This month we caught up with some inspiring young chef’s that are taking Wellington – if not the cooking world – by storm, and find out what their tips for home cooks are, the must-have cooking essentials and what kinds of food and meals they like to unwind with at home after long days in their professional kitchens.
Paul Ansell, Sous chef at Martin Bosley’s says if cooking is your passion than you should read lots of books: Don’t be afraid to try new things. If something fails at home you have nothing to be embarrassed about.
Matt Jackson, Junior Sous chef at Logan Brown: Read. Research and learn all the basic techniques for cooking is one of the best things you can do. That way you can get a lot out of not many ingredients. I recommend reading book Larousee. It doesn’t have a lot of recipes in it but it covers a lot of basic stuff about stocks and soups.
Jackson is a bit of a meat and three vege man at heart: Nothing too flash. I do love cooking meat on the BBQ. Always spend that little extra money and find a really nice piece of meat so know where it came from and animal has been well looked after because you will get a better quality product and it’s always a lot nicer to eat.
Josh Dodd, head chef at Foxglove believes home cooks should keep things simple: Don’t try and do stuff you see on MasterChef because most of the time you don’t have the equipment in home kitchen and it’s also good to keep food simple for different family members tastes and dietary requirements. There is nothing wrong with simple food. It’s just how well you cook it rather than doing something crazy and different.
When he’s at home the last thing he feels like eating at end of 14-hour day is a soufflé or chicken liver: My partner makes a macaroni and cheese. She also makes a really good spaghetti bolognese. That kind of food is what you really feel like after cooking all day. You really appreciate someone else has taken the time to cook for you.
Ngawai Grant, Chef de Partie at Logan Brown on her advice to aspiring cooks: Try everything. I’m one of those people that look on internet and cross-reference recipes I know. I think home cooks are sometimes a bit scared to attempt the recipes. People should just get out and try it. I made crumpets on my day off the other day and just got recipe off the internet. I’d never made them before and they turned out fantastically.
Olivia Swafford, Junior Sous chef at The Whitehouse on cooking at home: My favourite breakfast is Yorkshire pudding, which I make in a little muffin tin. Growing up we had these every birthday and I’ve carried on the tradition. They great topped with bacon and peaches, or maple syrup.
James Pask, Head chef at Matterhorn belives all good cooks are in need of a sharp knife: Without a sharp knife you can’t do anything really. It makes simple things too hard thing if you don’t have a sharp knife.
Pask enjoys cooking comfort food when he’s at home: My favourite meals are roast chicken and spaghetti bolognese.