Tuesday, 28 March 2006

The Not so Jamie Oliver style of cooking

I am on assignment in Auckland this week and have been generously offered an upgrade to a one bedded suite at the Citylife Auckland. It is not your average chic boutique hotel (far from it actually) but is close enough to the office which is all but 2 long minutes walk and a stone's throw from the downtown Foodtown supermarket.

This is my fifth stay at this particular hotel and as a gesture of my patronage, I was given a personalised luggage lock. It is quite large for an average lock but still no where near the size of the luggage lock my colleague in Wellington uses. You really don't want me to get into that, so I won't.

Since coming to New Zealand, I have tried my hand at the barbie, baking, and grill and it turned out quite well. As this week I will be spending away from the main chef of the household, I thought I'll try some cooking myself. So, off I went to Foodtown and bought myself some steak, bacon, eggs and fruits. When I reached the hotel, I realised that I had no oil or butter to cook the stuff.

I thought "hey", if I can grill steak in a barbie without oil, why can't I do that on the stove. So, I cooked the steak on a pan over medium heat. As it got cooked, it also got stuck to the pan, after turning it a few times, I am sure I lost at least 100g of meat on the pan. It finally turned out quite well although less than what I had paid for in weight.

After transferring the steak to a plate, I took the pan and splashed water over it under a running tap. That created an incredible amount of smoke in the room, which triggered the smoke detector, which caused the front office downstairs to call the room and simultaneously alert the housekeeping on the 8th floor to come to my room. I had to explain 5 different times to 5 different people on my cooking skills and why the rangehood did not function as intended. Hello! It would have if it was installed above the sink!

Just when I thought I could sit down with my 100g less of a steak and a glass of wine with Desperate Housewives on TV, I had another phone call from the Hotel Manager who so generously gave me the personalised luggage lock earlier, I am sure at this stage thinking if he wanted me for the 6th time at his hotel. I explained all over again what happened and he offered me a $20 voucher to be spent at the coffee house. Now, is that an insult or what? Me being me, accepted his generosity, but the cooking won't stop!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shagen,
It is interesting reading about your adventure in Wellington.

Anonymous said...

That was funny!

uncle buck said...


dont give up your day job!

Anonymous said...

....didn't know that you watch Desperate Housewives!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Macha....

You sure having a good time...

Splashie Boy