On Saturday 27th August, last Saturday - to be precise, Camp Smoke & Salt was all ready to receive a very important guest. Kitchen was scrubbed down and R. scrubbed up, London was about to gain a pro pastry Queen on the scene.
Giselle Miller is a celebrated Pastry Chef hailing from the shores of Boston, Massachusetts; a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and highly experienced in the artform of fine patisserie. She has worked and staged her way through some of the most highly-regarded kitchens on the East Cost of the U.S. including Deuxave in Boston, Grace in Chicago and Corton in NYC. She is an old colleague and close friend of R.'s, and when we heard she was looking to expand her culinary horizons with a trip to London - her first trip outside of the US I may add, we jumped at the chance to combine forces and have her as a guest pastry chef for one night only.
Tickets have almost sold out as I write this - and that is both heart-wrenching and annoying at the same time.
Giselle Miller got deported from the UK the morning after she arrived in the country.
We can only apologise to Giselle and to everyone who has bought tickets to taste her wonderful desserts. And we are working hard to find a replacement as wonderfully talented in the arts of sugar as Giselle quite clearly is. Circumstances out of our control meant that Immigration deemed that Giselle was trying to enter the country to partake in work, and there is little scope for persuasion when you try and explain that a Chefs' idea of a great holiday is to pack some equipment and hang out in other kitchens to learn and help out.
Above are some of Giselle's wonderful creations.
I don't want to hate on UK Immigration too much - they have a job to do the same as all of us - I just can't help but feel a little bit guilty, as a member of the UK, holding an innocent girl - whom has never travelled outside of her native country, in a cell overnight AND on her birthday no less.
Oh yeah did I forget to mention Giselle turned 28 the day she flew into the UK? She got to spend it, not among friends but alone in an airport holding cell before being promptly put on the next flight back to Boston in the morning.
While we are devastated this has happened, we also have to make the best of the situation. We now have to find a way to make this event go ahead next Thursday, 8th September and give people the experience they are expecting.
We are on the hunt for a Pastry Chef that can step up to the plate - if you know someone or feel like you have it in you - do get in touch! A.