a happy camper

Chef Ian Padilla

Posted in Uncategorized by Sonny Thakur on February 11, 2009

Two weeks ago, I was given the chance to document Chef Ian Padilla, who flew in from Paris to enjoy a nice short stay in the Philippines. Things were quiet for Ian, until people started learning about him through Miguel Vecin’s Blog, and started contacting him for a catering “gig”. Luckily, I was able to catch Ian at one of his catering services at a nice little pub that I frequent during my lazy weeknights.

Ian having a little word with Melody regarding the space constraints in the kitchen. Murphy’s serves a regular lunch service as well, and this easily proves to be a problem because quite a bit of space will be required for regular operation of the restaurant/bar.

Murphy’s Law states: “Anything that can go wrong, Will go wrong”

and that’s exactly what happened. Working in an underequipped kitched was one of the worries Ian had before taking the job. The parmesan crips didnt crips up to proper crispiness because the ovens couldnt reach a high enough temperature. We called the dish Plan B, and then C, but you don’t need to know that. Photo above, Chef Ian working on one of four of his appetizers.

Watching a chef work is something else. I was amazed at how many times Ian was able to work in such a hectic situation while finding ways to solve problems without compromising taste. I say this because I got to nibble while he was preparing, I was a ratty photographer. 😉

Work on the main course started about an hour before the guests were scheduled to arrive. Foie Gras was part of the menu and Chef Ian sliced up a couple rolls right in front of me and just looking at the sheer amount of it just made my heart skip a beat.

We stepped out of the kitchen for a bit to grab a coffee and for Ian to have a smoke. He was still quite composed and started meeting some of the guests that arrived earlier than expected. Melody was checking up on him. 🙂

Melody was supervising the staff while they set up a great looking table for the guests. I have never seen a table this extravagant at Murphy’s before. I was amazed.

Time to get back to work, finish up the appetizers, plate them, and work on the main courses and dessert. This is when things start to calm down and when Ian really picks up and wows the kitchen staff and myself.

The menu goes up just to remind Ian to finish all the dishes on time.

Things are finally taking shape. Three of Four, and right after this, Ian starts plating.

The guests are coming in one by one, and just on time. The appetizers are ready and will be leaving this part of the restaurant and into the part most people are used to seeing.

Time to go entertain questions the guests might have about the food. Ian prepares a fresh batch of appetizers before going in.

From the look of things, everybody enjoyed what Chef Ian had to offer, I really wish I could have stayed to watch the main course being plated and served, but I had other things to attend to. I’m definitely looking forward to Chef Ian coming back here, so I can document him again and take a couple decent portraits of him. Looking forward to bumping into him while in Paris this December. Salut!

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8 Responses

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  1. Red Ollero said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    nice nice nice nice nice nice nice

    Im curious what the hell are those things in the frosted glass

  2. ahappycamper said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    To the layman, its very expensive and classy tomato juice. It was very refreshing after taking photos in a hot kitchen.

  3. Vic said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Awesome set Sonny. The previous one is cool. Jon is the brother of a very good friend of mine.

  4. ahappycamper said, on February 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks Vic, for visiting and lending me your 17-40. 🙂
    I’m not surprised, you know a lot of people, and a lot of people know Vic Rosales. Haha.

  5. Mathew Wong said, on February 12, 2009 at 1:28 am

    nice set sonny! shet it’s 1:30 in the morning and this post made me hungry. hahah

  6. Mr.M said, on February 12, 2009 at 5:31 am

    As always, brilliant. Is this in Murphy’s?

  7. ahappycamper said, on February 12, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Yes. Haha. Imagine that? A Chef from a 2 Michelin Star Restaurant in Paris was made to work in… well… MURPHY’S!

  8. ian Padilla said, on February 15, 2009 at 4:18 am

    nice pics man… and yes i heard that one too but in all honesty, I was happy and glad to do it. I still have my ego in check. Give me a ring when your in Paris.


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