The Commis – the First Food Newspaper for Chefs and Cooks
A bi-monthly newspaper, and already read by the top 500 kitchens in the UK, The Commis is very much the first of its kind. The prototype issue was successfully launched in August, and now we need your help to make The Commis a permanent publication!
Tom Gatehouse, the editor, is an old school food journalist. Having discovered the wonders of food while living in Hong Kong, he started writing for a host of different publications, joining Chef’s Directory Publications at the beginning of the year. Tom’s soon embarked on a pioneering kitchen odyssey, working in the best kitchens in the country, where the idea for The Commis was born.
Our editor-at-large, Chandos Elletson, was a founder of Restaurant Magazine and had a hand in the creation of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants award. He was named Food Writer of the Year in 2003, and worked extensively for The Times during a 20 year career both as a chef and journalist.
The Commis – Our Direction
The Commis is a prosumer publication. It is read by all food lovers, be it professional chefs, hungry foodies or passionate home cooks. The title suggests that we are all learning to master a skill that can take a lifetime. The focus on learning is what defines The Commis.
Learning about cooking and being a chef is all-consuming and is not restricted to just kitchens. You will find, as we go forward, that the content focusses, in equal measure, on ingredients, technical skills and self-improvement.
This means that we will spend a lot of time reporting from the middle of muddy fields, from the seashore and the ocean and from the global marketplace which meets in markets like New Covent Garden. Knowing where your ingredients come from and in which season, shape and form is important.
However, we also recognise that technical skill is at the root of good cooking. This is a lesson that has been forgotten in our current age. Chefs, brilliant though they are in many ways, are also guilty of over invention. Sometimes the original dish is better and more appreciated than the modern version! We believe fundamentally in writing about good food first.
Finally, we recognise that to be a good cook means learning more about yourself and your motives. Not all chefs and cooks share the same dreams. For some it is Michelin stars but for others it is simply the joy of cooking for guests and making them feel special.
The Commis, Issue One
The first issue of The Commis featured some of the best chefs in the country in their kitchens, including Michel Roux Jr. at Le Gavroche, Tom Kerridge at The Hand and Flowers, and John Williams OBE at The Ritz.
It also contained some of the most exciting stories from outside the kitchen, including Emily Watkins’ amazing ice cream at The Kingham Plough, a trip to Paris with renowned chocolatier William Curley, and Maitre Choux, a new patisserie in South Kensington run by a 3 Michelin starred pastry chef!
The Commis – Teaching the Next Generation
As our film shows, we get our content by experiencing real kitchens and real situations. We like to get our hands dirty. The experiences we partake in become the stories we write. In the future we will grow our team of writers by taking on younger writers who want the same experiences as us.
We already have a pool of young talent who are happy to be taught the lessons of good research and good story-telling skills. We are also working on a teaching seminar where young writers and chefs can come to learn the basics of story-telling for this modern age.
Our editor-at-large, Chandos Elletson, has been writing for more than two decades, and is also a film-maker, having learnt the craft at Pinewood Studios. His knowledge of the story process is what makes The Commis so unique.
The Commis – The Future
Issue two is ready to go to print, and includes a world exclusive on the inner workings of Saturday Kitchen, our trip to Italy, the renaissance of the eel, a look at the future of fine dining, interviews with Tom Aikens and international super-chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the continuation of editor Tom’s journey to work in as many top kitchens in the UK. He’s already on 24!
Issue three has been finalised too, with an amazing trip to the US on the cards!
We are a hugely passionate team of chefs and writers, and are eager to make The Commis a well-read institution.
With your help, we can do exactly that!
Thanks so much!!