Of Routines and Rituals: A Day in the Life of Sommer’s Lewis Barker with 1664 Blanc

In partnership with 1664, we follow the footsteps of Sommer's Lewis Barker as he walks us through the day-to-day of running a MICHELIN-Starred restaurant’s kitchen and prepares a special dish using 1664 Blanc.
Only a year shy of turning thirty, Lewis Barker of one-MICHELIN-starred Sommer at The Sail in Marina Bay is one who does not settle. Always finding ways to constantly improve, refine, and perfect his craft, the young English chef’s cuisine is praised by the MICHELIN Guide inspectors for its finesse, acumen, and harmony.
Lewis Barker, the chef of one-MICHELIN-Starred Sommer in Singapore

7am – Rise and Shine

“I would describe a day in my life as eventful,” says Barker. “I wake up early in the morning, around 7:00, and my first job is to make a cup of tea — Yorkshire Gold, to be specific — traditional to where I'm from in Leeds.”

11.30am – Team Briefing

After his morning routine, Barker makes his way to the restaurant, where the first thing he does with his team is discuss the plans for the day, the guests dining at Sommer, what dietary requirements to go through, and then plan out the mise en place accordingly.
On Barker's choice of music, he says: “At Sommer, we’ll play a mix of anything — it could be house music with an extra notch on the volume for a bit more motivation. Sometimes, it’s Arctic Monkeys, lo-fi, whatever contributes to that energetic feeling is important. Just no local Chinese music because I can't understand it,” he says with a laugh.

12pm – Lunch Rush

Service begins at noon, with lunch service ending around 3:30 p.m. At around 4:00 p.m. Barker and his team do another clean-down, and then they prepare for the staff meal.

3pm – Staff Meal

“During our staff meal, we take some time to discuss work matters, but we also try to switch off from work. We discuss weekend plans and general day-to-day chit chat other than food,” says Barker. “Cooking for the staff is just as important as cooking for the guests because we're here all day, we're busy. It's normally only that one time in the day that we get to sit down and eat. So for me, the staff meal has to be good; it's non-negotiable.”
“The way our staff meal works is that the responsibility is rotated among the team. We switch cuisines as well because we can't eat the same thing every day. Our staff meal could be pasta, lasagna, garlic bread, or salad — making sure that we get a full and nourished feeling after eating. It's important that everyone has a full stomach, keeping the energy that it takes to run a restaurant and maintain each station’s standards in the kitchen.”
“We’ve got a close family, rather than a team. Together, we keep a tight kitchen, making sure that it's the best that it can be. We learn and develop together as well.” - Lewis Barker

Read on to find out more about Sommer's team rituals, and their favourite time of the day in the the Michelin Guide.

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