The thing that inspires me so much about Asian food is the versatility and opportunity for fusion. Asia is a huge continent made up of Countries that utilise their own specific blends of aromatics, herbs, spices and fresh produce to create a signature set of dishes that the area becomes known for. This reflects my own approach to cooking as a Chef. I love to use natural flavours like aromatics and spices to give my dishes the best impact.
My favourite dishes all come from different areas of Asia; Thai curry, Pho, Kimchi, penang mee goreng, (and so much more) a lot of these I’ve tried as takeaways or in restaurants. Being a chef if I eat something I really love in a restaurant, it becomes my mission to recreate that dish at home.
The only way you can recreate the flavour of a dish without knowing the ingredients, is if you understand the flavours and ingredients used in that cuisine. I put more effort into studying different cuisines of Asia than I put into the whole 3 years of my degree. I’ve never had the opportunity to travel to Asia, but I don’t need to because I can read about it, I read about the most authentic dishes, the staple ingredients, how the climate affects what’s available, the history the culture, all to understand the food culture and the flavours.
One of my favourite things to do is browse Asian supermarkets to gain inspiration, I love discovering new spices, vegetables, herbs and aromatics and playing around with recipes to see what works and what doesn’t work. I always try to incorporate spices into brownies to see if they work ( five spice definitely does not work in brownies)
Really I find inspiration everywhere, when I see any item of food I think about how I could make that better with Asian ingredients.