Chef Anthony continually develops new recipes unique to the establishment he is working at. His pork dishes are a favourite to many. After graduating from Top Chef Culinary Institute, Anthony was taken on as sous-chef at Chui Lodge in Naivasha and later Kiangazi House, before working his way up to Executive Chef at Que Pasa.
Being executive chef means spending time on menu creation, a task that Anthony does not take lightly. His process of creating dishes begins in the abstract, a mental visualisation of the meal. After this imaginative process, he will often go on to sketch out the dish on paper, before proceeding to prepare it. Confident of the blending of flavours as guided by his imagination, he may go ahead to prepare a dish and plate it without even tasting the outcome – this technique has so far always been a success. With dishes he is fidgety about, he takes the assignment home, where he embarks on the lengthy experimentation process that is menu creation.
With a notion that the best things in life are kept simple, chef Anthony lets this ethos reflect in his dishes. His meals are characteristically light, a phenomenon he attributes to the use of vinegars and concentrated stocks – stocks which he makes from fresh ingredients. He admits that butter and cream might be a popular choice when it comes to sauces but he counters that light dishes are not only a healthier option but also the lighter the dish, the better the freshness of the ingredients is felt. The lover of food also reveals that he makes his own dashi (a Japanese sea stock) but maintains that the recipe is secret and no amount of prodding will force him to relent his position.
Kenyan ingredients make me proud, I would rate them among the best in the world
Kenyan ingredients make chef Anthony very proud. He rates them the best in the world and he enthusiastically backs his stance by a narration of how our local ingredients are allowed to grow to maturity; a deed that credits their flavours. He then proceeds to let us in on the one ingredient that never lacks in his kitchen – honey. A philosophical chef, he goes on to composedly explain his theory on how honey works at improving dishes. Every food type known to man, chef Anthony confides, contains natural sugars no matter how little the content. A few drops of honey in a dish seeks out its naturally occurring sugars, the effect of which is an enhanced flavour of the food. The trick, we are told, is not to allow the honey to overpower the food in question but only to act as an aid in bringing out the food’s sugar.
For a hearty lunch, to be relished in the cool of the restaurant Que Pasa, a great refuge from the scorching sun, chef Anthony readily whips up a plate of roast beef fillet with roast vegetables and a pure of garden peas. The lightness of his special sauce is instantly felt and welcomed; nothing is more satisfactory than a good meal that’s equally healthy.
Although a wizard at both pork and beef dishes, chef Anthony asserts that his favourite meat dish to prepare is duck and he willingly gives us a few tips in its preparation. First, flame the meat and season with salt and pepper. Next, sear the meat on a pan before putting it on the charcoal grill. Easy! But maybe we’ll go and taste his before trying this at home.
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