Chefs, artists and horticulture

First a meeting with the chainsmoking Francois – a French chef and friend of Matthew’s. Boy he knows his stuff. He would be interested in working with me to help in the design and fit of the kitchen, dining area and bar as well as training kitchen and bar staff, mostly via a college in Managua that he teaches at. Sometimes I think that this project is blessed. The team I am building around me just fits so well and I appear to have attracted the best of the best.

Francois takes me to visit a very old friend – Marco – another French man. An artist with an incredible story. So incredible in fact that his story is being documented by a director from the Beeb. I consequently fall in love with his paintings.

The evening takes me over to Ben’s new and rather swanky house for dinner with him and Chris – an expert in permaculture. I warm to him immediately and wish that I wasn’t going home tomorrow as everyone is going out to the Island to look at what plants could / should / would. I have asked them to visit the second island with a view to a wormery and market garden. I mention my idea (well stolen from what I saw at Lapa Rios in Costa Rica) of using, for want of a better word, pig shit to produce methane to use for cooking in the back of house area. Having been scoffed at in the past, Chris likes this idea and knows a bit about it. Talking of scoffing, whilst we were all chatting, a whole chicken disappeared from the kitchen under our noses, the only traces being tiny pieces of meat up the stairs – they must have some large old cats around!!

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