Judo Olympic Silver Medallist, Nicola Fairbrother (7th Dan, MBE) is embarking on a challenge to complete a 100-day Chef Stage in different Michelin Starred restaurants in Spain.
What’s an Olympian doing in a kitchen?
Working in a highly pressurised environment like a professional kitchen is not everyone’s idea of fun, but Fairbrother says she enjoys the challenge and the adrenaline.
“There are many parallels between sports life and chef life,” says the 1992 Bar-celona Olympic silver medallist.
“I’ve been searching for some years to find something to replace the buzz of being an Olympic judo athlete. Who would have thought that I would find it by working in a kitchen?”
“It’s hard to get used to every-day life after you retire from being a top sports-woman. You miss the tension of the arena, the daily drive, and motivation, the buzz when you win, the frustration when you lose.”
“Well, it turns out that adrenaline tastes and feels the same. No matter if you are plating up for service, delivering a soufflé to order, or preparing for an Olympic final, the adrenaline rushing through your veins feels very much the same.”
The judo world champion, now 49 years old, recently qualified as a professional chef at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London.
Fairbrother has already worked with an impressive array of Michelin star chefs in restaurants in Spain: Andoni Aduriz (Mugaritz), Maria Jose San Roman (El Monastrell), Susi Diaz (La Finca), Aixpea Oihadener (Xarma) and with Mas-terchef celebrity, Scott Davies at the Three Chimneys in Scotland.
“Every kitchen and every head chef is different, and I am learning something new from everywhere I go. Sometimes it can be slow. You can be stood peel-ing almonds for an hour. Other times you are learning to work with liquid nitrogen or learning how to open a sea urchin.”
100 Day Chef Stage Blog
Fairbrother has recently launched a blog, revealing what it takes to work in a kitchen as a stagiaire.
You can read more HERE
Fairbrother is developing recipes using tips and tricks from some of the best chefs in the world.
“Living in Alicante, I am surrounded by incredible Mediterranean produce. I’m interested primarily in healthy, Spanish food.”
“This summer, I went Gazpacho mad. I created a dozen new recipes, using ideas and pairings from Michelin starred chefs, like Maria Jose San Roman and Susi Diaz. ”
These recipes include a cherry gazpacho topped with goat’s cheese, an ajo blanco (almond gazpacho) paired with beetroot juice and a tomato salmorejo. RECIPES
“The plan is to continue to stage at various restaurants in Spain, and then to travel to other countries and cities. London is definitely on the bucket list, and I’d love to stage at Clare Smyth’s Core.”
Contact Nicola Fairbrother by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola Fairbrother MBE
BBC Judo Commentator
Olympic Silver 1992
World Judo Champion 1993
3 x European Champion
Original Source PRFire.com