These events are remarkable logistic exercises. It’s a miracle they don’t all burn down. But then at the end of them there’s so much stuff that has nowhere to go. A bunch of guys with forklifts are going to dismantle all the huge restaurants and pack them into a massive truck to take them off to another event. There’ll be nothing left but a field. Everything has to be packed away and so much stuff is chucked because it has nowhere to go. They chuck piles and piles of stuff. Massive tubs of mayo and ketchup and olives and capers and anchovies. Cheese and beans and langoustines, and spirit measures and beer foam knives and great big plastic branded coolers. Bottles and bottles of top quality open red and white wine with amazing provenance. Butter and coffee beans and cling film and programmes and pies and crisps and smoked salmon and cakes and muffins and milk and sugar. It can’t go to the next event, it can’t be sold to guests. It has to go. We can’t eat it, as the company has to be strict in order to stop things going down a slippery slope. There are things within reason that you can do. I’ll get a hot drink order for my chefs before service starts if I’m kitchen managing. The chefs are usually hungover. If you time the caffeine right, they might get the food out quick. You can usually get hold of bottled water to stop staff collapsing. And sometimes people can bend the rules a little bit. Kitchen etiquette is no eating in the kitchen whatsoever. That makes sense. For instance Turk (Jamie) was fantastically hungover today and probably very hungry while constantly making and handling food. It’d be problematic if he just scarfed the steak off someone’s plate and they had to do another.
All this chucking things out… It’s wearing. You find yourself mourning at the side of the bin as you chuck something you really want to shove in your mouth. But there’s only one of those things and everyone else wants one as well. We had hundreds of lovely branded Stella glasses in different sizes. Word was to recycle them just because there was nowhere to put them. But we had been told that if people wanted to take a few, they could. After my staff were sorted, I regretfully detailed them to “Ostentatiously dispose of the glasses.” As a result, some of them ended up in the back of a St John’s Ambulance – “to be distributed around the Ambulance guys.” I couldn’t approve of that officially but off the record I’m glad they weren’t wasted. Here’s Tim trashing things surrounded by the beginnings of the monumental clear down.
So many restaurants across site. So much stuff to be thrown out. It’s been a strange event for me, but it’s over and now I can throw all that shit away with the olives and the langoustine. I’m looking forward to getting back into the world.