“We moved here to improve our quality of life, be a family, and slow down. None of that must change.” – Piers Dawson
May I Introduce #
"Holly, Piers’ wife, reached out after seeing Affordable Mallorca’s Local Business Directory. When I read her email, I was touched by their resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic to stay the course in building a life on Mallorca. Their story shows how, with each day and each action, we make community. I hope you enjoy reading their experience and seeing their photos and video." - Memphis Holland
Who is Piers Dawson? In his own words... #
My wife and I moved from London to Mallorca in 2015 with our 11-month old son, Charlie. Having cooked for Presidents, Prime Ministers and Private Clients all over the world, the idea was to take a break from the hectic pace of constant global travel and the fast flow of London life where we were based.
On arrival on the island we worked hard to establish our business and develop a name for ourselves, and we have since been lucky enough to be supported by wonderful reviews, word of mouth and recommendations from happy clients for many years. For me, cooking is about pushing boundaries of what has been done before. I want to challenge what you know and bring you exceptional dishes that you will talk about for years to come.
What Happened During the Lockdown for COVID-19? #
In keeping with our search to slow down, our new found commute to work involved me going downstairs and my wife going up. In our family home and workspace in Sóller, my work kitchen is on the ground floor, my wife’s office on the third. Charlie would be at school, and during weekday mornings the house would be quiet bar the sound of chopping, sizzling and singing from the kitchen, and my wife tapping away on her keyboard from the office above.
Fast forward to March 2020 and life changed substantially for us all. For myself, the biggest change in our new lockdown world was that my morning commute involved me going upstairs, rather than down. Whilst my wife took on the pleasure and pain of home schooling, I took advantage of her quiet office upstairs to work on the development of our latest project, which, whilst food related, for the time being requires no time at all in the kitchen, no matter how hard I try to find an excuse for it to. For the first few weeks of lockdown my work kitchen sat quiet and empty.
Mentally, to start my day in front of a computer, rather than a stove, is hugely challenging. I haven’t had a ‘desk job’ since I worked as a Graphic Designer 22 years ago. So, naturally, it wasn’t long until I was scheming ways I could drum up the excuse to keep cooking, and pop out for a key ingredient when needed – albeit under my wife’s best disapproving lockdown look of ‘Haven’t we done the food shop for this week already?’
From the Mouth of Babes #
And then it came to me, if my afternoon sessions with Charlie could involve marble runs, crazy golf, skate boarding, 10 pin bowling and any other activity I could dream up outside in our garden while my wife worked upstairs, then surely I could add ‘cooking school’ on to our afternoon repertoire?
Charlie has been involved in the kitchen since he was big enough to find the clutter of pots and pans mildly entertaining. But with me usually tied up in the work kitchen downstairs, it has been largely left to my wife to introduce him to the basics of home cooking in our family kitchen upstairs.
Lockdown is where all that changed. Suddenly, I had the luxury of a whole afternoon, every afternoon, for 12 glorious weeks, to talk man to man with my six-year old about food, dream up crazy recipes and practice our plating techniques. And the most satisfying thing of all… he soaked it all up like a sponge, loving every moment, and growing bolder in his approach to trying new tastes and textures. Suddenly, if he had cooked with it, he liked it. I was on a roll.
Learning from the Lockdown #
But then slowly and eventually, lockdown ended and reality struck. Whilst all my scheduled work has been cancelled, from consulting at the Olympics to cooking for our regular clients who holiday on the island each year, we are lucky enough to have the local island community where we can still continue to offer support and find support. Already we find ourselves filling a gap for those who feel ready to finally catch up with friends, but not quite ready to go out to a restaurant. In these situations, we bring the restaurant 'experience' to the comfort and safety of private homes, under the strictest health and hygiene standards. We are back working with our suppliers and we are moving forward, poc a poc.
I am hugely grateful to be back in the kitchen cooking again on a professional level, but by far the hardest weeks of lockdown have been the coming out of it – facing reality, repositioning, rescheduling, resuming - whilst doing our best to keep hold of those magical moments of confinement that if we are not careful, will be lost in a heartbeat. And that’s where resilience sets in. To take what we have learnt from all of this, grow stronger for it, and to keep going.
My time cooking with Charlie through lockdown has already provided me with some of my happiest memories of fatherhood to date. And I have a feeling they will be moments engrained in Charlie’s memories of his childhood, too. We can and we must move forward, but to do so we must take these memories with us and build on them. We moved here to improve our quality of life, be a family, and slow down. None of that must change.
“Our focus is on the experience as a whole, from the moment we walk through the door to the time we depart. Memories will comprise of every last detail: from the way Piers personally presents each plate brought to the table, to the personalised printed menus, the handpicked flowers on the table, the unique tableware our dishes are presented on, and of course, the creativity behind the food itself. In this way, we are able to consistently deliver a truly exceptional, unforgettable experience every time."
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More About Private Dining #
If you would like a phenomenal Private Dining experience in the comfort of your own home, please get in touch with Holly at [email protected]
#Mallorca #Majorca #PiersDawson #PrivateChef
By Piers Dawson
24 June, 2020