By April 22, 2015 Read More →

5 Things I Can’t Work Without – the chef

5 Things I Can't Work Without - the chef, Anita-Clare FieldWe’ve discovered our readers are as curious about other home workers as we are!

So this series is all about the different kinds of things home business owners rely on to do a good job.

Chef and food blogger Anita-Clare Field shares what allows her to keep her many plates spinning:

I am manically busy most of the time so organisation is key to ensuring I am either at meetings on time, not missing deadlines (coughs) and knowing how many customers we have and what they are eating.

My life comprises mainly of food writing for our two food blogs, and my work as a chef, developing recipes for clients, and cooking, either for our busy little micro brasserie La Petite Bouchee or our small batch artisan food company Heaven Preserve Us.

1. My diary.
I have a paper diary as well as an electronic one. I still find it rewarding to write on paper, colour coding and using Post-it note strips to easily identify events or meetings. I use my electronic diary if I am out and I want to quick reference dates, but my paper diary is my mainstay it has my my life in it and is never far from my side.

2. My wife/business partner.
It’s not a cop out by any stretch of the imagination. Having the luxury of bouncing my crazy ideas around and using her as a sounding board and recipe tester is great. As a chef I may think something tastes fabulous but I am cooking for a wider set of palates and so Caroline’s input helps enormously.

We also make decisions quickly about business proposals and have specific roles within each of our businesses. Board meetings usually take place over Marmite toast and tea.

5 Things I Can't Work Without - the chef - La Petite Bouchee3. My electric pressure/slow cooker.
It is brilliant for quick stocks and sauces and lots of cooking for La Petite Bouchee. The last time I used it was for St. Patrick’s Day when we had an event and I was slow cooking some homemade salt beef.

It has a keep warm function on it, which is invaluable in my outdoor field kitchen. I use it daily for recipe development too. It also has a multi-function programme, which means it can cook everything perfectly at the right temperature, for the right amount of time without burning it.

4. Evernote.
I write all my menus, event ideas and notes using this app. I also write up all my recipe notes from my paper notebook so that they are held centrally but can be accessed on my iPhone or MacBook. The work chat facility means that if I am on site at LPB I can still chat through notes etc. with Caroline once service has happened and the chef has a bit of downtime (ha-ha!) It’s a fabulous, versatile app and allows you to write lists, take photos and set reminders, which is invaluable to me spinning many plates at the same time.

5. Recipe books.
We have over 500 recipe books and even though we keep promising each other that we won’t buy any more – we do. It’s obsessional. If I am suffering from writer’s block or needing inspiration for fussy diners then with minutes of sticking my nose in a recipe book I am motivated and brimming with ideas. It also motivates me to finish my current cookbook A Postcard from France, which is currently residing in note form on Evernote!

work from home secrets

5 Things I Can't Work Without - the chef - Heaven Preserve UsAnita-Clare and Caroline Field are the publishers of the myTaste no.1 food blog Lover of Creating Flavours and A Postcard from France.

They also own and run Heaven Preserve Us, a small batch artisan food company specialising in potions, pickles and preserves.

From their converted 1970’s vintage Citroen HY campervan they run the micro brassiere La Petite Bouchee.

La Petite Bouchee photo credit: James Balston

Enjoyed this? Have a look at the things other home workers prize, like blogger Emma Jordan’s patented Choc Motivator, editor Karen White’s coloured pens and cold coffee, and brand strategist Greg Dillon’s formal client shoes!

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