Fred Berkmiller, chef patron of l’escargot bleu in Edinburgh, tells us about his life within the kitchen


a man sitting at a table with a plate of food

© Fred Berkmiller

It is early, and I’m woken by the sound of a teaspoon rattling inside a mug. I get away from bed and discover my son Camile within the kitchen making tea. I get a one-hour-long lecture on the Halfway Battle adopted by one other quick lecture on the Challenger Tank, topics he’s at all times eager to inform me about.


After two or three cups of tea, I am going for a bathe. After that, I’ve a fast have a look at my emails whereas listening to French information on the laptop computer, in addition to British information on the radio.


I dress and set off for Newton Backyard, the place I develop herbs, salads and greens for the restaurant. It’s a fantastic walled Georgian backyard on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I’ll choose a number of recent herbs and salad leaves to make use of at at the moment’s lunch and dinner providers.


Now I head over to Monkton, the farm subsequent door, to reap some child greens and a very good crop of courgette flowers. I began working with the house owners right here again in 2020 and we’ve now planted sufficient veg to maintain us provided all yr. Then I’m again within the automobile to go to the restaurant on Broughton Avenue, dropping off courgettes to some different cooks on the way in which. There are simply too many for me to make use of. I arrive at l’escargot bleu to welcome a supply of rose veal from Peelham Farm and have a espresso with Judith who delivers it.


I put my chef’s jacket on, prepared to begin menu planning with my head chef Bertrand. Then it’s onto cooking prep for the remainder of the morning.


Time for the workers lunch earlier than service. We at all times eat the identical dishes that the shoppers get.


Lunch service begins and all arms are on deck.


I come out of the kitchen to talk to some prospects within the restaurant, earlier than heading dwelling for some time.


After a fast 10-20 minute nap adopted by a bathe, I spend the remainder of the afternoon sending and responding to emails, making cellphone calls and having a number of cups of tea with my spouse Betty. Then we’re off once more, again to bleu for the dinner service.


We’ve got a workers dinner earlier than we test the desk plan for the night and see if there are any buyer requests, then I’m again within the kitchen to welcome the primary orders of the night.


Some 50 or so covers later, the kitchen is cleaned and the kitchen workers all head dwelling. Generally on a Saturday, we’d take pleasure in a glass of wine collectively. Bon weekend!


I’m dwelling and would possibly prepare dinner one thing to eat, like courgettes and steak, if I didn’t have time for the workers meal earlier on.


I’m off to mattress. Good evening!

L’Escargot Bleu is at 56 Broughton Avenue, Edinburgh (0131 557 1600,

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