Features - A Day In The Life

Meredith Tan (née Leach)

Meredith Tan (née Leach)

Posted 01 July 2015

London Programme

March 2007 Intake


Meredith Tan (née Leach) (March 2007 - London) originally from Northern Virginia, attended the University of South Carolina, shortly after which she headed to London with Mountbatten to work at Deutsche Bank for a successful year. Meredith then decided to see more of the States and moved west to San Francisco where she was able to land a job with salesforce.com. Throughout this time, she always had a great interest in pastry arts and baking professionals, so after six years in SF and many more years thinking about it, she quit her job and went to pastry school. Now, she is currently cooking up desserts at Spruce, a Michelin-starred restaurant, where Obama even came to eat during his last visit! Day to day life has changed a lot, from sitting at a cubicle, to currently running around a hot kitchen, and she wouldn't change a thing.

Morning: I struggle but manage to get myself out of bed by 8:30am so that I don't sleep the day away. It's a big change from getting up around 5:00am when I would have to make it in the office early, but now, not getting home until after midnight, I need those later mornings. I head to the kitchen, make myself some cereal and head out for a run. Keeping healthy through diet and exercise is key due to the nature of the job, and being surrounded by sweets all the time!! After getting a coffee, checking my emails, doing a chore or two around home and just relaxing on the couch - This is the only down time I will get, It's nearly midday.

Afternoon: I head off to work at 1:30pm. Luckily for me I live about a 20 minute walk to work, because I have learned over the years, a short commute makes such a difference! I get into the kitchen, change into my chefs coat, apron, and shoes and check out the daily list for what needs to be done. Gathering pans, utensils and everything else I will need, I start whipping up desserts for what is low on inventory. Cakes, mousses, caramel, cremeux, there is always something to be done. 4:30pm comes up and a quick break is had for staff meal so that we can energize and fuel up for the rest of the night ahead. "Outside" is called and it's now 4:45pm. Our Chef de Cuisine takes up outside for line up to give us a pep talk and what to expect for the night. A few private parties and plenty of guests will keep us all very busy.

Evening: Heading back to my station I continue with production projects and prep the desserts for the private party and wait to finish them once fired. It can get a bit crazy with an abundance of orders, and although by 10:00pm things are slowing down in the kitchen, dessert orders are still coming through strong, but between helping out and cleaning up, wrapping and putting away any new product, the end of the night will come soon! I head into the walk in and freezer to get a count of our inventory so that I am able to make a list for the next teammates that arrive in the morning. At 11:00pm I finish up all my work and help breakdown the station and clean up with my teammate as all the dessert orders are in, we are done for the night! It's 12:30am and we are all set. Cleaned, organized, and ready for the next day, we get dressed, head out, and maybe grab a drink before heading home. A successful night always ends with feelings so accomplished. Being able to see tangible work being finished each day, along with the smiles on customer's guests and hearing their reviews, I am constantly reminded why I made this career switch, and go to sleep happy, ready to do it all again the next day...