Although it was nearly four years ago I thought I would write a little blog about my Stage at WD-50.
When I received the William Heptinstall award I wanted to use it to visit a variety of restaurants varying in style, cusine, technique and philosophy.
WD-50 was high on my list and I visited there just before The French Laundry (see previous blog). Visiting New york for the first time was amazing especially as I was alone. To get the full experience I wanted to stay on Manhattan island and found a hostel charging £11 per night on the doorstep on madison square garden.
With first day nerves i arrived early and the first person I met was the now chef de cusine Jon Bignelli, we were both were wandering around as it was also his first day. I was surprisingly thrown straight into the mix and trusted with all sort of prep jobs, even helping Wylie with some of the jobs for dishes he was working on. With no lunch service it was prep right up till 4.30pm, then family meal then change of apron and set for service at 5.30pm. Again I was thrown in to service and on the pass and had dressed pritty much all the dishes by the end of the service.
As a first day i was surprised how trusted i was and how much they let me get inolved. Working along side Wylie was brilliant he was just as passionate about sharing/teaching his ideas and recipes as he was about creating them. The guy is hugley intelligent when it comes to food.
About four days in the team was a little short so the sous chef asked me to run the garnish section on the thursday and friday night. The sous chef Kevin Heston was cooking on the meat section alongside me. This was something I never expected, yet went really well and am very grateful for.
Talking to and working closely with Alex Stupak was also a highlight. On several nights we went out a few to many G&T's.
I learnt a huge amount from this trip, not just about food but also about the informal and relaxed service. It was great to work in such a different enviroment as american kitchens run so different to english. Whilst out there I dined at WD-50, the newly opened Gordon Ramsey at the London, Momo fuku Ssam bar, katz deli and also did all the tourist sight seeing things you need to do whilst in new york.
If in New York then WD-50 is well worth a visit.