'You can't beat a 100% home-cooked Italian meal'

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You cant beat a 100% home-cooked Italian meal

Interview with Samuele Baudoine, Executive Sous Chef, Yas Viceroy Hotel, Abu Dhabi

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 1:00 AM

Your favourite memory of food.
For an Italian, this is very easy: a traditional Sunday lunch back in the day, after church, when the whole family would get together to enjoy a meal that grandma spent six hours preparing. You can't beat a 100 per cent home-cooked Italian meal using the freshest ingredients.
What's the most challenging part of your job?
Having a clean jacket at the end of the day.

Do you have a personal mantra or motto that drives the way you cook food?
Three words: healthy, tasty and elegant.

If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them?
The Queen of England. I would create a cold starter of Sicilian red prawn, burrata and caviar. Only the best for royalty!

How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
I don't dine out that often, as I really enjoy sitting down for a nice dinner at home with my family. Of course, for a chef, it's a must to eat out and try different dishes. So far, my favourite restaurant is Angar here at Yas Viceroy, which serves authentic Indian food with a modern twist.

After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
I'm a lucky man. My wife is Taiwanese and is an excellent cook - which means, on the rare occasion I make it home for dinner, I usually have something delicious waiting for me. Of course, there are some days when I'm off duty and feel inspired; then, I'll lock myself in the kitchen and whip up some fresh pasta, sauces and biscuits.

You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
How about soy ginger braised beef cheek, with eggplant and zaatar quenelle, and sautéed girolle mushrooms?

Who do you admire most in the culinary world - and why?
Marco Pierre White is an absolute living legend, probably one of the greatest chefs of all time. Some of his sous chefs are now legends too. I really admire how he used his fame, when he was at the top of the culinary world, to give back to the industry.

Favourite comfort food?
It has to be a chicken burger!

One ingredient/ dish you can't stand, and why.
Chicken powder. Unfortunately, it's a popular ingredient that's added to make food tasty AND used as a shortcut in cooking. It's sad to see the new generation of chefs being taught to use it.

If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
That's easy. A 1kg rib eye, medium-done, with grain mustard on the side.

Your favourite culinary destination, and why?
London. I spent five years in the UK capital at the beginning of my career and, for me, it still represents the highest standard of ingredients quality and chef skills at every level.  
- Staff reporter

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