Eating Up The Past! Our Kitchen Prepares For 2020 Celebrations…
We talk to Executive Chef Paul Doidge…
As 2020 approaches, the celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago is on the horizon, and we are really excited to be part of such a sensational moment in time.
This week, we take a look at what our amazing Kitchen Staff are working hard on. We will have many new additions for 2020. Today we look at the Kitchen Brigade and ask them what they are creating that will be an additional extra threading through Hotel Life in 2020.
Our creations in celebration and memory of the extraordinary adventure…
So, with the theme ‘The Age of Exploration’ our amazing brigade are thinking about the many sailors and explorers on transoceanic voyages throughout the years. Brave individuals who made significant sacrifices to better our today’s. What are they thinking you ask? They are thinking ‘pickling’!
We ask our Executive Chef, Paul Doidge why ‘pickled food’ was such a good tonic:
“Fermented sauerkraut is basically cabbage which is finely shredded, layered with salt, and left to ferment. It may not look very appetising; but it is said to have played an important role in helping prevent scurvy aboard ships. Scurvy was a real and very prevalent disease, resulting from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It’s said to have been responsible for an estimated two million deaths between 1500 and 1800 — on sailing ships around the world.”
Scurvy plagued sailors aboard long-distance sailing ships for centuries. All-too common, and life -threatening, many explorers made sure they had pickled food in their diets, as well as Rum of course! Even on the storied expedition to the New World, Christopher Columbus reportedly made sure he had plenty of pickles aboard for his sailors!
With Paul on hand, we ask him why food plays such an important role in understanding our history:
“Food, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated means for understanding, teaching and celebrating our rich history. Especially here in Plymouth where the food scene has always been so highly placed in our community. Cooking is one of those life skills we all need, throughout every decade. Throughout time, food and the craft of cooking has been a survival skill. Employed by every generation of human beings, extending way back to the beginning of time. Food is one of the few means by which we come to know our ancient ancestors. To me it makes complete sense for the talented chefs in Plymouth to help and play a role in telling the tales from the Mayflower Voyage.”
“Food plays an essential role, not only in our lives today but also in understanding cultures and those days gone by. It’s a great tool to explore trends and culture. We recognise this in main when we holiday or travel; when you go to Spain you will try their local dishes like paella and tapas; you understand so much about how they live their lives. The same goes when you look to the past, to understand how they lived and in cases such as with the Pilgrim Fathers how they survived trying times.”
In keeping with all of this, our kitchen staff are on their own adventures. They are doing things a little differently for some 2020 Continental Mayflower Pickles!
Watch this space! There is a lot more to come!