5 min with… Avinesh Sharma – Fiji Chef of the Year 2014

untitled-3asPlease tell us about your job!
As a chef I love what I do, being a chef I think is the best thing in the world, cooking, playing with different ingredients every day and coming with one best dish is what a chefs life is all about.

What did you do before you starting working at Sofitel?
Before starting working with this resort I use to work for Sheraton Fiji Resort on the main land at Ports o call one of the best fine dining restaurant with this wonderful chef Jason Carroll my teacher, after working for nearly five years, I was given the opportunity to work as a sous chef for flying fish restaurant Sheraton Tokoriki Resort on an island and also a pre-opening team for the five star property on an island.
During this period of working experience I have also won the competitions like Fiji junior chef of the year in 2012, Global young chef of the year in Australia 2013 and Fiji chef of the year 2014.
This year I am going to again represent Fiji in New Zealand for the Global chefs title later in July.

Of all the restaurants you have worked in, which cuisine do you find the most exciting?
The most exciting cuisine I like is modern French
Where does your inspiration come from?
The inspiration comes working with some great chefs, reading books, internet and traveling

What are your essential ingredients, the things you couldn’t live without?
As a chef I think it all base items like spices, tomato, chilies, coriander, salt, cream, butter, basil, lime, herbs, fresh seafood and meat items

What is your favourite cook book?
Heston Blumenthal at your home (any cook book regarding Heston is my favourite and Eleven Madison Park)
What are your guilty pleasures in terms of food?
Pastas, chocolate desserts, sweets, ice cream and jellies

What ingredient could you not live without?
Lime, salt and sugar

The chef I’d most like to spend the day with is… Why?
The chef I have always loved watching and have a collection of he’s books and DVDS is Chef Heston Blumenthal I have no idea how he can do all that…………
What was your worst kitchen nightmare?
Chopping off my finger while cutting the rib of beef three times in one week and the third one was really bad.

What defines an outstanding meal for you?
An outstanding meal to me is meal that is cooked with love and care, and to have that wonderful meal with the people whom I love and care about and the most outstanding meal is a meal which is cooked by my mum.

Best meal you ever had?
Flying Fish Sydney

What are your three favourite restaurants?
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Noma and Eleven Maddison Park

What is your favourite recipe for this season? Can you share it with us?
As in Fiji, every one want local food and Kokoda but after working on this dish for a weeks for my V restaurant at Sofitel resort, is recreating the old dish to news twist, is a Kokoda (but in normal Kokoda they use fish but for my dish I have used kai means mussel) so what I have done is confit the mussels on very low temperature t soft and tender and served with coconut jelly infused with coriander, ginger and chili, with cucumber and sea salt foam, sea herbs and savoury coconut sorbet

What is the funniest/most embarrassing mistake you ever made as a chef?
The most embarrassing mistake was cooked an overdone steak for my GM and have to hear a lot from my chef de cuisine in front of all the kitchen staff.

Cooking restaurant-style food for under a fiver is possible if you…
Cooking flavoured rice dishes
The toughest part of being a chef is…
Working long hours

The most fulfilling part of being a chef is…
Building a dish full of flavour, feeding hundreds of hungry people and one good comment of the day, building a best team with resources around and a relationships with guest and people around the world
If cooking is my first love, my second is….
Researching about food

Facebook: Abhinesh Sharma
Email: avinesharma@yahoo.com
Website: www.sofitel.com

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