It seems that my life keeps having restaurants as main landmarks. The Waterhouse Restaurant became one of my homes when we chose it for our wedding dinner party. I know I am going on and on about doing everything yourself for your wedding, but after making lunch, cakes, flower arrangements and all the rest I thought I did deserve to relax and enjoy a good meal.
Since we got engaged and married within 3 months, there was no time to waste to find a restaurant for our dinner party. We wanted a place we could rent for the whole night, with a friendly relaxed atmosphere and an amazing menu. The Waterhouse ticked all the boxes and the cherry on the cake was the location: across the road from our flat! We first went there on a sunny summer evening for dinner and had a lovely meal on their balcony overlooking the canal. Their menu offered enough to please everybody and each course was beautifully presented and executed. It really sounds like the perfect place, I know…but there is more!
The Waterhouse restaurant is owned by the Shoreditch Trust, a Hackney based charity which supports and gives opportunities to young people with difficulties to find employment. The restaurant offers kitchen and service training to a large group of talented young chefs and waitresses (and waiters) who just need a little push on their CV to gain access to a big London restaurant. Their head chef, Amrit, is full of energy and love for his job and has a real passion to transmit to all these people everything he knows about cooking. He told us what an amazing challenge and opportunity it would be for his team to cook and look after us for the most important day of our life. Some people might see this as a drawback, since nothing is ever perfect when you deal with a team in training, but we saw it as our chance to do something good and not waste our money in a restaurant that would consider our big day as a way to make money.
Our wedding dinner was perfect, they spoiled us with a 5 course meal that was carefully designed in advance and each of our guest could pick their own dishes. The quantity and quality was more than I could ever expect from any restaurant catering for 20 people. From the original and freshly-made canapés, delicious savoury dishes with a palate cleanser in between to incredible desserts, everyone was impressed and I will never repeat it enough, the scallops were the best I’ve ever had! Their wine list was perfect as it was and we picked what we wanted to match our food.
We went back a few times during the past 6 months and I kept thinking how much I would love to be involved in such a fantastic organisation. After our latest meal there for Valentine’s night, I finally got the courage to ask Amit if I could be of any help in his kitchen. He was delighted to see that I would be interested to learn and share tips with him and his team and I was on their kitchen rota 10 days later!
I want to write everything I learn in this kitchen and share it all with you! Having a full time job means I can only do one night a week but I am sure I will still be learning plenty of tricks and hopefully some of my recipes might end up on their menu one day. Check out here for posts covering my kitchen adventure!