Hello to all lovers of culinary arts, to all interested in this direction and to all who are trying to choose the best way to be on the top of a career in the future.
My name is Margaryta Ostapiienko. Thanks to Culinary Arts Institute, I had my first mandatory 6-month internship at a place that I did not even dream about. I got a chance to gain my culinary and life experience in 2 Michelin stars VIP restaurant M. B. (the signature dining restaurant of renowned Basque chef Martín Berasategui), in a hotel The Ritz-Carlton Abama, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Actually, I can say that I have been in paradise because it is one of the best places not only for luxury relaxation but for gaining the necessary experience in our industry.
Thus, my internship started in the beginning of March. A bit worrying, I went to the kitchen, but then I understood that I have nothing to worry or afraid. The team of chefs is really friendly and kind to all trainees, since they respect our desire to learn and acquire skills. In this manner, during a short period of time, I already felt myself part of this family, which gave self-confidence in future work.
M.B. restaurant offers creative cuisine with two types of menus (carta and testing menu). The main goal of the restaurant is: “M. B. opens you to a world of unique sensations in a dream environment, offering the best product and service excellence”. It is really the truth you understand working there. M. B. is not just a restaurant. It is a special organism with full of energy, ideas and life, which will not let you bored and stay without work, only your desire is needed.
The space in the kitchen is divided into different departments: hot department (fish and meat sections), cold department (starters and pastry sections) and production department. So, I familiarized with three sections. First one was pastry. I spent one month and a half there. My chef taught me a lot of different recipes and proper use of techniques which are necessary to know in this area. Each day on my list was something new what I needed to learn to do and this method made me to be faster and better. Next section was the starters. I have been there for 3 weeks, but still I learned a lot. You should be like a machine – fast and smart. While you are studying, the brain needs to be turned on all the time. As starter has a lot of important details, I practiced to be accurate and scrupulous. Last section and my favorite one was fish. I spent the rest of my internship, around 3 months. The Chef and menu changed, but I stayed at my place with teaching new chef and learning new menu. I really enjoyed there, because I had a chance to be in really stressful situations which made me stronger. Also, there I learned to test a food, to feel what is needed to be added, etc.
Besides, need to say that I got a chance to work in another restaurant during M. B. was closed for one-month vacation. So this restaurant was Txoko. Also, it is situated in Abama. Txoko is a fine dining restaurant of Chef Martín Berasategui as well, but with traditional Spanish cuisine. It was really good to see and gain skills in such type of kitchen. I have been there in two different sections: starters and fish, learning to be organized, responsible and patient.
In conclusion, I would like to say that these 6 months were the best period of time in my life. It was physically and mentally hard but everything depends on the relationship to what you are doing. I love such type of activity and that is why I enjoyed my time in Tenerife and in the kitchen with professional and interesting people from a lot of countries with different cultures.