While I am inspired by the art and science of Heston’s The Fat Duck Cookbook, the dishes I prepare emerge from the belief that we can all create dishes that are a little different, healthy, and most importantly, delectable.
A few years back, the Surprise Menu at the Petit Lyon restaurant in Wellington, New Zealand was a turning point in New Zealand cuisine, and a revelation to me personally. Kent Baddeley and Ian Garner created such an intense culinary experience, not just the exquisite food, but the whole experience – the environment, the service, and the matching wines.
A cooking course at Pierre’s, another Wellington institution at the time, reinforced my culinary ambitions.
While my creative focus was drawn in other directions for a while, the seed was planted, and that culinary foundation inspired a developing passion for food and wine. Living in South East Asia for the last few years not only added an additional dimension to the dishes I prepare, but also inspired me to share this passion.
Great food though is much more than what you or I like to eat. At least as important are the opportunities for discourse and camaraderie enabled by sharing our food creations. An appropriately selected glass of wine adds another dimension I am particularly fond of!
Finally, I encourage you to experiment. It is all part of the fun and learning.
Steve Paris, a New Zealander living in Saigon, Vietnam.