All, Features, Life

How do Soho House people work around the world?

A gardener, bartender, barber and chef show us their tools of the trade and explain how they get things done

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Flavio Wijesinghe
Bartender, Soho House 76 Dean Street

Flavio is a perfectionist who’s worked behind the bar at Dean Street since the House opened in 2015.

1 The shaker
It’s a Japanese brand, Koriko, and nice and solid. I also have a Japanese jigger, or measuring cup, which is my best friend. We never use free-pouring and always measure spirits accurately.

2 The garnishes
We have coriander for the Picante de le Casa cocktail. The candied ginger we use for the Soho Mule, our bestseller: vodka, lime juice and homemade ginger syrup, shaken with a single ice cube.

3 The bar
A clean bar is like your business card. Nobody wants a great cocktail served from a filthy bar. Or a filthy bartender! I clean as I go, and always tidy up before I serve the drink.

4 The bitters
We use a lot of bitters – Angostura, Peychaud’s, rhubarb – but always sensitively as they’re a very concentrated flavour. A tequila old-fashioned isn’t complete with celery bitters.

 
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Sam Jackson
Assistant grower, Soho Farmhouse

Sam works in Farmhouse’s extensive gardens, growing produce that is
used by the House chefs.

1 The secateurs
These are my own. They’re Felcos – industry standard – and my most-used gardening tool. I’m never without them. They’re attached to my belt.

2 The spade
Our tools come from a UK company called Bulldog – they’re known for their strength (the clue is in the name). They last if you look after them and clean them at the end of each day.

3 The greenhouse
It’s where we keep our more tender crops, which prefer a warmer climate. Chillis and aubergines, for example.

4 The gloves
Now it’s colder I’ve just started using my Briers – fleece- lined gloves. They’re waterproof underneath so perfect if crops are a bit damp while harvesting. Gotta have warm, dry hands.

5 The boots
I’m wearing boots made by a Brighton-based company, Vegetarian Shoes. They’re waterproof, warm, with a great sole and really comfortable – though they’ll be put to the test this winter.

 

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Kaya Kurt
Barber, Soho House Istanbul

You can find Kaya at Neville – next door to the Cowshed spa on the fourth basement level of Soho House Istanbul.

1 The soap
We use Neville soap (of course) to create the shaving lather. Every product in the barbershop is from the Neville range: the shampoo, shaving creams and hair products.

2 The razor
My razor is made by Arko – it’s the best there is, and I’ve had it since I started here. It’s important to change the blade for every customer. Use it once and throw it away.

3 The scissors
Mine are Kasho – a professional Japanese brand. A barber has a personal relationship with his scissors. That’s the secret ingredient – the personal touch.

4 The barbershop
I’ve been here since even before the beginning. Two weeks before the House opened in 2015 I was at work, practising. My customers are all regulars, and they love coming to visit.

 

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Zachary Cooper
Executive sous chef, Soho House New York

1 The kitchen
The kitchen is an inherently dangerous environment. Communication is key. If you’re carrying something hot through the kitchen, you shout “hot!” and you keep shouting until you safely reach your destination.

2 The station
Keep it clean! Every task in the kitchen is time sensitive and counter space is always limited, so a cook with a disorganised work station can single-handedly disrupt service for every other member of the team.

3 The uniform
Uniforms help us remember that we’re all comrades in arms. I wear steel-toe boots because you don’t want to be the guy wearing cheap rubber clogs when someone drops a cleaver.

4 The knives
The shorter knife is my gyutou, produced by Masamoto, a 200-year-old Japanese company. I sharpen it using a double-sided wet stone, then I use a honing steel to restore the blade’s edge.

5 The ingredients
I always keep a container on hand to save meat and vegetable trimmings. I get a lot of love from front-of-house when I throw all those tasty morsels in a pot and whip up a soup for staff meal.

More from around the Houses…

The best Halloween pumpkins.

Easy ways to improve your 2017.

Stylish looks, as worn by team members. 

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