Quite certainly an amazing event, Taste of Abu Dhabi 2016 gave me a chance to experience food from every possible angle. Apart from all the restaurant samplings, I did get a chance to meet some amazing Chefs life Chef Marco J Morana, Chef Ed Baines and many more. Of course it was hard not to talk to them and understand their perspective on food. Quite simply put, shaking hands with some of the most amazing chefs was indeed a privilege! Here’s a snippet of my conversation with Chef Ed Baines.
Chef Ed Baines, chef and co-owner of one of London’s Popular Restaurants – Randall & Aubin, is honestly one of the most vibrant and assertive British Chefs I have ever met! Famously known for being a judge on “Britain’s Best Dish”, he is also well known for his representation and assistance of international catering brands in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UAE. He has also written two books that were both published by Kyle Cathie, Entertain (2001) and Best of British (2009). Do let me know what you think of the transcription…
(CE stands for Chef Ed and T stands for Trevor, that’s me)
T: How are you chef?
CE: I’m very well thank you!
T: How has taste of Abu Dhabi been so far?
CE: Its been really lovely. I think you need a few ingredients to make a good food festival. One of them is the weather, you got a really lovely sunshine out here that makes a great difference. You need an audience that really wants to participate, celebrate and enjoy themselves. Certainly the people out here are really having a great time…really positive, lots of smiles. And there’s some great food here (exclaims). Of course its called “Taste” which means eating some good food, checking out the food scene in Abu Dhabi. There’s some really great cooking, some really high standards of cooking which is fantastic to see.
Something a bit personal
T: Just a little funny question here, “Do you always eat your veggies?
CE: (Laughs) Yeah, I love vegetables. I think its a funny thing, vegetables are or can be very underestimated. Actually when you consider the huge variety of vegetables, its the foundation to anything. In fact, I can quite happily rely on a diet that predominantly relies on vegetables or vegetarian food. Occasionally I get cravings for meat obviously. If there was ever one ingredient or commodity that I really miss, if I were to only eat vegetables, it would be cheese above everything else followed by seafood and finally would be meat. Its funny, the thing about vegetables is that there’s a way to cook them well, and if you know how to cook and you cook them well, they’re delicious. If you cook them badly, you know…
T: Alright Chef, a small line from that question, what would you say is the most favorite ingredient that you’ve worked with?
CE: Crab. Brown Crab. Deep water brown crab off the Devon Coast in England. Unbelievable! The sweetest, most juicy. most delicious thing you can ever eat!
T: Okay Chef, Hypothetically speaking, if there was an apocalypse happening, and if you had to cook your last meal, what would it be?
CE: My last supper? Well, it would definitely be Roast Chicken with trimmings and roast potatoes and some nice gravy. And oh! Cranberry sauce as well!
A bit about Randall & Aubin
T: Okay chef, you are the head chef of Randall & Aubin right? Say one day in future, if I were to come there, what dish do you recommend I check out?
CE: Well, our signature dish is a Plats de Fruit de Mer, a celebration of British seafood. It is a tiered platter of all sorts of seafood. We really really work hard in in sourcing our ingredients and commodities. The quality of the seafood is exceptional. I mean absolutely exceptional!
I mean, my signature dish is probably a very healthy take on fish and chips, obviously its a lot more than that. Its got green beans tossed in a light mustard dressing, sautéed potatoes, dusted with a bit of chili on top. We use Lemon Sole, which is very lightly bread-crumbed and crisp fried. It is served with a mint sauce and a little bit of yoghurt. So it has connotations of the great British food, but obviously in a more cleaner and flavorsome way and that’s very much my signature dish!
T: Why would you say that its healthier?
CE: Well the fish is very lightly fried, with just a little bit of breadcrumbs. It is served with green beans instead of chips, the pomme sautée is very thin and crispy little potatoes. So its not saturated in fat. Its not masking the flavors of the fresh ingredients. As opposed to the classic version, where the potatoes are deep fried, the fish is deep fried in batter and deep fried, and its got a lot of salt.
T: Alright Chef, I think that’s pretty much it. Thank you so much!
CE: Lovely, thank you! Good luck!
About Chef Ed Baines
You can follow Chef Ed Baines on his website at –> http://www.ed-baines.com/
You can also follow him on Instagram at –> https://www.instagram.com/edbaineschef/
For more information about his restaurant, Randall & Aubin, please visit –> http://www.randallandaubin.com/
Until then….that’s me signing off! Shall roll out a few more interviews over the next couple of days!