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Working at one of the world’s best restaurants

Catch-up with our intrepid food traveler as a spans the globe looking for the best restaurant kitchens.

  They say only a fool makes the same mistake twice. Well, consider me a fool. Five months ago, towards the start of my foodish adventure. I thought it wise to stay up eating and drinking wine with some chefs following my stint at Parsley Restaurant, in Stockholm, Sweden. The result? A missed flight to Los Angeles and a hefty chunk taken from the ‘naughty fund'. Which is some money I set aside before my travels for such eventualities.

    So why then, after completing my 26th restaurant job at Torreo, in Paraguay, did I think it wise to attend the opening of the sous chef’s bar, The Garden, the night before my 6:30 am. Flight to Buenos Aires? You can guess probably what happened next. With the ‘naughty fund' now well and truly depleted. I found myself trying to charm the airline sales team to transfer my ticket to a later flight. I'm not sure how I managed it. But to my great surprise they did so at no extra cost. The only downside: I had to wait four hours before I could check in.

   I, subsequently, did what every normal tired. slightly hungover chap would do: wrapped a towel around my head, found the nearest corner and tried to sleep on the marble floor. I'm sure this would have worked out beautifully if it wasn't for the fact was a great source of amusement for everyone in the departures terminal. Every few minutes I was woken by the sound of an iPhone camera snapping away at the towel headed ‘gringo'. If I ever appear on one of ‘those‘ BuzzFeed lists, I will only have myself to blame.

D     But enough foolish boy and back to Foodish Boy. This whole situation arose after finishing a fantastic week inside one of Paraguay‘s best restaurants, Torreo, currently ranked 26 in Latin America's Top 50 restaurants by one British survey and 23 in an American publication. Their food, like many top restaurants in South America, employs heavy use of French techniques with a good helping of European influence. Despite this, head chef Marisol Binelli, one of the few females on the Top 50 list, maintains a distinct identity of Paraguay, with ‘original' dishes that highlight the best Paraguayan produce from across the country. Binelli spares no expense in travelling the country meeting producers and tasting the landscapes of her vast and varied homeland. She even presents all diners with a map to illustrate where she sources each of her ingredients.

E     The prawn course, for example, originates from the Puerto Padre, the algae from Tierra Del Hielo and the peanuts from Cordova. In addition, seasonality heavily shapes the menu. I was fortunate enough to experience a menu change midway through my time at Torreo. The days before this. The kitchen had been a calm and relaxed environment with the chefs pausing between orders to teach me about their dishes. Then came Thursday and the new menu. The chefs and staff had just one afternoon to learn the new dishes and prepare for the evening dinner rush. The laughs and smiles stopped for a bit, as each chef became highly focused. I, in contrast, glowed with delight, as the new menu meant one thing: more tasters!

  Like most of my restaurant experiences, I worked mainly in the pastry section. I think this happens, for i can do a limited amount of damage in this area, both to myself and the others around me. But I sometimes wonder if my personality encourages chefs to instruct me to play around with pretty sugary things. In contrast to myself, the blokes running the grill section wouldn't look out-of-place on the Puma's front row.

G    Working in the pastry section, however, gave me the privilege of working alongside one of the best pastry chefs I've met to date, Miranda. She is so talented that she even has a dish named after her on the menu, featuring an absolutely delicious sweet potato jam ice cream. But the real star of the show was her textures of lemon and lime - perhaps the tastiest dessert of my trip so far.

H     At the end of my week in the Torreo kitchen, I Leapt out of the kitchen a rather jubilant man. This may well have been in part due to the copious amounts of sugar ingested from eating a bunch of Miranda's desserts, though I believe it was more the realisation that I had completed my 26th job and was now officially halfway through my project. I was in the mood to celebrate. Did someone mention a wine bar opening?

Questions 1-7

The text has eight paragraphs, A-H. Which paragraphs contain the following information? Write the correct letter, A-H, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

1. Explores the writer's experience in preparing desserts.       

2. References how the head chef finds the ingredients for her restaurant’s dishes

3. Introduces the idea how the writer manages his financial resources.                              

4. Mentions how the time of year influences the restaurant's offerings.                             

5. Infers how the writer made the same mistake twice in  managing                                  

6. Describes how the blogger spent his time waiting for his flight at the airport.               

7. Suggests how the blogger's disposition shapes where he works in a restaurant.