Chefs at Viirelaid

15. Feb 2024 admin

Chef’s Serial Story on Viirelaid (Part 1)

We have always had special and funny incidents with chefs. Since a funny story has happened again, I thought, why not share a bit about it.

For those who are aware, our story on Viirelaid started in 2016, and naturally, we didn’t have a chef readily available. We didn’t have guests very often, so why bother hiring a chef. So, what the heck, we did everything ourselves. It was mega easy with the first guests – they brought their own grill and even chopped their own salad. It got harder with the next ones. They thought it would be super cool to order a lamb and make a dish out of it. Since a friend of mine had once made a lamb stew, that’s what I offered them. It’s good to call a friend and ask what and how much I should add. Well, thought and done, and the clients coming.

However, I forgot, amidst a million other chores, where I was supposed to get the lamb from. But we solved this issue with the help of our kitchen installers and a friend of mine. Exactly how, but later, it’s a very unique story about how to find a lamb. And to actually get it too.

Anyway, the Pipedrive collective was coming to visit us. And imagine, an hour before their arrival on the island, there I was in front of the cellar, chopping up the lamb. It wasn’t easy doing it for the first time in my life. Anyway, after 10 calls and 8 hours, the lamb stew was ready. Everyone liked it and asked to compliment the chef. Well, I silently accepted the compliments and thought about what next. Who hereafter could receive these compliments.

Next, there was a story where some Estonian art and creative people wanted to come celebrate their 50th anniversary with us. They placed a significant order for food, meaning we needed to prepare gluten-free, lactose-free, meat-free, semi-veg, and full-veg dishes. What else could we do but accept the order and say everything is possible, everything can be done. Guests were needed, and how could you say there’s no food.

What did we still not have? A chef who would do all these things. So we racked our brains thinking about what to do and who would prepare the food. The date was approaching, but no solution was in sight. We discussed it among ourselves, and finally, a carpenter who had been hired to do some woodworking for us said, okay guys, I can help you out once. I have worked as a chef before and maybe I can manage these miracle dishes after all. We were so relieved, clinked glasses, and were very happy that it was resolved so easily.

Then the birthday crowd arrived. And it was quite a crowd, all sorts of interesting people came together. Try to understand, all the different costumes and stories, but it was a very colorful crowd. Our carpenter then whipped up dishes on the home gas stove and the bonfire because we didn’t even have a kitchen to use. Everyone ate with great appetite, and then I happened to walk to the table with food again and hear someone say, “My God, this is so good, I haven’t eaten a piece of meat in two years, but this chicken is absolutely delicious.” And so it went, that the gluten-free, lactose-free, and all the others started eating everything. Go figure, whether it was our carpenter Thomas (let’s call him Thomas here) or the good wine doing. Anyway, everyone was satisfied and full.

We were also pleased that such a gem had come to work on our island. After that event, we started to persuade Thomas to become our chef instead. Perfect, right? He cooks and in his free time does something else. However, Thomas was not at all willing and strongly resisted. We kept persuading him for about a week, but no. Still not willing, and he wouldn’t say why. Finally, after the fifth beer one beautiful day, he revealed why he didn’t want to be a chef anymore. Namely, he had made a promise to himself that he would no longer become a chef because every time he takes up a chef’s job, he ends up having a child with another chef. So, he had already had four jobs, four children, with four different female chefs. What a story, but we didn’t give up and told him that it would be very difficult to have children with us (me and Veiko) and he shouldn’t worry about that. And see, he agreed. Thomas made super good food, and during breaks, he started building us a larger outdoor kitchen since he no longer fit in the small one.

With Thomas, it went as we promised, no fifth child emerged. He did move to the chapel with the cleaner to “watch TV” in the evenings, but since it was not with a chef, the Estonian population did not increase. Unfortunately, after two summers, our paths with Thomas diverged, and he no longer works as a chef.

There are many stories about food and the jokes that happened in the kitchen. But not everything can be put into writing. Why did I even bring up this topic? Namely, a week ago, a Latvian guy from a good restaurant started working with us. A chef with a good CV and resume, and why not hire a good chef. But today, he is no longer with us, unfortunately. What happened was unexpected. It turned out he likes other boys. There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that since me and our staff have seen very colorful people here and are of a tolerant mindset. But it became an issue when he, slightly tipsy on wine, tried to sneak into the surfer boys’ room multiple times at night. So, we had to scold him a bit, and I didn’t say more than two sentences because I’ve learned in life that there’s no point in arguing with someone who’s hungover. He was dealing with getting better at that moment anyway. I wasn’t overly harsh, but it happened so that he fled from the island, leaving behind all his belongings, passport, and salary. Just fled.

And we are back to the beginning – it’s time to recall the lamb recipe again and offer lamb to all the guests.

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