Madjid has been Krimo's chef since 1996 and when we moved the restaurant to the marina, Colin joined us in 2000. Between the two of them and the rest of their young team, they took Krimo's to even greater heights while I concentrated on putting Portofino on the culinary map.
Madjid is exactly one year older than me. In early December he began complaining of chest pains. It turned out that he had suffered a mild heart attack. Tests showed that he needed a triple heart bypass. He was totally shocked and so were we.
Colin and Jimmy, our French chef stepped up a gear, gritted their teeth and with a couple of part-timers, Shawn and Luke, went for it,working an average of 70 hours a week as the restaurant was full most sessions before Christmas.
One customer commented that, though one usually expects a slight drop in standards during busy periods, she found that ours had been raised. I passed on the compliment to a very tired Colin.
Christmas Day didn't come too soon as everyone was on their last legs.
A few days into the new year, I sat with Colin to plan for Madjid's absence. We decided to close Sundays for the foreseeable future, reorganise the menu and look for a couple of young trainees to help take the strain.
The new menu is proving very popular especially after we decided on a fresh look at food presentation.
Madjid is still waiting an appointment to arrange the date of his operation.