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We caught up with our incredibly talented Head Chef, Nik Biok to find out a little more about our Australian chef extraordinaire and how he has fed his love of food over the years…
How did you get into cooking?
When I was younger it got me out of doing the washing up. It was a rule in my house, if you cooked then you didn’t have to wash up, so I would always help to cook and my sister would have to wash up! Easily the better option! I have also worked in restaurants since I was 12 years old so I picked up little tips and tricks from each one.
What’s your favourite dish on the menu right now?
All of them of course! But if I had to pick one, I would definitely have to say my Grandmothers Hungarian veal escalope due to the nostalgic element which is really what all dishes should be based on.
Image: Veal escalope with parmesan, mustard & herb breadcrumb, pancetta, pea & tarragon potatoes
Any tips for amateur cooks?
Be prepared to fail, practice makes perfect. And write your own recipes.
What’s in your fridge at home?
Relishes, chutneys and oils from all over the world. So at the moment I have a fermented black bean from Hong Kong and I have a Bulgarian artichoke puree. That’s what I do when I travel, I collect exotic ingredients so I can build my own personal pantry.
Do you have a favourite cook book?
Yes, it’s the very classic French cook book that you train under and I did a traditional 4 year French apprenticeship. It’s called La Repertoire de la Cuisine and it is the cornerstone of all classic cookery. It’s smaller than an Agatha Christie novel and it is all written in abbreviations so it’s a real condensed cook book, one recipe could be 3 lines – it could be “sautee livers, flambee with brandy, add jus, reduce nappe with butter and serve on brioche”. It’s all very condensed and a very good cook book.
What is your idea of food heaven?
Eating with those who you love.
What a beautiful sentiment to finish on!
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