One of the perks of my job, and there are many, is how well travelled I have become in the past couple of years. I know I complain about being in a perpetual state of motion, as most days it seems as if I am seat-belted and twitchy in one form of transport or another. But the upshot of this is that I have been privileged to see countless large and colourful chunks of the world – my passport, I would wager, has seen just as much action as the Tardis, so I shouldn’t moan too much.
I’m incredibly thankful for the sheer number of amazing journeys that I have been able to take since I first started building Whisk. I am certain that I would never have touched down on such far-flung corners of the world if I had chosen an alternative career path. I wouldn’t swap these experiences for all the tea in China – or all the gin in London. And for those of you that know me, you know I like my gin. It’s not Gordon’s, it’s mine!
Most recently, I travelled to Germany to visit a Neff factory and inspect their new range of products. Here I may run the risk of sounding like a super-spy, but I have been privy to a lot of classified information during my time in home economics. I could tell you about exactly what I saw in the factory, but I would have to kill you. Or, shall I say, Neff’s Product manager kill me! (embargoed until March) Let’s just say that you’ve probably heard me enthusing before about their patented Circotherm technology, and I would not be ashamed to endorse it again.
After getting out of bed at stupid o’clock, an ungodly hour with which I am becoming increasingly familiar, I caught my flight and a couple of precious zeds. The following days blurred into a whirlwind of activity. When I arrived at Neff with a gaggle of other journalists, we were greeted by a very friendly guide, who escorted us through the factory, pointing out cooker hoods and ovens. He continually dropped facts that might not make it into the Encyclopaedia Britannica, but I find fascinating. For example, did you know that the only people who use double ovens live in the UK and a tiny bit of the Netherlands?
That night, we ate a delicious traditional German dinner and (cliché alert) sampled a fine selection of beers. The next day, we cooked a four course lunch to demonstrate Neff products. I was given the task of filleting thirty Dover soles. Yes, thirty. Unsurprisingly, nobody else was keen on the task, but I am not one to be squeamish about these things.
I’m continually surprised by the generosity of the people that I meet on the road. I would be embarrassed to think of the warm welcomes that I have received in Germany, Australia, France or anywhere else you could mention. It’s sobering to think about how I treat visitors. So, hey, the next time you come and stay, the beers and Dover soles are on me…
So, why do I get invited onto these trips? Well, its so I understand all the ranges of products on the market, to help you in your kitchen at home.
Next week, I’m off to France. I have a huge project in the Le Creuset foundry. Let’s chat about that next week!