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Taste of Abu Dhabi: Meet the Taste The World chefs

10 chefs have been cooking up a storm this weekend as part of Etihad Airways’ event, and the winners will be announced on November 11

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Image Credit: Supplied
Tabloid

All year long, chefs around the world have been competing at Taste Of… events for a chance to compete against each other in Abu Dhabi. From Sydney to Moscow, 10 chefs have been cooking up a storm this weekend as part of Etihad Airways’ Taste The World event, and the winners will be announced on November 11 at 6.30pm at Taste of Abu Dhabi. We sent them emails long before things got heated, here’s what the four that caught our fancy have to say:

SCOTT PICKETT, MELBOURNE

Scott Pickett_portrait_Dominique Cherry

Have you been to Abu Dhabi before? What do you think/like about it?

I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi before, so I’m super excited! I’ve only had a couple of days stop over in Dubai; I’m really looking forward to exploring the capital of the UAE.

What are you looking forward to at Taste of Abu Dhabi? Describe what you’re going to do at the event?

I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different food from around the world and the other dishes from the chefs in the Taste of the World cooking competition…hopefully, my dish of “Lobster Bolognese” is well received.

What are you most passionate about cooking?

I love to cook meat, but more than anything I enjoy the but cherry side of cooking…breaking down whole lamb or venison, that kind of thing.

Describe your culinary style in three words.

Tasty, seasonal, evolution.

Your role model in the kitchen is…

Ahh tough one…..a tie between Phillips Mouchel from Paul Bocuse and Philip Howard from the Square in London.

How did you become a chef? And when?

I became a chef when I was 14, starting in 1989…. we lived in the countryside of south Australia and I wanted work on weekends, so started as a kitchen hand in a local winery.

The one thing you learned from a cookbook?

To read recipes all the way to the end before starting to cook them!

The most challenging moment of your culinary career so far has been…

The financial pressure that comes with having your own restaurant without business partners

Three ingredients you’d take to a desert island? Why?

Mangoes, ginger beer and cured meats…. I could live a lifetime on those things whilst stranded!

Name one ingredient people don’t use enough of?

Salt, most people are scared to season to the point of no return!

One thing you really hate about cooking/running a restaurant?

The paperwork!

Who’d be around your ideal dinner table?

James Hetfield from ‪Metallica, ‪Dave Grohl from Nirvana, Alain Ducasse, Donald Bradman, Steve Waugh, Marilyn Monroe and Ayrton Senna.

 

ERIC RATY, HONG KONG

Chef Eric Raty

What are you doing at TOAD?

I’m looking forward to collaborate with the chefs around the world and have fun and exchange ideas! I am going to bring with me my version of XO sauce, based on the Hong Kong dried seafood tradition. I will match the Diver scallops with Amalfi lemons and the unique flavour of the XO sauce.

What are you most passionate about cooking?

Exploring new ideas, meanwhile to also learn different culinary traditions… and most importantly, to balance the dish based on these inspirations.

Describe your culinary style in three words.

Passionate, adventurous, elaborate.

Your role model in the kitchen is ...

Chef Gray Kunz, as well as my mentors, Chef Hans Välimäki and Chef Sven Elverfeld.

How did you become a chef? And when?

I was interested in food already in my early age. My culinary journey started as a young dishwasher in a Michelin-star restaurant. Since then I have been learning, learning and kept learning…

The one thing you learned from a cookbook?

Recipes are just recipes, the most crucial thing as a chef is to practice with understanding…

Your biggest culinary inspiration?

Hong Kong for sure! There are always new, top-quality foods, chefs and restaurants to discover. Not to mention the endless passion of Hong Kong foodies!

Three ingredients you’d take to a desert island?

Butter, bread and chocolate!

Name one ingredient people don’t use enough of? Why do you say that?

The lesser known parts of meat and vegetables, such as turnip leaves, sweet potatoes leaves and chicken skin, chicken heart and, etc. The crucial thing is that we have to understand why we are using those mentioned ingredients, they can be an amazing combination with one another… of course that would contribute to less wastage on our resources!

Who’d be around your ideal dinner table?

My whole family! Since a chef’s life require[s] long working hours, to be able to sit together with my family is the most ideal thing in the world to me!

 

NATHAN SASI, SYDNEY

Nathan Sasi 5

Have you been to Abu Dhabi before?

First time but I’m really looking forward to trying the local cuisine and sampling the local ingredients.

What are you doing at TOAD?

I’m cooking a signature dish from the restaurant which is brik pastry filled with wild greens. We make the pastry by hand and I think people will be really excited to see how it’s made from scratch.


What are you most passionate about when cooking?

We pride ourselves at the restaurant for making as many things as we can from scratch. Old school techniques like cheese making, whole animal butchery and charcuterie are things I’m most passionate about.


Describe your culinary style?

Old-school cooking 


Your role model in the kitchen is ...

Fergus Henderson


How did you become a chef? And when?

My father was a butcher so working with food has always been in the family. I started in 1999.


Your finest moment as a chef so far?

Cooking for Bill Clinton 


The most challenging moment of your culinary career so far has been ...

Opening an ice cream shop with my wife. I knew nothing about ice cream prior to that but the challenge of teaching myself the science of ice cream was a great challenge.

Name one ingredient people don’t use enough of?

Lard. Because it has endless possibilities 


One thing you really hate about running a restaurant?

Not getting to spend enough time with my son.

 

GREGORY MARCHAND, PARIS

Gregory Marchand

What are you looking forward to in Abu Dhabi?

I’ve never never been and am really excited to discover especially the brand new Louvre museum and the desert.

Describe your culinary style.

Sophisticated simplicity.

How did you become a chef? And when?

I started cooking school at 16 and graduated at 20 then I followed my knife case around the world before settling in Paris.

The one thing you learned from a cookbook?

It is very time consuming to write one.

The most challenging moment of your culinary career so far has been…

Going from one restaurant to two and therefore having to rely, trust and delegate.

Three ingredients you’d take to a desert island?

A lemon because I can’t cook without it — olive oil and salt for the same reason

Name one ingredient people don’t use enough of?

More than an ingredient, I would say bitterness

 

 

Don’t miss it

Taste of Abu Dhabi runs until November 11. Tickets, starting at Dh65, are available online at TasteofAbuDhabi.com.

 

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