This month we’re dining with chef Andrew Giles in Tweedie.
Andrea Abbott sits down with Andrew to chat about New Zealand cuisine, margarine and a winning milk tart.
1. What would we NOT find in your fridge?
Margarine. I believe in natural products. The less processed a product the better. Butter is better. From the flavour to the way it behaves – there is no comparison with margarine.
2. What are some of your favourite ingredients?
Whatever is freshest on the day and that I can get from my own garden.
You also might like: DIY Critter-proof Veggie Garden
3. Where do you draw inspiration?
The food culture in New Zealand is incredible. It’s influenced by the Pacific Islands and Asia. I picked up lots of baking tips in New Zealand too. Chefs who inspire me are Sarah Conway who owns the Ponsonby Road Bistro in Auckland, British chef, writer and broadcaster Diana Henry and Yotam Ottolenghi.
4. If not a chef with your own restaurant, then what career path would you have taken?
When I was 12 years old, I told my mom I would be a chef. From an early age I was involved in the kitchen. I have memories of my mother foraging for mushrooms and picking veggies from our garden. It was the norm to grow our own food. But if not a chef, then perhaps a singer – I love opera – or an architect. I’ve always had an interest in flow and form and bringing that together. Lastly, I might have been a teacher.
5. Have you ever made a dish that, on the surface was a flop, but turned into a success?
I had a commission for a milk tart and made it after a late function one night. I accidentally trebled the butter quantity in the custard. But people raved about it and couldn’t get enough. I had enough repeat orders to pay for my first year at varsity.
Speaking of milk tart. Here are three milk tart recipes for you to try.
6. Message to would-be chefs?
Stick to your guns. Strength to your elbow. Don’t cut corners. Don’t be afraid of hard work and never stop learning.
7. Favourite dish?
What’s my mood? But broadly speaking, a family favourite is polpettini (tiny meatballs) on homemade pasta.
8. Most essential equipment in your kitchen?
Time and a good quality, sharp knife. My knife has travelled with me to three continents.
You also might like: 10 Country Kitchen Must-haves
9. Your view on reality TV chef competitions?
I love Master Chef Australia. It’s done a lot for the food industry and for the conversation about food. Another show I enjoy is Street Food on Netflix. It shows huge passion for food.
10. Aside from your own, which is your favourite restaurant?
I have two. Sarah Conway’s Ponsonby Road Bistro in Auckland and Yottam Ottolenghi’s Nopi in Soho London.
Learn How to Make a Budget-friendly Pesto
Open daily from 8:30am to 4pm. Book for monthly themed evenings.
+27 (0) 66 254 8112