Aspiring young chef’s dessert comes to life
An aspiring young Auckland chef fulfilled one of her dreams after a dessert she created came to life with celebrity New Zealand chef Peter Gordon.
Every year, on the first day of school, Isabella Holley, 9, draws a picture of what she wants to become when she grows up.
She’s wanted to be an air hostess, fairy princess, waitress and an actor but this year, she wanted to be a pastry chef and own a fine dining restaurant at Sky City.
She even came up with her very own dessert which was inspired by a holiday in Samoa.
It was posted to social media by her dad John and it quickly drew the attention of Sky City which arranged for Isabella to meet with Peter Gordon.
Referred to as the ‘godfather of fusion cuisine’, Gordon owns several restaurants around the world, including The Sugar Club at Auckland’s Sky Tower.
He and his pastry chef Elenoa Saumi helped Isabella make her tropical dessert at the Sky Tower restaurant last Tuesday.
Isabella’s dessert was a passionfruit curd with lime and mango sorbet and thyme panna cotta.
She was excited when she found out she would be cooking with Gordon, whose recipes she loves.
‘‘It’s an opportunity not a lot of people get,’’ Isabella said.
‘‘I was so excited and it was a really amazing experience.’’
Isabella took the lead in the kitchen at The Sugar Club, but Gordon and Saumi were close by to offer advice and some help during the cookout.
Isabella mixed and added ingredients and learnt about the different equipments used to prepare desserts. She had the most fun plating two dishes, ready for sampling.
Mum Viki said Isabella was a huge help in the kitchen and she’s often coming up with new dishes for the family to try. Isabella’s favourite foods were salted caramel and garlic.
Isabella has taken her love for food to another level by giving all her pets food names.
Her five fishes are called Salmon, Anchovy, Sardine, Pasta and Pizza, and two cats called Couscous and Tapioca.
‘‘I just love food. Over the years I’ve watched mum cook and it looks fun, I knew that was what I wanted to do when I grew up,’’ Isabella said.
‘‘I love eating food and I like experimenting with different flavours.’’
Isabella was excited to cook in Peter Gordon’s kitchen at The Sugar Club with top female pastry chef Elenoa Saumi.