Toby’s Tales pt.2 - “The delights of the motley cru menu”


From seeing the menu I knew that going to work at Kenton Park Estate meant I would be handling some pretty amazing food. Pictures of paella and Champagne Risotto sparked my interest early on along with the juicy looking Mont Blanc Burger and spectacular Deli Platters. Turning up on my first workday I was hoping and praying that I would get a chance to try some of this delightful food. I thought, maybe if I’m really polite and show them that I’m a hard worker then Milena, the incredible cook, might let me try a bit of Dim Sum if there’s any left over after service.



Nevertheless I turned up on my first day with a meal deal packed in my bag. Just in case. I didn’t want to make presumptions and, although my stomach does usually lead my decision making, I needed to make a good impression. It was a quieter day back in May, restaurants still weren’t allowed to let people sit inside and the weather was terrible. I got soaking wet on my journey in; a quick train to Stacross then a cycle up the hill. I swiftly decided that tomorrow I would bring a change of clothes, or I’d be serving customers looking like I’d fallen in the Exe. Not a good impression!

Getting into the café I did my best to tidy myself up and look presentable. I then headed into the kitchen to find out what my first day had in stall for me. Jayne showed me the ropes- where everything goes, how everything works and who everyone is. She then passed me on to Ben who talked me round the coffee machine- the start of a long but fruitful training process. It quickly became clear to me that I’d be learning a lot of new skills and having a lot of new experiences in this job; something that my dad had always told me was a good thing. Tick. Unbeknownst to me one of the things I’d be experiencing on my first day was a lobster seafood platter.



Jayne informed me that they were introducing an all-new Lobster Seafood Extravaganza to the menu and invited me to see if it was up to their standards. My desire to work my way through the menu had started to realise itself much sooner than I had expected! Fresh from the Teign estuary: lobster, crab meat, prawns, cockles, salmon, shrimp all beautifully served on a bed of ice between sprigs of fresh rosemary and quaint seashell candles…I kept quiet that I don’t like seafood. I felt guilty, of course I did, the whole experience was practically wasted on me; like climbing Everest with someone who’s scared of heights. But I did my best to give my opinions on the platter without just saying, “It’s a bit too fishy for me.”

Countless customers have since told me that its delicious and I’m sure it is. But my guilt at not being able to fully appreciate such a spectacle haunts me to this day. I have since come clean about my feelings towards seafood though and Milena’s crab sandwiches are slowly converting me across. Working at The Motley Cru café is always a job full of new and exciting opportunities. Being immersed in the Motley Cru lifestyle has always felt like a real privilege to me and I’ve no doubt that the ever-expanding menu will throw more new experiences my way.



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