Metropol catches up with popular Kiwi chef Simon Gault to discuss his healthy new passion and his go-to comfort meals for winter.
Where did your passion for food come from?
From a young age, my parents both cooked; we always ended up with interesting stuff in our school lunches. They had friends in the hospitality industry, so I got to see into kitchens, which turned me on. Food is inspiring really; I’m like a kid in a candy store and that’s naturally evolved from a young age.
Why do you think the country has connected with you and what you do?
I dislike the word ‘celebrity chef’ intensely. I’m like any another chef out there. I never thought I’d be on TV, had no burning desire to do it. Once you get on the box people see what you’re like, see the real you. Someone said to me once, the most important thing about doing TV is to remember your mates will see it. They know what you’re like, so be yourself. I’m myself on TV; it’s not an acting role. You just do what you do – some people will like it, some people won’t.
Last year was pretty busy for you, with a three-part doco on obesity and a new restaurant Giraffe on Auckland’s Viaduct. What does the next 12 months have in store for you?
I’ve become pretty passionate about the health sector and helping people like me really – people who are overweight and struggling with it. The documentary ‘Why Are We Fat’ helped a lot of people. I get emails from around the world saying it changed their lives. People come up to me in the restaurant in tears saying, ‘you don’t know what you’ve done for me’. That inspires me to help more people. I have the ability to make an impact – we’re the third fattest nation in the world.
What is the winning recipe for a great dining establishment?
Family – that sums it up really. All our people that work in the restaurant are our family. We spend a lot of time there, so it’s about enjoying it, being a family. We employ people who are fun and love what they do. If we can have that family environment, that rubs off on customers; they feel it. Obviously you need the other things – best produce and cooked well – but without family you’ve got nothing.
Heading into winter, what are some of your go-to comfort meals?
It’s pretty hard to beat a casserole in winter – Moroccan lamb casserole or beef casserole; they’re hearty and delicious and will fill you up in winter.
What’s the most fulfilling aspect of what you do?
Spending time with my daughter, nothing beats that
The season for hygge is well and truly here and, if you’re a foodie, or just someone who likes to get cosy with the family and a bowl of homemade soup, then a visit Total Food Equipment is a must-do before you hunker down.
The store is a gorgeous trove of all things cooking and baking. From oyster forks to cinnamon oyster tins, whatever is on your wish list, you will find it here and more besides. The baking section alone is extensive – a home baker’s heaven of tins and moulds to dream of, including friand, mini madeleines and, of the moment, donut tins.
A range of cast iron cookware made in France by Staub comes in red, orange, black, grey, and blue. It’s a lifetime gift to yourself or a friend and its strength and beauty goes from stove to table. You can braise, roast, cook, stew or fry with the range, in-oven or on the stove top with the frying pans, rib grills and mussel pots. The cocottes are round and oval, and the divine pumpkin and tomato shaped casseroles will redefine your batterie de cuisine goals forever.
Are you picturing a warm candlelit scene, the table alive with family and friends, good conversation and wine set off with a tasty display of tapas and sharing plates? At Total Food Equipment, the ranges available mean you’ll find a set to match your flair and flavours.
There is the versatile and ever-stylish cast iron option: small dishes in different sizes and in round and oval. Or bring colourful artisan élan to your table with the Regas range, made in Spain since 1821 from high quality fire proof terracotta clay. The cazuela is one of the oldest cooking vessels, used since pre-Roman times and still in use today in every Spanish kitchen.
It is used as a frying pan over direct heat on the hob, an open fire or barbeque. It is also oven-proof and makes a great baker and roasting dish for sweet or savoury. The organic nature of terracotta adds flavour to the food and the dishes go from oven to table. Choose from round, oval, rectangle, bowls and handled bowls, there is a choice of exterior colours too.
If the lashing rain and wind outside means mulled wine to you, take yours to the next level with The Herb and Spice Mill sachets of all-natural ingredients. The range of food safe presentation dishes of all types is huge at Total Food Equipment, so make it your first stop for themed parties or catering this winter too. Total Food Equipment is at 218 Moorhouse Avenue, with parking outside the door.
Crafted in a fashion from days of old, where quality and longevity go hand in hand, Everhot embraces the future, with cookers that are energy efficient and suitable for solar power generation.
Manufactured in Gloucestershire, England, Everhot is a heat storage range cooker. It steadily transfers the heat from its core into its ovens and hotplates, meeting all your cooking needs with exceptional energy efficiency.
The ability to run any part of your cooker independently means total control and the timed grill means no more burnt offerings.
The sky is the limit with Everhot – slow cooking, baking, roasting, grill or pan and you can do all of those things at once on one range. The smallest Everhot features two ovens and a graduated cast iron hob top. As the size increases, so too do your options. Ovens, plate warmer, induction hobs and simmer plates become opportunities to customise your cooker – and customise in every sense, with each cooker crafted by hand for your order. Colour, size and ovens are among the options to ponder.
Everhot ticks the boxes for quality, control, energy efficient, style and function. The difficult choice is often the colour and with a palette of 14, you can be forgiven for taking your time to decide.
If you are looking to make a statement in your kitchen, enjoy a trip to the country and visit Classic Cookers at 151 Bramleys Road Flaxton, phone
03-310 6534 or check out everhot.co.nz.
You can always count on Total Food Equipment (aka tfe) to be at the forefront of changes in thinking about homewares, cooking and kitchen accessories.
We have been hearing a great deal about the amount of plastic that is finding its way into our planet’s oceans and about how we should reduce our use of the material. Total Food Equipment is definitely fighting the good fight on this environmental
issue. The store stocks multi-
coloured stainless eco-friendly
water bottles for hydration, along with stainless straws and reusable eco coffee cups. Look on another shelf and you will find bio-degradable storage bags, paper snack and sandwich bags and reusable paper towels. One roll of these replaces 18 rolls of conventional paper towels! No cling wrap or plastic bags in sight here. Tfe also has compact under-bench composting bins for saving food scraps and eliminating wastage.
But tfe is forward thinking in other ways as well, constantly searching suppliers and manufacturers for new and more
efficient equipment to help cooks create their culinary
masterpieces. Recently arrived in store is the MasterPro Sous Vide Precision Cooker. ‘Sous vide’ is French for ‘under vacuum’ and the method uses sealed pouches to cook vegetables, fish, poultry, red meat and more in a water bath, achieving succulent, nutritious and flavorsome results. The technique has been used by chefs for decades to lock in natural juices creating food that is evenly cooked from edge to edge. With the MasterPro Sous Vide Cooker we can all achieve chef level perfection.
Another new arrival at tfe is the MasterPro 12 in 1 stainless steel multi-cooker pressure cooker. This clever machine can take over all your cooking tasks and certainly help you to declutter your cupboards of pots and pans. The multi- cooker features six cooking functions (slow cook, sous vide, sauté, steam, yoghurt, pasta) and six pressure (rice, meat/poultry, bean/chilli, soup/porridge, canning,
potato) . There is also a ‘keep warm’ setting and a countdown timer so food is ready when you need it and an easy lock function keeps your pressure cooking safe. The MasterPro Multi Cooker makes
creating a wide range of hearty meals easier than ever.
Total Food Equipment is situated at 218 Moorhouse Avenue in the Mid-Way Moorhouse complex. The store is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am to 4pm and there is easy access with plenty of parking. Don’t forget the store’s wedding register programme while the wedding season is still with us.
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