Coronavirus Diaries: The owner and head chef of Cafe Isan

Chef New talks us through a typical day for the award-winning Thai restaurant
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Chef New
Chef New

Everyone's life is different now because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Coronavirus Diaries looks at how F&B industry leaders have adapted to the new normal. Here's owner and head chef New from award-winning Cafe Isan's typical day.

10am: Most days start in the kitchen at home juicing fruits and vegetables like apple, beetroot and celery. I’m not a tea or coffee person so this is my morning pick-me-up

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11am: I spend some time with our rescue cats who need their mummy hugs and play time before I start getting ready for work

12pm: I usually get to work at midday, but beforehand I’m often out at markets and visiting suppliers sourcing ingredients for the restaurant

1pm: By 1pm most days I’m in full swing in the kitchen, coordinating the team and am very hands on. I also run back and forth to the phone as Thai people constantly call and message me asking about specials and deliveries. It can be chaotic but a real buzz also

2pm: Early afternoons are often my ‘specials’ time. It’s actually the time I cook for myself and the team, but our Thai customers also know this is when they might get something off-menu, so the phone still keeps ringing

3pm: I’ll eat my first meal at about this time, call my son in Thailand and then water and look after the various things I grow in our outdoor terrace

5pm: I get a list of supplies we need from the kitchen team and spot check safety elements like cleaning and disinfecting schedules and food temperatures. I also help get everything ready for the after-work rush and am often making Tom Yum paste, peanut sauce and the homemade filling for our Spring Rolls and Dim Sum at this time

6pm - 9pm: As it gets busy the kitchen needs a lot of support to get the food out on time, so I direct them and also cook myself. I love the fast pace and am a natural multi-tasker

10pm: I cook for the staff and we try to eat together before the deep cleaning is started

11pm: Weekdays we’re usually out by 11pm so head home

Midnight: I’m usually cooking at home again - hot pot, salad or BBQ usually with a relaxing drink and a Thai TV drama on the big screen

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