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Quiet day on Monday

by Matthew Adams

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I love food. Cooking it, eating it, thinking about it… That industry has an above-average number of incredibly driven, creative, focused individuals who have a passion for what they do; the flair to do it; and, above all, the willingness to pass on that experience to the next generation of chefs who share that passion. And it is not just the technical skills – no one will make a success of a restaurant without the business brains behind it, too.

Sound familiar? Anyone in the technology space would recognize those as the fundamentals of a good software team. The catering business is, in fact, one of the things that have inspired me to try to get a proper apprenticeship model going in our industry. They really do some things much better over there, under enormously challenging circumstances. (Really: the cadence of the restaurant kitchen is somewhat shorter and more intense than the average development sprint.)

Anyway – back to Monday. A bunch of top chefs got together to organize Kai We Care – a popup restaurant in aid of the Red Cross earthquake fund for Christchurch, New Zealand. What started as a meal for 40 people, turned into a 9 course tasting menu with matching wines being served by a team of over 40 chefs, and 40 front-of-house staff, to around 200 guests.

Mark Poynton is the Chef Patron of the (rightly) award winning Alimentum in Cambridge, and he was providing the main course: slow roasted lamb. We’ve got a couple of friends who live in Christchurch, and whose house was destroyed in the earthquake, so I was keen to see if there was anything I could do to help out. Mark was kind (brave) enough to let me come along and give him a hand on the day.

Overall, it was a great experience; the atmosphere with so many chefs jammed into the kitchen was quite something. Working alongside Mark was amazing enough. When a culinary legend like Alyn Williams appears on the other side of the pass to rescue you from your own inexperience, you realize what an incredible event it was – and that’s before you even tot up the amount the team has raised for the appeal: over £60,000 so far.

So, special thanks to @markalimentum, @russellbateman, @chefaj82, @chefalyn, and the guys who made lunch at The Ledbury an added pleasure: @chefbennett01, @darrengdwn, @christanner99 and @jamestanner01 (and everyone else I’ve forgotten to mention) for a great couple of days. It was a real privilege to meet everyone.

Oh, and there was even some swag – just like a developer event.


(Lots more photos from the event here. See if you can find me…)

Matthew Adams on Twitter

About the author

Matthew was CTO of a venture-backed technology start-up in the UK & US for 10 years, and is now a Founder of Endjin Ltd, which provides technology strategy, experience and development services to its clients who are seeking to take advantage of Microsoft Azure and the Cloud. You can follow Matthew on twitter.