on gigantic doughnuts, andgrazed on a feast of paella, pad thai,venison burgers, cheese, and crustybread for lunch! Not a bad start, everyone. Not badin the slightest.
There was no shortage of shenanigans on thistrip. From visiting Banksy's original practisetunnel now full of tags and art from many graffitiartists, to stumbling across a Cadbury DoubleDecker obstacle course and getting separatedon the tube (mind the gap!), much fun was had!
The DorchesterDay one wrapped with a full tour of theexpansive kitchens of The Dorchester Hotel.Led by Executive Sous Chef Roger Olsson, wewalked through banquet kitchens, a rooftopterrace, ballrooms, and even the kitchen of theThree Michelin Star Alain Ducasse at theDorchester. Our tour ended back in the main kitchen, whereExecutive Chef Henry Brosi hosted us for somechampagne and delectable canapés. Oniontarts, black truffle gougères, foie gras, beetrootmacarons... all paired with words of wisdomand insight into the busy hospitality industryhere in London! Boy did we ever receive awarm welcome!
Off To Bray!On day two, we made our way to PaddingtonStation to take a day trip out of the city. Ourdestination? Bray, home to two Three MichelinStarred restaurants in the country: The FatDuck and The Waterside Inn.
The Waterside InnFrom the moment we stepped into therestaurant, we knew that utmost care andexemplary service would be provided to us all.The Waterside Inn has held Three MichelinStars for over three decades and it isn't hard tosee why.Succulent lobster, crisp turbot, moist chickenand a delectable canelé were bookended bycanapés and mignardises, all paired with Rouxfamily wines. Food was perfectly cooked andserved with precision. Uncomplicated,delicious, and done so very well.The highlight of it all was meeting Chef AlainRoux himself, who took the time to tour usthrough his immaculately clean kitchens,followed by chatting with us about the historyof the inn from the days of his father and uncleto today. All the while, he inspired the studentswith nuggets of wisdom and inspiration.To him, his three stars aren't just on a plaquehanging on a wall. One star is his kitchen team,the second is his service team, and the third -and most important - is his wife. (Smooth.)All in all, the experience is by far one of thebest we had through the whole trip.
Bread Street KitchenSarah returned to her old stomping grounds whenwe visited Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchenfor dinner. With delicious burgers, searedscallops and crispy pork belly on the menu, therewas something for everyone... and plenty to share!
Billingsgate MarketWith a 4:30AM wake up call, we made our wayeast to the London Docklands where modernday Billingsgate Market sits. The market wasteeming with buyers for restaurants, cafés,and the public, all on the hunt for seafood. The market was a harrowing wake up call. Ourstudents renewed their appreciation for ourawareness of locally sourced product,sustainability and overfishing. Many parts ofEurope - England included - still cater to highdemand for certain products even if they'reendangered in the water, or imported fromhalfway around the world!
GreenwichOur early start meant wecould head over toGreenwich while it was stillfast asleep. The Cutty Sark,Old Royal Naval College,town proper, and shopswere all empty... perfectfor all of our photographs!Some of the best parts ofour day were things wefound accidentally - likevintage street markets,where we found trinketsand treasures.Lunch was humbler by farcompared to past days - wevisited Goddards, a famouspie shop dating back to1890, for some classic pie,mash, and jellied eels!While the eels weren't foreveryone, we discoveredthey were far tastier thanpeople had expected themto be. Yum!
One of the few moments of rest on a whirlwind trip. 24 September 2016, Greenwich Park
Mr. MimeWe interrupt our Greenwich activities with avery important sighting: the Europeanregion-exclusive Pokémon, Mr. Mime. Hewasn't easy to find, but we were eventuallysuccessful in capturing him. Aside from our buddy here, it is safe to saythat many Pokémon eggs were hatched (andthankfully, many calories were burned) withall of our walking on this tour!
We took a boat back and passed underTower Bridge... then had dinner at WCClapham. It's an underground hauntwith cheese & wine built in a Victorianwater closet (you know... the toilet)!
St. JOHNChef Fergus Henderson is the man responsiblefor pioneering Nose to Tail cooking in Britain. Hehas several establishments throughout the city,and we visited his bakery on Druid Street fordoughnuts and Eccles cakes followed by baconsarnies and milky tea for breakfast at St. JOHNMaltby. Start your day right, right?!
Sky GardenAtop 20 Fenchurch Street (betterknown as the Walkie Talkie) in the Cityof London financial district sits thisbeautiful attraction where you can seeall the highlights of London's uniquearchitectural landscape. We certainlyhad a blast taking a ton of photographshere (and so did that security guard)!
The SwanSunday roast is a Britishinstitution. Roast lamb,beef and pork cooked toperfection, crisp, goldYorkshire puddings thesize of your head,potatoes and carrotsgrilled to perfection...our meal at The Swanwas a delight, and left usin need of a good napafterwards!
Terry's CafeWhen you think of British cuisine,there are the usual suspects: tea,roast, fish and chips... and one thingthe Brits are infamous for are theirfull fry ups for breakfast. Thoughthere are regional variations, youcan rest assured that there are atleast two types of meat, thick, crispblack pudding, a runny fried egg,grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, andbaked beans all on your plate! Terry's Cafe, a short walk from ourhotel, is a Borough institution:family-run, quirky, tiny, and full ofkind people! After our rib-sticking breakfast,owner Austin Yardley (who'sworked here since he was 14 andinherited the spot from Terry, hisdad) even took us into the kitchen toshow us around. FYI: we were full 'til dinner.
Natural HistoryMuseumIn order to digest our food, we took a break bywalking through this epic museum. We sawplenty of dinosaur bones, beautiful gems, andeven stood in an earthquake simulator...... and of course, we had time for a photoshoot.
We didn't call it a food tour fornothing! After a quick visit to MaîtreChoux for an artful nibble, weexplored the (in)famous halls ofHarrods, where you can findeverything from life sized stuffedlions and camels to foie gras terrineby the slice to raspberry jam withgold leaf flakes in it (because...#YOLO). We topped it all off with apint, scotch eggs, and whitebait atThe Bunch of Grapes.
City of LondonGin DistilleryThe spirit best associated to Londonis good old gin, and we got to learnabout its history, how it's made, andtaste several varieties at the City ofLondon Distillery. GM LukeShackleton (aka Seth Rogen'sdoppelgänger) walked us throughthe process and we're excited tocrack open that bottle of sloe gin forour Christmas reunion!Duck & WaffleOur evening wrapped up with dinner atthe highest restaurant in the UK. Sat atopthe Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle is a 24hour restaurant with fantastic views of theCity... and some delicious food as well!From ox cheek doughnuts to a literalduck and waffle and several yummyshare plates in between, we left withbellies and hearts full.
Smithfield Another early start on our last daybrought us to Smithfield Market. Ledby City of London guide JaneSamsworth, we navigated the marketand its surrounding area, learningabout the history of the trade, how itdeveloped over the centuries, andhow the market is in use today.
Obligatory touristy photos.27 September 2016, Trafalgar Square
Fortnum & Mason's Diamond Jubilee Tea SalonNo trip to London would have been complete without Afternoon Tea. There are dozens of teasto choose from, unlimited sandwiches, scones (both savoury and sweet) mindblowinglydelicious lemon curd, crab cream cheese, and of course, all the puddings from the caketrolley! Forget Tiffany blue - F&M came first, and Fortnum & Mason is a London institution.
The last supper.27 September 2016, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Dinner by Heston BlumenthalFor our final meal of the tour, we dined atthe Two Michelin Starred Dinner byHeston Blumenthal at the MandarinOriental Hyde Park. The dishes at thisrestaurant are all developed fromoriginal recipes Heston and his teamsourced from British cookery books,some dating back to the 14th century!Head waiter Anthony and headsommelier Stefan took fantastic care of usin the Henry VIII-inspired private diningroom, where we feasted on Heston'sfamous meat fruit, triple cooked chips,tipsy cake, and more. To top it all off,Anthony ended the evening with a tableside demo of liquid nitrogen ice creamrolled in freeze dried raspberries andapple pop rocks!Speaking to Anthony truly gave thestudents an eye-opening look at theimportance of fantastic service. Hereviews the menu every day, even ifnothing has changed, and he knowseverything from the history of each dishto where the chandelier in the room wasmade! There was no such thing as I don'tknow in his vocabulary, and his wit andcandor combined with delicious foodmade for a fantastic final meal.
Meet The CrewThe success of our alumni trip is thanks to the fantastic alumni that joined us on this journey. Their banter,songs, tireless laughter, knowledge and experiences all contributed to this tour. They bonded from the verybeginning, and by the end of it all we emerged well and truly as a family.Brinton & AnikaBrinton Chua, September 2016 Graduate of the 1-Year Culinary andBaking & Pastry Arts ProgramAnika Ounpuu, Business and Criminology Student at Langara College
JiaRong Jia Xie, June 2016 Graduate of the 1-Year Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts Program Adam Adam Brown, June 2015 Graduate of the Culinary Arts Program
NicoNicole Caspillo, June 2015 Graduate of the Baking & Pastry Arts Program Reb & Don Rebecca Chen, June 2015 Graduate of the 1-Year Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts Program Don Reyes, IT Risk Consultant and Professional Dessert Consumer
SarahSarah Morten, June 2012 Graduate of the Culinary Arts Program Jen Jen dela Luna, March 2011 Graduate of the Baking & Pastry Arts Program and Events Coordinator at PICA who helped curate and create this trip!
Chef JulianLast but certainly not the least, we have Chef JulianBond, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer ofPacific Institute of Culinary Arts, and the intrepid leaderof our alumni trip. Whether we were frolicking in apark, learning about Conkers, sipping on a cuppa ortasting a thousand years' worth of British history on aplate, Chef Julian and his boundless energy made theperfect guide for this unforgettable experience!
All good things must come to an end.28 September 2016, London Bridge Rail Station
The last group shot of the fam.27 September 2016, citizenM London Bankside
Photo Credits: Julian BondBrinton ChuaJen dela LunaSarah Morten Don Reyes Rong Jia Xie
\"There is no lovesincerer than thelove of food.\" - George Bernard Shaw
Read the Text Version
- 1 - 44
Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts inaugural Alumni Food tour London, england September 21 - 28, 2016