A passion called food

3 July 2007

With his sparkling eyes and a true passion for his job, David Gale, appointed Executive Chef at the new City Inn hotel, is definitely made to win challenges. Working inside City Café kitchens since the 14th June, the 34-year-old international chef is running the 100 seat restaurant as well as coordinating the food offerings in the Piccadilly Lounge and the Sky Lounge private dining suites.

“I start working at seven in the morning and finish late at night. City Café is open 24 hours a day and is going to be a destination restaurantâ€?. David lets facts talk for themselves and likes shouting in the kitchen, not in public.

While working in Soho House - one of New York’s top boutique hotels - he dined with Robert De Niro and organised one of Byoncé’s exclusive parties but, when I met him, he preferred to tell me another story.

“Recently, I’ve been baking bread for a whole village in Tuscany. I was there just for four days but appreciated every single moment. Getting up with the sun, walking three miles of silent sunny streets and going back to my villa with fresh bread for everyoneâ€?.

I then asked his opinion about the culinary industry being increasingly in the public eye and his response confirmed that his rustic adventure was more than just an anecdote.

“Chefs like talking about how good they are and how amazing their recipes are. I think they should be quieter and get pleasure from cooking for people. To me, being a chef means living your life at the highest tempo whilst keeping the focus on foodâ€?.

Sexy without being impudent and elegant without being classic, the lavish meal that David cooked for my friend and I matched the atmosphere at the City Café perfectly.
He decided to choose our entrées for us and each one was a seductive surprise. The first courses arrived while we were sipping some refreshing house Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. The Poached veal cushion with parsley, caper and pine nut salad and tonnato dressing was presented with Cumbrian ham and celeriac crostini, chilled watermelon and lemon grass shooter followed by Whitby crab with chilli, coriander, pickled ginger and wasabi mayonnaise. Three delicately presented summer starters. As mains, we were served Lobster and Rump of Welsh lamb with fricassée of fresh peas and broad beans, two finely cooked treats. To conclude our symphony of food on a high note, we indulged in a creamy and cosy fondant and a rich bitter chocolate tart with fresh raspberries and whisky cream.
Masterly executed, the meal replied to any unanswered questions.

The key is dedication. “You don’t need to go to the best schools and you don’t need to be an academic. To be a good chef, you have to devote your time to the kitchen and work hardâ€?.

Educated in Wilmslow, Gale started working at 15. He has experienced the hospitality industry both in the UK and abroad. Among other places, he has worked at Cheshire’s Alderly Edge Hotel and for Harvey Nichol’s in Knightsbridge. In the pursuit of a great challenge, he traded the Moët Bar and Gallery restaurant at Manchester’s Selfridges for “an irresistible responsibilityâ€?.

Morena Trolese