Q&A with our winner Grainne Mullins. @grainnemullins.

We are here to introduce a very talented pastry chef who has won our first ever ChefsEye Battle Chef competition. Grainne Mullins has been a pastry chef for over 8 years now working at a very beautiful hotel in a small coastal village in Ireland, Ardmore called The Cliff House Hotel.

It’s clear to see how talented she is with her stunning creations and determination to learn new things, not only just in the kitchen but in life aswel.

The Cliff House Hotel is a five-star boutique hotel and spa perched on top of a cliff overlooking the stunning views over Ardmore Bay, With a Michelin star restaurant and bar on site this is a place you must visit. (@cliffhousehotel)

 

We did catch up with Grainne and had the pleasure in asking her some questions. 

ChefsEye: Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?

Grainne: No. It was a path that I just fell into. After a work experience in Transition Year I was offered a part-time position and I kept that up until I left school. I realised that making everything fresh and from fresh ingredients was s something that I enjoyed doing. Then my part time job became a full-time job and here I am today.

ChefsEye: What is your favourite style of cuisine to cook?

Grainne: I love to cook any style of cuisine. I get most enjoyment out of mixing both classical and modern cooking styles.

ChefsEye: What is you greatest achievement?

Grainne: My greatest achievement is really getting to where I am today. I have had fantastic opportunities and I have worked hard to get to the level I am at now. Having been featured in the French professional cooking magazine, Thuries, and accomplishing the French language are 2 things that I am glad that I have achieved.

ChefsEye: Who is your favourite chef?

Grainne: I wouldn’t say I have a favourite chef. There are so many I look up to and admire.

ChefsEye: What are your strengths?

Grainne: I am quite patient and willing to learn. This skills are necessary in a kitchen environment as I have a team to inspire and teach and I must be able to do it in a manner that they can remember and appreciate why I ask them to do it in a certain way. I also know that I do not know everything so I am open to new ideas and I am constantly on the look out for new techniques to try out.

ChefsEye: What trends are you noticing in food?

Grainne: Trends come and go. Styles of cooking and ways of plating change so much over time. Sometimes we haven’t even noticed a trends before it has changed again but I see a lot of fruit shaped desserts similar to Cedric Grolet.

ChefsEye: What was your worst kitchen disaster?

Grainne: I can’t think of one in particular but mistakes happen. We aim for perfection in our career but we cannot be all perfect all of the time. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and adapt. I wouldn’t be where I am today without being able to over come mistakes that have happened.

ChefsEye: Who is your biggest inspiration?

Grainne: My parents. They are both fantastic home cooks who use fresh and good quality ingredients. I was brought up to respect and appreciate food and this has definitely always inspired me to respect a foods natural taste we are here to enhance not to cover up.

ChefsEye: What is your favourite dinning experience have you had?

Grainne: I enjoy eating out and do it at any spare moment. I had an amazing meal last summer in La Villa Madie which was unforgettable, but I also enjoy eating in smaller restaurants such as Kai in Galway or Miyazaki in Cork.

ChefsEye: What do you love most about your job?

Grainne: I love the creative side. As chefs we get an opportunity to be artists with everything we put on our plates. I also love the satisfaction of pleasing guests. It’s not always easy but when I received a compliment it makes it all worth while.

ChefsEye: What do you think of social media?

Grainne: I think it’s a great tool for chefs to showcase their work and also to interact with other chefs and get inspiration.

ChefsEye: Do you have any advice to any young chefs who are reading this?

Grainne: Keep pushing yourself. This industry is not an easy one but if you stay positive and keep pushing forward it gets easier. We all have tough days and we all make mistakes we just have to know how to dust ourselves off and come back fighting.

We can not thank you enough for your amazing answers and a small insight to who you are. We look forward to see what the future holds for you and we will be watching.

If you want to follow Grainne on Instagram, head over to @grainnemullins.

Also why not check us out on Instagram @chefs_eye and @chef_jason_shaw.

 

 

Help ChefsEye with our Kickstarter.

Hi,

We have been trying our hardest to promote and help our chefs and restaurants on social media.

Help them grow and more in the public eye.

Not sure if you aware of our kickstarter we have just launched.

We are trying to raise £50,000 in 60 days to set up a food truck in where we shall do food shows from, we want the best equipment for our chefs in side the truck.

If we don’t raise the £50k NO money is taken from any of our backers/donations.

The idea is for the chefs to create a dish or a few recipes to showcase on social media to our ever-growing followers.

If it’s a case of us traveling to you or you traveling to us.

We would appreciate any donation no matter how big or small and if you feel like you don’t want to back the idea with a few spare pounds then we would love you to share it for us.

Help us Help you!

You can go to our Instagram Page @chefs_eye and click the link in our bio or click the link below.

Thank you in advance.

ChefsEye

#ChefsEyeChefsTable winner Luca Rosati @Luca.rosati

We at ChefsEye had great pleasure speaking to the winner of our March competition Luca Rosati who is currently a private chef in Tuscany, Italy.

We all love Luca’s passion for food. His self-confidence and flamboyance is inspiring many chefs all over the world, Lucas philosophy reminds us of the great man himself Massimo Bottura.

Not only is Luca a great chef he is also a professional sommelier with a great eye for a bottle of wine.

We asked Luca some questions.

ChefsEye: Why do you enjoy being a chef?

Luca: I’d like to know my cuisine and my skill to my customers. My cuisine sometimes is simple and sometimes complex. I love to mix flavours.

ChefsEye: Give one piece of good advice?

Luca: Be curious, curiosity leads to great things.

ChefsEye: Where do you work?

Luca: I’m working like a private chef, doing cooking classes in San Gimignano, Tuscany in Italy.

ChefsEye: Who is the best chef alive in your eyes?

Luca: The best chef alive is Daniel Humm and Massimo Bottura.

ChefsEye: Who inspires you?

Luca: My Grandmas inspire me.

ChefsEye: Whats your favourite dinning experience?

Luca: Its not simple, A little restaurant on the sea close to my house. Its not famous but i find the food to always be very good.

ChefsEye: Whats the worst attribute a chef can have in a kitchen?

Luca: Maybe being stupid or you can not do anything.

ChefsEye: How long do you see yourself being a chef for?

Luca: I don’t know, till my fantasy and curiosity stops.

ChefsEye: What do you inspire to be?

Luca: Just myself and telling my cuisine through my dishes.

Make sure to follow Luca on Instagram at @luca.rosati.

Also follow my personal account @chef_jason_shaw and @chefs_eye, @ce_plus and @ce_sweettooth for much more.

Bohns! The Best Burgers and Spiced Rubs in the East Midlands.

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Once Again the team at @Chefs_eye have been very lucky, not only did we get to try the burgers they also let us taste the homemade rubs they make and sell online at http://www.bohnsrubs.co.uk for a ridiculously low price 65g for £3.25 and 125g for £4.45. So the more grams you buy the more flavour you can use, think about that when you are enhancing your chicken breasts or massaging that pig.

As you can see the spiced rubs come with not only an incredible flavour and packaging  but also a quirky name that you will always remember and even make your GranDad laugh at the same time.

When we spoke to Tom and Jeff it was made very clear how passionate these guys are, about “rubbing their meats” with the Bohns spices, on the website you will find recipes and videos on exactly how to use the Bohns products.

The burgers on the other hand are something else, something you read about, something you hear about but never really get to try that burger of your dreams. Bohns burgers are something you will never forget, and yes for all the right reason. The flavour made you want to have another bite, the appearance made you want to stare and take a picture, the juices made you want to lick your fingers and go again and then you wash this all down with a side of spiced fries. We loved it.

You can find Bohns Burgers at the Post House venue, Victoria street, Derby, England, DE1 1EQ.

ChefsEye really thinks everyone should support there locals a lot more. You can go to FiveGuys, Burger King, Byron etc and sure you will probably eat but that’s about it. Where as places like Bohns Burgers who make their burgers fresh every day, cook the burgers to order and serve with the freshest ingredients that will ensure you a better dining experience. Many of these big chains have all forgotten the passion behind every burger, every flip counts.

Make sure to visit Bohns on Instagram @bohnsfinest, also joins us @chefs-eye, @ce_plus and @ce_sweettooth for much more.

http://www.bohnsrubs.co.uk.

 

 

ChefsEye eating out at Numan Restaurant in Kaunas, Lithuania.

ChefsEye has heard many great things about Numan Restaurant in Kaunas, Lithuania so we decided to book a long weekend away.

When we arrived on a busy Friday night at Numan Restaurant we were very excited and intrigued to see what they can do. As soon as we opened the door we were greeted with big warming smiles from all the waitresses and a very modern interior inside, simple but unique.

You can choose between a 3 course, 6 course and a 10 course tasting menu. We all went for the 6 course tasting menu in which one of our guest was a vegetarian, when we sat down we reminded our waitress that we had a vegetarian and we also stated it when we did the online booking, She told us that the 6 course tasting menu is mainly fish and vegetables. But bizarrely you have no idea what you are going to eat on the night because there is no menu presented till you leave. This caused us a lot of confusion and our vegetarian guest kept getting a fish dish after fish dish, she did her best eating what she could and then gave the fish away. She doesn’t like the taste of fish and that’s why she said she is a Vegetarian and the only meat dish was substituted for a fish dish. So do they know what a vegetarian is? Whilst we waited an average 30mins for every course of food to come out we grew very impatient.

We started of with a crispy potato string ball, dill mayo and cisco roe and vinegar & koji powder, this was very nice and light and a good start to the evening.

Second course we received was a beetroot dish which was dehydrated and then rehydrate again clever idea but a pointless dish it was supposed to be smoked and the burning of pine on the table was pointless as the beetroot was no bigger than an inch was gone in seconds.

The bread was cooked in a modern way, light like a microwave sponge but lacked so much flavour, I cant even remember what the taste was suppose to be. It was accompanied with a burnt butter mixed with kefir and scallop roe powder on top again this wasn’t to nice, Very sweet and grainy.

The oyster was a nice dish, full of flavour and fresh with a pear ponzu and pickled dill.

Cured scallop was a beautiful looking dish, great technique with a fresh compressed cucumber and an elderflower & grilled cucumber vinegar, the cucumber vinegar was the star ingredient, we could not taste elderflower anywhere and the scallops was blitz till smooth and manipulate to set like a jelly to form long strips. Why do this to a sweet beautiful scallop it didn’t enhanced any flavour what so ever.

Squid dish was amazing, tarragon was there, fermented cabbage was beautiful, and the mussle foam was lovely, the couple of pieces of seeweed is not needed. This dish split opinions but we all agreed that the squid was treated with respect and cooked perfectly.

The beef entrecote was a great dish. Loved the blueberry leather and the beetroot, black garlic teriyaki sauce was nice.

The dessert was the best dish of the night!!! Even though you could not taste the plum seed cream, the white chocolate & yoghurt “ganache” was more like a frozen parfait than a melt in the mouth ganache it was very tasty and fresh worked perfectly with the pickled cucumber. Good job the waitress asked if we enjoyed our last dish and only then we knew we had finished the meal.

So all in all it took 5 of us 4 and half hours to eat 6courses, average 30min wait for every dish, vegetarian had fish dishes all night but the bread. Even the butter came with scallop powder. The chef kept coming out to one of the tables (special guest maybe) all night, we like to see the chef now and then but when your busy and every table is waiting for food to come out at least respect your other guests and lead your brigade in the kitchen.

Unfortunately we will not recommend Numan Restaurant to anybody and sadly it maybe the worst experience ChefsEye has ever had.

Food 3/5

Service 3/5

Atmosphere 2/5

Price 2/5

You can follow Numan Restaurant on instagram @numan.restaurant.

#ChefsEyeChefsTable winner Jason Brown @chefjasonbrown

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We at ChefsEye had the great pleasure to catch up with the winner of our competition for September Jason Brown who currently is the Executive pastry chef at Nel Restaurant in Surry Hills in Sydney.

Everyone at ChefsEye agree that Jason Brown is definitely a chef to watch, with his flair, panache and attention to detail he has a great future ahead of him.

Nel Restaurant currently do 1 sitting Tuesday-Thursday with a maximum 44 guest and Friday and Saturday with 2 sittings with a maximum 91 guest. Jason did say it all depends on the table layout which means it could be slightly less or slightly more seats available on the day. For no disappointment make sure to book in advance as seats do sell very quickly.

We did ask Jason some questions.

ChefsEye: What do you inspire to be?

Jason: I inspire to hopefully have my own restaurant, dessert restaurant and be recognized for what I do and serve. Not through tv or anything like that but through industry and clientele respect.

ChefsEye: What’s the worst attribute to have in a kitchen?

Jason: Worst attribute in the kitchen is to be a robot. Too many chefs I have come across are great at doing the job but cant think outside the box.

ChefsEye: Who inspires you?

Jason: Inspiration comes from many people and places, in the industry I love what Francisco Migoya is doing at Modernist Cuisine but I also find inspiration through everything in life that surrounds you on a daily basis.

ChefsEye: Why do you, enjoy being a chef?

Jason: I enjoy being a chef because of the satisfaction and passion that comes with the industry. You are constantly learning every day not just from people you work with but your surroundings. Its a very rewarding industry.

ChefsEye: Who is the best chef (alive) in your eyes?

Jason: Best chef alive would be a hard one as those that have changed the world such as Ferran & Albert Adria and also Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz, Rene Redzepi, but again each one has there strong points and have changed the direction for the better in certain ways. Pastry is still Francisco Migoya for the knowledge that he is impairing through Modernist Cuisine.

ChefsEye: Whats your favourite dinning experience?

Jason: Favourite dinning experience…..I’ve dined at many and to be honest each one of the top 3 has been good for each style. The Fat Duck in Melbourne was incredible, service, technical ability and story telling. Noma in Sydney was amazing for the produce and service. Sepia in Sydney was where my favourite dishes come from still.

ChefsEye: Give one piece off good advice?

Jason: Good advice would be to always question, never be satisfied with anything as there is always better and this gives you the drive to improve and learn.

Make sure to follow Jason Brown on Instagram @chefjasonbrown and Nel Restaurant @nelrestaurant.

Join us @chefs_eye & @ce_plus and @ce_sweettooth for chefs, restaurants and much more.

ChefsEye eating out at Genki in Oslo.

(on the right) Chicken taco, smoked eel, onion and kale.  Tempura halibut, cauliflower and wakame (on the left)
Cucumber, beets and chilli and miso haddock soup with oxtongue.
Apple sorbet yuzu and chocolate cherry mousse.

We have heard a lot of great things about the new restaurant Genki in Oslo city centre. For only being a couple of months old we were very surprised to see how popular the restaurant is, Genki is a Japanese inspired restaurant with a very modern interior .

Genki offers a weekly 3 course menu, a Maki menu and also a tasting menu of 14 courses for an incredible price 825,- Nok (£82.50 approx) for being in Norway this is considered cheap.

We started of with a glass of yuzu sake and a plum sake which were enjoyable and awoke our taste buds. Then we chose to have the 14-course tasting menu and a bottle of Riesling.

To start with had an appetizer of Rice crisps with pepper and a lemon mayo, which were pleasant and easy to eat followed by maybe the star dish of the night textures of mushroom, great techniques and taste it was creamy, pickled fried and dried perfect combinations. The tuna tartar and wild halibut came next both dishes were very nice possibly the best halibut ceviche we have tried unfortunately we could not taste the miso in the dish but we didn’t mind, the tuna tartar was carefully constructed with fresh shisho and roe. The next course was the chicken taco with smoked eel onion and kale, its a spicy dish full of flavour but i thought it was the least favourite dish of the night, smoked eel is something i personally dislike but im always willing to try it. The tempura halibut with cauliflower and wakame was very nice, light crispy and the seaweed was really good.

The next dish that stood out was the dessert, the apple sorbet was outstanding, as was the chocolate mousse, the yuzu cream cut through the dish perfectly however the cherry flavour was lost.

We both would recommend Genki to anyone who is looking for culinary experience with a innovative twist, good price, good food and a wonderful evening.

 

Food 5/5

Service 5/5

Atmosphere 4/5

Price 5/5