One afternoon in our pastry kitchen, the conversation turned to frustration over how chefs always remain hidden. How you always access a building from the staff or service entrance. How designated smoking areas outside premises are designed to keep chefs out of view from the general public. How your customers most often don’t get to interact with you directly.

Maybe this is the cause for that ever-present tension in the relationship between chefs and waiters – we have to rely on someone else transporting our creations carefully, conveying our menu ideas, presenting our work exactly how it’s meant to be enjoyed at the table? The subject is contentious enough for a whole other discussion!

But the comments from my colleagues made me compare chefs to mirepoix or soffrito, or any other sauce base at the foundation of most dishes in cuisines across the world. This humble, blend of ingredients (usually comprising of ingredients such as onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes and herbs) is almost invisible in the final product, but is working hard in the background, adding substance, body and depth of flavour to our dishes.

I hope you can appreciate how noble your work is as a chef!

Life lessons from Mirepoix

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