A chat with... GARETH STEWART
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.