TV man commends Chippenham café boss

This Is Wiltshire: Pit Stop manager Ali Hutchison, at her now famous café Pit Stop manager Ali Hutchison, at her now famous café

The manager of a roadside café in Chippenham has been praised on television as a shining example of efficiency.

The Pit Stop Café was highlighted on BBC TV show The Restaurant Man last week.

Catering manager Ali Hutchison, who has worked for two years at the Pit Stop, just off junction 17 of the M4, was applauded by businessman and restaurateur Russell Norman.

In last Wednesday’s programme, he used the Pit Stop to give a crash course in preparing 200 breakfasts to twin sisters who had never worked in a commercial kitchen before.

Mr Norman said breakfast was the most difficult dish of the day to prepare, as it had several components with different cooking times that needed to be synchronised.

He praised Mrs Hutchison’s system, saying: “With a little team of washer-ups and prep chefs back here, she’s going to be serving – pretty much singlehandedly – 200 customers today. That’s really efficient.”

But Mrs Hutchison, who has worked for more than 20 years in kitchens, said although it was nice to be portrayed as wonder woman, it was not entirely accurate. She said: “I ain’t no saint. There are three others in the team and the girls are quite happy to join in; we all work together.

“Two hundred customers a day is usual and sometimes there are more. It can be a bit stressful at times, but if you get organised, it’s fine. Whatever’s chucked at me, I just do it.”

Mr Norman is not the first celebrity to arrive at the Pit Stop.

Last August, it was a film set for Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds, which aired in November, and this time Mrs Hutchison took the cameras in her stride.

“You’re so busy, you just forget they’re there,” she said. “I’d love to have Gino D’Acampo in. I’d like to do lunch with him. He’s fun.”

She said Gordon Ramsay would be a great visitor, but after the watershed, of course.

The Pit Stop is open to all, not only truckers, from 6am from Monday to Friday. After Easter, it will open on Saturday mornings.

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