A chat with... GARETH STE­WART

Food - - Food news -

The ex­ec­u­tive chef and for­mer My Kitchen Rules judge will be at this year’s ‘Taste of Auck­land in part­ner­ship with Elec­trolux’. He shares some tricks of the trade...

Q What is your favourite dish to cook?

At home I love to cook curry, and with my Ja­maican her­itage food made with heart and soul is im­por­tant to me. At work I love to cook any­thing that is fresh and beau­ti­ful. I love it when we get de­liv­er­ies di­rect from the farm or when the fish comes in and it is vi­brant and full of flavour. You ac­tu­ally need to do very lit­tle to the prod­uct.

Q What do you think is the most un­der­rated food?

There are plenty of fish va­ri­eties that un­for­tu­nately peo­ple do not use enough of and which are un­der­rated. The likes of trevally, mack­erel and piper are stun­ning fish and should be used more as they are also more sus­tain­able.

Q What’s your favourite food memory?

Be­ing in An­tibes in the South of France with just enough money to buy saucis­son, beau­ti­ful French pas­tries and a bot­tle of plonk. Then sit­ting by the sea and shar­ing it with friends. We hadn’t eaten all day so it was well re­ceived.

Q What are your best on-a-bud­get cook­ing tips?

Buy all your dry in­gre­di­ents in bulk. Buy cheap cuts of meat and cook low and slow. Buy dried beans and pulses and braise them too. Lentils are high in pro­tein and you can do any­thing with them. My mother was veg­e­tar­ian when I was grow­ing up so we had a lot of lentil bolog­nese, lentil loaf and big pots of veg­etable and red lentil stew with dumplings. Hearty food that sticks to your stom­ach.

Q What’s al­ways in your fridge?

Apart from a bot­tle of wine, heaps of veg­eta­bles and pack­ets of cheese. I have a cheese weak­ness.

Q What are your plans for Taste of Auck­land in part­ner­ship with Elec­trolux?

We are very much look­ing for­ward to show­cas­ing Euro, The Culpeper and Fish restau­rant. This will be my first time so I am pumped.

It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to go and try out restau­rants they wouldn’t usu­ally try.

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