How do you go about putting your menu together?
Mainly playing around with ingredients that complement our Pan American style, using old style recipe techniques and trying to put a contemporary spin on them. We also get inspiration from similar-styled restaurants, publications and do research on the internet - then we go back to the kitchen and bring all our ideas to life.
Where do you source your produce and how?
There’s an abundance of Spanish/Latin wholesalers due to the popularity of these particular cuisines. We use Nomad Foods for our Chorizo, morcilla, salt cod, Fuet anis (salami) etc and AOAP supply most of our Cheese's. We also Village Grocer & Fourth Village providore which are well respected local deli/grocers to source hard to find ingredients for us.
What are the key Food trends you’re most excited about this year?
I think the "dude food/american comfort food" was a big thing last year and will continue into 2012, along with the Pan American craze...I believe the biggest factor for this is the simplicity of good honest food that the everyday person can relate to whether this is down to childhood memories or easy to recreate at home.
If you had just three ingredients to cook with, what would they be?
Habaneros, allspice, thyme.
Where did you learn your culinary skills?
Through years of working alongside passionate chefs, dining out and getting inspired by other methods/techniques.
From where/whom do you gain inspiration?
Our Pan American cuisine has made me thoroughly research the category and has introduced me to a food author by the name of Francis Mallmann an Argentinian chef who makes simple ingredients look & sound amazing. In fact, in recreating a few of his recipes, I can testify they taste great too!
What’s your idea of an incredible meal?
Good ambience, simple but big flavours, friends and family.
What’s your favourite dish to cook and why?
Curry goat...I love the intensity of flavour & the aromatics of Scotch bonnet/habanero, allspice & curry powder.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu and why?
Chargrilled aged rib eye on the bone, with Chimichurri - perfect for any occasion.
Are you into food + wine pairing? Do you think it makes a difference?
I don’t think it’s an exacting science, but there’s a few obvious golden rules to guide you.
Who would you most love to cook for?
Jeff Campbell & Owen Stuart - (asia de cuba London) two great chefs who’ve inspired me. Then the late, great Bob Marley!
Can you share three top tips for home cooks?
Use the freshest ingredients possible and don't be afraid to experiment, recipes are guides! Simple seasoning can often give your food a lift too.
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