'Coconut beef curry always hits the spot'
Talking food with Richard John Barrett, Executive Chef, Azure Beach, Rixos Premium Dubai
Most memorable food-related experience.
My favourite food-related experience has to be the casual meal I had at Spice By Chris Salans in beautiful Ubud, Bali. We had some wonderful, expertly rustic Asian dishes designed by Chef Chris, which is exactly my kind of food.
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
I think the Roux family are very admirable for keeping passionate fundamental culinary traditions alive. They have mentored an amazing number of superstar chefs over the past 20 years, from Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White to Marcus Wareing, Pierre Koffman and Bryn Williams.
Your favourite culinary destination, and why?
I'd have to pick Hong Kong as my favourite destination for food. The array of Asian cultural fusions in Hong Kong create a melting pot of great dining experiences.
How often do you eat out? And what's your favourite place around town?
It's family time on my days off and we frequently visit Black Tap for a nice cheat meal.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve him or her?
I have been fortunate enough to present my food to a number of professional sports, film and music personalities - think Nicole Kidman, Craig David and Gerard Depardieu - as well as to royalty from several continents, including the likes of Prince Harry. Fresh is best and a nice smoke grilled whole fish or steak with an accompanying sauce always gets great feedback.
You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
White miso and wasabi ripple ice cream with sweet chili syrup and lotus root wafers. I have an abundance of unusual but equally intriguing ideas. I imagine this particular idea would be an explosion of sweet, tangy and spicy flavours, which would be sure to make for an interesting dessert experience.
One ingredient/dish you can't stand, and why.
Salmon. I have a lot of experience preparing it over the years, but I have never been able to get used to the smell, consistency or taste.
After cooking all day, do you cook at home too?
No, I don't have the time for it after cooking at work all day. I leave for work early and get home late to a patiently poised and hungry family. Fortunately, my wonderful wife is a very competent cook and I get home to one of her daily Indonesian feasts.
Favourite comfort food?
Coconut beef curry - it always hits the spot.
If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
Starter: Andalusian gazpacho
Main: Aged beef tenderloin medium-rare with asparagus, truffle butter mash potato and oxtail jus.
Dessert: Chocolate sponge cake with chocolate fudge, chocolate sauce and whipped vanilla cream.
Where can we find you, when not in the kitchen?
Either stuck working on another Excel sheet or, on a better day, in the gym.
- Staff reporter