shiitake and stuff

shiitake seven: Eric Tan, Chophouse

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Baklava semifreddo at Chophouse

Baklava semifreddo at Chophouse

When I went to Chophouse this year, I was really impressed with its staff, food, produce and the overall experience. Recently I had a chat with its head chef Eric Tan, who had some interesting things to say about cheffing, My Kitchen Rules and where he likes to eat. Read my review of Chophouse on Concrete Playground here

What would you have as your last meal?

Freshly shucked oysters just out of the water from Pambula Lake, anything cooked by my wife (she always puts a lot of love into her food), and to finish Delice de Bourgogne, triple cream, white mould cheese.

What do you think about TV shows such as Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules? Would you ever hire someone from the show?

I think that it’s a great medium that educates and lets people know about products and methods in the industry that may otherwise be inaccessible. It’s also very entertaining as there is always drama between workmates and never a dull moment in the kitchen. It generates interest in the food industry and hopefully results in more people dining out and supporting local businesses.

I would definitely be open to hiring someone from either show. If they have the same level of commitment and dedication in the Chophouse kitchen that they portray on the show, that’s all any chef can ask for I think.

What do you love about cooking?

It’s one of the few activities that across all cultures and nationalities, brings about a sense of community and commonality. Everyone enjoys good food and through this people are brought together.

What don’t you like about the industry?

Chefs and industry people who think that they are more important than the guests that support them. It’s not common but when you see it it’s disappointing.

What is the dish you are most proud of creating?

I was always taught that you are only ever as good as the last dish that you plated. So at this stage it’s going to be the Petit Chicken with Sauce Cassoulet that is coming to Chophouse menu.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

This is a tough one! Temasek in Parramatta is perfect for a great cheap feed and awesome flavours. Momofuku Seibo is fun, quirky and left of centre which puts a smile on my face.

Who do you look up to, as a chef?

The chefs in my kitchen who often have to meet my unreasonable requests on standards and my unrelenting desire for knowledge on all things food. They persist day in day out and turn up to work every day with the same passion and dedication that keeps Chophouse going.

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One thought on “shiitake seven: Eric Tan, Chophouse

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Eric when I did a steak cooking course at The Chophouse a year or so ago. He was so lovely & patient but I was most impressed with how passionate he was about food and the industry. He really took out so much time to educate us all on food preparation & how to get the best results when cooking. A quiet achiever in the industry!

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