The Latymer is a two Michelin star restaurant run by head chef Michael Wignall. I started working in the Latymer on 15th October and was working here mainly as a commi-waiter. I would also assist both the Chef De Rang’s and the Sommeliers. During the week I would work as the hostess for the restaurant and it would then be my responsibility to greet guests, show them to their table, offer an aperitif and also ask if they had any allergies or dietary requirements that the kitchen should be aware of. One area of The Latymer which impressed me was the way in which they catered for guests with allergies or dietary requirements; they would always make all guests feel special and it was important to them that every dietary need was catered for that there was no effort shown to the guest.
When working as a commi-waiter there were several tasks that I needed to complete each day. One of the main tasks was to complete the mise-en-place for service. This would include many things that were needed in order to allow service to run smoothly, for example, preparing the bread boxes and ensuring the hot and cold passes were filled with the correct plates and sufficient number of them. After completing the tasks of commi-waiter I would then need to assist the Chef De Rangs with the tasks that they were doing to prepare and complete mise-en-place for the front of the restaurant. This included tasks such as, ironing tablecloths and napkins, setting the tables with the necessary glasses, cutlery and show plate.
The Latymer’s menu’s were changing daily depending on which seasonal ingredients were of highest quality at that time. This therefore meant that every day each staff member needed to learn and familiarise themselves with the new dishes in order to be able to serve them to the guest accurately. Furthermore, each dish had its own plate that it was served on, this meant that we would need to remember which plate was used for which dish in order to be able to keep the hot and cold passes filled up at all times. For example, the ‘Cod’ dish would always be served in the nikko bowl and the ‘Tuna’ dish would always be served on the blue rectangle.
The Latymer can hold a maximum of 50 guests in the restaurant and 10 guests in the Chef’s table for one service. The Chef’s table is located in its own private room in the heart of the kitchens. This room has adjustable lighting and a large LCD TV for guests to be able to view the chefs at work on and see them preparing and plating up their dishes before they were served to them.
The quality of service in The Latymer is extremely high and so it was exciting for me to work as part of the team, however, it also made me slightly anxious to be working towards such high standards and expectations. I was motivated to work well within the department and to learn everything I needed to know as soon as I could in order for me to get my footing and be able to work comfortably within the team. Having never worked in such a high standard restaurant before I was eager to see how things worked and how the running of the restaurant differed to any other restaurant. Being a fast learner I was able to pick up all of the necessary information quickly and get to work straight away, it was not long at all before I felt comfortable that I knew a lot of knowledge about the department.
After completing my work in The Latymer I can see that I have gained an unbelievable amount of information on both the high quality food and the ingredients that are used for all the dishes; I have also grasped valuable knowledge on the level of service that runs alongside this . It is not possible to receive two Michelin stars without having both the faultless food and the faultless service to go hand in hand. I am extremely happy that I have had the opportunity to work in the Latymer and I know that the experience has improved my skills immensely. I have gained confidence and more knowledge on the skills needed to work successfully within high standard food and beverage environment. I do believe that working in The Latymer for three months has ensured the development and improvement of my existing skills, such as, attention to detail, customer service, organisation, dealing with complaints/difficult customers and also working to tight deadlines.