Sim­ple food the best recipe – chef

MasterChef 2012 win­ner and food writer Chelsea Win­ter will share her kitchen se­crets with food­ies at The Food Show this week­end. The Pt Che­va­lier chef talks with reporter Jess Lee about the art of cook­ing a good steak and not be­ing afraid of a bit of butt

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Where is your favourite place to get cof­fee in cen­tral Auck­land?

Good One in Pon­sonby. It’s a cool lit­tle place – they’re in­cred­i­bly pas­sion­ate about cof­fee and it re­ally packs a punch. It’s nice to go there and im­merse your­self in cof­fee cul­ture.

Where in cen­tral Auck­land would you go for a ca­sual meal?

The Blue Breeze Inn. Their pork belly steamed buns are amaz­ing. They have re­ally good ser­vice and tasty food.

Where would you go if you fancy some­thing a bit more high­end, or for a cel­e­bra­tion?

SPQR or De­pot. Al­ways great food.

Is there a dish you’ve eaten re­cently that you wish you could have the recipe for?

We’ve just got back from Italy and the ho­tel in Florence had the most in­cred­i­ble break­fast buf­fet I have ever seen. I ran out of time to ask for the recipe for their dark choco­late torte but I’m go­ing to try mak­ing it in the next cou­ple of days.

I’m not op­posed to ask­ing chefs for their recipes – some are quite happy to do it.

What do you like about the food cul­ture in Auck­land?

We’re spoilt for choice in Auck­land for a start. The stan­dard is so high and there’s such a huge va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent food types and cul­tures. That’s some­thing you no­tice es­pe­cially when trav­el­ling over­seas.

What’s the most im­por­tant les­son for begin­ner cooks?

Start with what you know and with in­gre­di­ents you are com­fort­able us­ing. Don’t try to make re­ally fancy, fine dining food straight out of the box. Just make good, sim­ple food.

Tak­ing it back to ba­sics – hav­ing a re­ally sharp knife is so im­por­tant, even if you just in­vest in one re­ally good one. The im­por­tance of sea­son­ing and hav­ing a nice bal­ance of salt – I’m pretty sure we all know that now though. And not be­ing scared of a lit­tle bit of but­ter in cook­ing.

What do you think the next big food trend will be?

I’ve never fol­lowed trends. I cook what I like and know and what I know other peo­ple will like. I’m al­ways open to try­ing new in­gre­di­ents but I would never change my style of cook­ing to suit a trend.

What’s your win­ter dish?

My chicken pie or lamb shank are both re­ally pop­u­lar.

What’s your se­cret to cook­ing a good steak? Are there any clas­sic mis­takes that peo­ple make?

Be­fore you even start, make sure you buy New Zealand steak – some of the best beef in the world comes from New Zealand. Bring the steak to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore you start cook­ing it. A com­mon mis­take peo­ple make is not hav­ing the pan hot enough be­fore it goes in so it doesn’t heat evenly.

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Photo: ROSS GI­B­LIN

Hon­est cook­ing: Chelsea Win­ter will host free cook­ing demon­stra­tions to­mor­row and on Sun­day at The Food Show.

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