Riccardo Cortese comes from Maddaloni, Campania, in the South of Italy, the Land of Pizza. He …
As an entry level restaurateur of 3 years, I love to eat.
By introduction, I work to eat. I live to eat. I eat to eat.
And that brings me much satisfaction till the next meal. My largest pet peeve is a dissatisfactory, half boiled concoction of ambitious/ amateur hipster recipes – very much manifested within the fast “increasing” (but slow progressing) food and beverage industry. Most of the time, your grandmother’s recipe of pasta bolognese is the real deal; rather than the complicated molecular concoction comprising of a multitude of foreign ingredients sous-vide by a grumpy chef. I once came across a strange combination of obese miyazaki beef slabs, foie gras, sea urchin, caviar to top of bowl of rice and labelling it as a cholesterol bowl – hence the Asian internet goes crazy. Just like having too much of something good at once, when you smash a multitude of tasty elements together – births contradiction.
Greasy and Gross. Blasphemy! Leave the poor sea urchin alone.
Sometimes we need a nudge as to, whether, what we put into our mouth is truly delicious? Or are we swayed by Instagram aesthetics – the unwritten rule that one must order, photograph and post up a pretty dish to show our friends we have been there done that. As a restaurateur working with food day and night – psychology affects our choices and consumption.
Taste, I believe, is innate. Alternatively, one can be educated into an acquired taste and appreciation.
Believe me, and I can vouch for this – good food is worth eating.
My column will feature a particular “Star Dish” every posting – foods that I stumble upon and why I think it may be worth contributing to your waistline. In theory, good food should not make you fat. Sometimes you should avoid that pretentious “fusion” maki just because a skinny blogger was paid to say so. Settle for curiosity, low expectation and satisfaction.
By the way, I pay for my own meals.
As a bombastic opening, my first “Star Dish” is none other than Heston’s iconic “Meat Fruit” at The Dinner in Crown Towers, Melbourne. This is basically a smooth chicken liver pate guised in a form of a peach, with a gelatin coat. It is cheeky, fun and makes a good conversational topic to ease a disastrous date. If your date continues to decline thereafter and you need to diffuse time in between courses, engage into a chat with the friendly manager because service at this place is simply top-notch.
Foodies and Fat Duck fans would be familiar with Heston Blumenthal’s psychotic, science driven food preps – I watched him on the Masterchef Australia Finals whereby he challenged the 2 finalists to recreate a complicated dessert with lots of scientific hullabaloo. I would pee in my pants if I had to cook in lab method – but I am also in awe, because he does create some really, beautiful dishes.
You can try this at his London flagship too.
Based in Kuala Lumpur and having previously lived and worked across 8 countries, Lyn Siew is the owner of an award winning Contemporary Chinese Hybrid Restaurant, Ruyi & Lyn, and a Western eatery Monte’s by the Red Herring. She is currently incubating a local startup project for culinary students, and building an online platform for the global food community. Relationship status? Married to food and champagne.
Follow her daily eating and drinking adventures on Instagram!