'Contrary to popular beliefs, I do not cook a lot at work': Chris Jaeckle
Executive chef and partner at Emerald Kempisnki Palace reveals his kitchen secrets
Your favourite memory of food.
I used to stick pitted black olives on every one of my fingertips, and then eat them off, but only after I got to wave my hands around for a minute or two with all these black stubs.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
People management. We deal with all walks of life in the
restaurant industry, from ultra-wealthy guests to people struggling to support and feed their families. The art of understanding people's needs and motivators require a lifetime of insight and observance, that will still leave you missing opportunities.
Do you have a personal mantra that drives the way you cook food?
Understand why you are doing something before doing it. Learn about a cuisine if you are going to cook it and practice it. There are too many people cooking because they think it is current, or cool or fun. This is where bad interpretations come from.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them?
Donald Trump - I would do everything I could to convince him that well-done steak is just wrong.
How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
This depends; while in town, I eat out a lot to see what the market is loving at the moment. When I am in New York, I eat out perhaps every other week. As for favourites, you will have to follow my Instagram account - no shouting out someone else's restaurant for me!
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
To be honest, I do not cook a lot at work. There is this belief that the chef is cooking for you when someone comes to the restaurant. I taste and teach every day, but actually cooking something start to finish is rare. It's also hot back there! So, I do cook a lot at home. I pay close attention to what I put in my body, so we cook simply and healthily.
You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
We are opening a Venetian/Italian Japanese restaurant so, is this a real question? Look at our menu!
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
Alain Ducasse. He has managed to expand in a major way while staying true to his core values.
Favourite comfort food?
This depends entirely on the type of comforting I need. It can vary from store-bought refrigerated sushi to a three-Michelin experience. But my go-to cuisines are Italian and Japanese by a long distance.
One ingredient/ dish you can't stand, and why.
Raw onions and garlic. They destroy my palate. If I eat so much as a small bite, I will taste nothing else for hours.
If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
A kilo of caviar and a big spoon!
Your favourite culinary destination, and why?
Napa Valley in California for its beautiful produce. Also, Tokyo, Japan, for its dedication to single food restaurants.
Where can we find you, when not in the kitchen?
There are a few places where you will have the chance to see me: the gym, on my couch with my family, or a local watering hole having a drink.
- Staff reporter