London-born chef Dan Pearson focuses most of his time on is pop-up restaurant Egg & Spoon. These one-off dining events held in a variety of locations are really exciting, not only because you never know when and where the next one will be (we recommend you sign up on www.eggandspoonrestaurant.com to keep informed) but because the food excites all who attend. Through Dan’s monthly column in NZ Herald’s Bite, we are lucky to be able to share and enjoy Dan’s flare for food on a more regular basis.
We asked Dan a few questions
What’s your earliest food memory?
A classic Sunday family roast dinner - the sense of occasion that accompanied a roast pork shoulder, crackling, apple sauce, sage and onion stuffing, roast carrots, parsnips and gravy. Delicious.
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
Reading cookbooks, perusing endless restaurants in the internet, past kitchen experiences, local markets, fresh produce, and working alongside fellow enthusiasts.
Who is your cooking idol?
Michel Bras without a doubt. He has influenced a generation of chefs and will continue to inspire many more.
What is your greatest cooking achievement to date?
Cooking for Pierre Gagnaire when I worked Foliage at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel. He is a living legend and I am forever a fanboy.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
A modern interpretation of classical flavour combinations.
How did you start cooking?
In a burger van with my mum in the industrial estates of Northampton, England. I followed in her footsteps into the industry and worked my way through the ranks from there.
What’s your favourite meal?
A full English breakfast with grated cheese all over, mopped up with fried bread and washed down with a mug of coffee.
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?
Many moons ago I was at work following a rather large night out. I thought it would be a good idea to hide under the waiter's station in the restaurant to recuperate for a little while, but I fell asleep. I woke with a start to find I had slept through an entire service where 100-plus customers had been through for lunch, unaware of my presence under the tablecloth. Not my finest moment.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
That's a tough question with so many new openings and so many old institutions. At the moment I would say Bubbledogs & in London - boutique champagne paired with elaborate hotdogs is a no-brainier to me - closely followed by Brooklyn Fare in New York, a 3 star restaurant within a grocery store!
What are your kitchen must haves?
A great team environment, a good set of knives, a good amount of coffee and a whole lot of love.
Why do you love cooking?
It's an infinite world of possibility. You'll never know all there is to know about food and it is the want for knowledge that keeps it interesting.
Who is your dream dinner guest?
My missus as I don't get to cook for her the way I get to cook for other people.