My morning usually starts with a cup of coffee as I scan over my to-do list for the day. Getting out the house first thing has never been my forte. Although I wish I could potter around in my dressing gown, enjoying some breakfast and catching up on the news, I know I would never get anything done. So, once my coffee is finished I’ll throw on my big puffer jacket and run out the door.
My first task is to collect ingredients from our various suppliers. I’ll head to J Carmichael & Co at Blochairn Fruit and Veg Market. The HGV driver shortage has made life a bit harder for us as a small business but buying ingredients in person means I can have full control and keep an eye on price hikes.
I start to feel a bit peckish, so I’ll pick up a custard milk bun at the China Court Bakery in Maryhill for breakfast. While I’m in Chinatown I’ll collect some ‘flavour-bomb’ ingredients that form the core of our deli menu, including gochujang and miso, before driving to Anderston for some more authentic spices and continental drinks, including Pakistani pineapple juice and Turkish lemon.
I head to the deli and begin a mammoth prep list with our kitchen apprentice, Sid.
When the front-of-house team arrives, we catch up over coffee before lunchtime service. Our conversations range from what we cooked for dinner the previous night, to what’s going on in the world that day. We’re a close-knit team and have found a way of creating a warm and fun atmosphere while maintaining professionalism, which is incredibly important to me.
Once service is over, the team sits down together and has lunch before cleaning down for the day. Our newest team member, LouLou, is an excellent cook who has inspired many fresh salads for us to make together. Lunch is a collaboration and we throw in ideas using deli ingredients and our well-stocked pantry. My favourite so far has been hoisin-glazed aubergine with fresh herbs, bean sprouts and tomato and lemongrass nuoc cham.
If it’s been a busy afternoon, I’ll float the idea of enjoying a glass of wine together as a team to unwind. If not, I’ll head home to plan any pop-up events or themed dinner parties we have coming up. Glasgow is bursting with new talent and we pride ourselves in providing a platform for upcoming chefs to hone their skills. Creating unique dining experiences is a big part of what we do.
I save my culinary creativity for work, so at dinner I’ll opt for something quick and easy. I like to cook with my staple four ingredients: lemon, garlic, fresh chilli and olive oil.
My day usually ends with music, quite often chosen by my partner, Ross. His taste is so eclectic - one minute we could be listening to Amyl and the Sniffers, the next it could be Patsy Cline. I find it’s the perfect way to decompress before getting ready to do it all over again the following day.