Recently, I had the opportunity to work on the Greek island of Mykonos as a villa chef. My principal, who I am employed by in London as a private household chef, asked me to accompany her to work in the villa she had rented for two weeks. What a great opportunity!
She had invited friends who were coming and going throughout the two week period. I was luckily very familiar with all of her guests, which made me feel comfortable and at home. I already knew their likes and dislikes, which was super helpful as It gave me confidence in the food I was preparing.
Breakfast was the most challenging as the guests all required different food, but they all more or less ate the same at lunch and dinner.
I felt apprehensive travelling there, as I was going to be working with a new team; villa manager, waitress and assistant cook. I am used to working in my London household with a butler and waiter. We have a strong bond and we know exactly how our principal enjoys her food and service. However, all went well and I really enjoyed the experience working with the new efficient staff.
The assistant cook was lovely and calm, jolly and friendly. She works regularly in the villa and helped me find my feet in the kitchen. She tended to cook for the staff while I concentrated on my principal and her guests. Everyone working was chilled, which I guess comes from the island vibe. Totally different to London.
There was an amazing waitress who did a great job keeping the guests happy and tending to their every need.
The villa manager was fun and relaxed and all the team enjoyed going out together after work for drinks to unwind.
Everyday after serving breakfast, I would go with the driver to the supermarket, fish monger and butcher to pick up amazingly fresh colourful produce, typical Mediterranean vegetables, juicy tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, peppers and olives. I would pick up daily caught sea food, fish and local meat – dream produce to work with!
My principal allowed my wife to come and join us, which was so generous of her. I really enjoyed my stint working as a villa chef. It was hard work, but cooking whilst looking at the gorgeous bright blue sea was so different and in a way it felt more like a holiday than work.