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A Love Letter to Hospo #EatNZKaitaki

A Love Letter to Hospo #EatNZKaitaki

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As part of our 2021 Eat New Zealand Kaitaki Collective, one of the first tasks they've been given is to present their ‘WHY'.

We’ve had some beautiful words, videos and graphics come through that we hope will inspire...Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we share stories of purpose from our next generation of food storytellers...

A Love Letter to Hospo...

Wellington based 2021 Eat New Zealand Kaitaki, Vicki Young @vickieats shares her ‘why’.

"I miss service. Crazily enough, the long hours too. Navigating a new prep list and the “service please.” The camaraderie between the pass and front when we work like clockwork, anticipating one another’s movements like a weird but intuitive dance alongside the beat of the docket machine. The bell to conclude the three part course, dessert being my finale as I hastily check on the ice cream for the quadrillionth time, rattling with nerves. The laughs and the staffies, being fed with a comforting hug of a meal, the regulars who come in and say hello and thank you, organising my station and the unbeatable satisfaction of a good mise en place. The hum of the restaurant, the organising of pop-ups. Ironing my whites in the mornings. Hell, I even miss the crazy chefs. The front of house banter. Polishing cutlery. Setting a damn good table. Talking about bread. The long chats with customers when you know you’ve got to head back but can’t quite interrupt their yarns about dining memories. At the end of the day, we are all in this industry because we love to feed people right? To create experiences, celebrate their milestones and create more dining memories.

Nowadays, I don’t work in a commercial kitchen as such, but I’m very lucky to have served some amazing people in Aotearoa and beyond. I still get that addictive rush (the dad joke banter has been equally good with my work dads). The cake decorating is faster after years of practice and the meal planning slowly getting easier, but I’m still nowhere yet to becoming a good chef, let alone a great pastry chef. I’m now part of a fulfilling collective of people working to reduce food waste, food poverty and social isolation. The pride we all have working towards this kaupapa is absolutely invigorating - it inspires me every day. I’m itching to get back into the restaurant, to learn again as a sponge, to experience things again for the first time like a kid, step into opportunities that challenge me into all avenues of the kitchen savoury and sweet, front and back of house; to learn from both mistakes and good calls — and most of all I can’t wait to feed people with a sense of love and pride in my work.

To all the hospo folk that are adapting and surviving during this challenging time, your long hours behind the scenes is truly appreciated. Your love for the industry and to serve a bloody good feed is known and we are thankful for your mahi."

#EatNZKaitaki #EatNZ #NZFood


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