Work Experience at Midsummer House

The school has arranged for one of our current students, Ko-Hsin Chen (Ula), to get some work experience at Cambridge’s only two-star Michelin restaurant, the inestimable Midsummer House. Ula is studying the culinary arts in Taiwan, and will now get the chance to put her skills to the test in a rather daunting way, with two days in the Midsummer House kitchens.

She is not the first student we have put in a professional kitchen. Regular readers will recall that last year Kelly and Stephen were invited to work for a service at Alimentum, Cambridge’s other Michelin-starred establishment which is just over the Hill’s Road Bridge from the school (read about it here). They must have done well – Stephen is now back working full-time at Alimentum. Here he is with Kelly and Franck, head chef at La Maison du Steak, which they also visited.

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The professional kitchen is at the highest level a peculiarly well-organised, well-drilled work place. It can however get a bit sweary, as the sous-chef at Alimentum confided to OISE teacher Sally Guyer last year, on the occasion of Stephen and Kelly’s visit.

Swearing is an odd linguistic function, associated with different, let us say more primitive, brain areas from regular language processing. On one occasion in Rome when I got knocked off my bicycle in the Viale Trastevere, I found myself sitting in the middle of the road swearing at a mystified Roman lady in lively English, even though I was pretty proficient in Italian. Only when I calmed down a touch did it occur to me that no one could understand what I was saying (although they could get the gist, I suppose); and I switched to Italian. And then apologised.

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