Sunday March 17, 2013
By Ann Marie Chandy
Whoís better in the kitchen? A man or woman?
A majority of employees these days are women. Iíve noticed this doing demos around the world. I think women make better workers Ė they are definitely good workers, they are very clinical, very organised. But I think the man makes a better head chef. I am not saying a woman canít be head chef, but Iíve noticed the guys are a bit stronger in the kitchen. In terms of creativity, it is something very personal. I donít think creativity is gender-related. Itís just somebody whoís grown up with an open mind and sees things differently.
What are your must-have tools in the kitchen?
(Without hesitation) Thermometer. Yeah, definitely. Also a good oven is key; one that cooks evenly, it doesnít have to be top of the range. Silicon mats are good, too ... and a whisk? OK, a bench top mixer.
Is baking an art or science?
Itís both. Definitely it is a science in the way things come together. The way things are made, temperature-wise. Product-wise, you know the ingredients, add this, it works, add this it doesnít work at this temperature, et cetera. But then the finished products that you see, theyíre really works of art.
Whatís your favourite recipe book?
My Larousse desserts book, itís pretty trashed. Itís seen many days in my kitchen. Thereís a chapter on sponges, a chapter on mousses, ice cream; all pretty basic but I can use them to create my own cakes. You know, take the pistachios out and use hazelnuts instead, things like that. It gives me the base sort of structure and then I develop it in my own way.
Are you a good cook?
I learnt a little Italian cooking (the savoury stuff) from my mum. I am OK. I can make my way. I wouldnít cook in a restaurant or anything, but at-home dinners and stuff, yeah.
Life is sweet