When your nose leads the way

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The wall feels cool and rough. But that doesn’t keep me from pressing my nose as close to the wall as possible to try to discover what is waiting behind the door. It is bright and noisy; I can’t yet make out any details.

Despite the growing pressure, I lift my nose up higher. Yum – something smells good. It smells like fried bacon, and from another corner the aroma of melted chocolate is wafting over to me.

The door opens – oops! I almost collide with one of the members of the service team. But nothing happens – which is good because the person was carrying a stack of plates and glasses.

Man sieht in die Küche

A couple of steps and I’m standing in the middle of the bustling kitchen at the Camino restaurant. The chefs Patrick, Pierre and Chris are fully concentrating on their work and don’t pay too much attention to me. The right time for me to pull out my camera and take some pictures.

I have arrived during the middle of the kitchen’s morning preparations. A few guests are helping themselves to the generous breakfast buffet, while others are already getting ready to hit the slopes.

In the background, the preparations for lunch have started, as well as for breakfast tomorrow, for which various types of cheese are being cut and fruit is being prepared. Rösti with bacon and fried eggs sunny side up are on the menu. That’s why it smells like bacon, I think. Head chef Patrick says that this appetiser isn’t typical for Camino, but there’s nothing bad about trying new things, don’t you think?

Rösti mit Ei

 

 

 

Patrick recommends I go talk to the pizzaiolos, who, among other things, are busy making one of Camino’s signature dishes.

Pizzaiolos bei der Arbeit

As a guest, you can see what is baking in the oven behind the pizzaiolos, or watch their nimble fingers as they form the pizzas. During my visit, three chaps are working behind the counter. One of these is Danilo, our participant at the Pizza World Championship. As quick as a flash, the pizzaiolos stretch the little dough balls into flat, almost geometrically exact, round pizzas. And in no time at all, the pizza is topped and in the oven.

Behind me, the service team is busy changing the place settings from breakfast to lunch. Bread crumbs are vacuumed up; new tablecloths are put on; and spice shakers, oil, vinegar and table decorations are placed on each table.

Ristorante Camino

I return to the kitchen.

The patisserie chef Claudia walks past me, carrying a bowl with melted chocolate. Oh, a bowl full of chocolate! It looks so good that I just have to follow her. She goes back to her work area, and I am curious to see what she is going to do with so much chocolate.

Claudia skilfully fills the liquid chocolate into piping bags and then presses it through the small hole onto sheets. These sheets look like the transparencies we had in schools when overhead projectors were still standard. I wonder what she is going to do next. She carefully stretches the delicate chocolate into thin stripes on the sheets. Claudia tells me that this isn’t standard. At patisserie school, a different method is used, but what is wrong with a do-it-yourself version? And this way, we can use this cool idea to make our own personal dessert creations at home.

Schokolade Dessert

The following weekend, I ordered a delicious dessert at the restaurant – and it was topped with the decorative chocolate. By the way, this dessert – Torta al Limone, a lemon tart with torrone icing – is amazing.

Camino Dessert

Time for me to go back to the office. Lunch guests keep flocking in, and I’m a bit in the way. But I’m leaving the restaurant kitchen with many pictures and a wealth of new ideas.

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