Have you ever wondered what chefs eat when they're not in their restaurants? Us too.
That's why we've decided to launch a new series In the kitchen with... which sees us chat with some of our favourite chefs about their food habits outside of the workplace. This time we caught up with Aishling Moore of Cork's Goldie restaurant (which is closed temporarily as per government recommendations due to the fight against Covid-19).
Twenty-five-year-old Aishling is a native of Cork and was head chef of Elbow Lane Smokehouse & Brewery under Stephen Kehoe, the executive chef of the group. Last September she and Stephen opened Goldie, which promotes gill to tail eating and sources most of its fish from small day boats in Ballycotton.
Aishling was voted Best Irish Chef 2020 by the McKenna Guides earlier this year and here she tells us about her cooking life at home.
Do you cook a lot at home?
Unfortunately very little - just once or twice a week.
Who do you usually eat with?
The people I eat with most regularly are the team in Goldie. Five days a week the front of house and kitchen team eat together before we open. This is a time for bonding, asking questions, talking about new dishes and getting the team ready for the night ahead.
Are there any foods you have to or choose to avoid?
There are no foods I have to avoid, luckily. However, I don’t eat or serve avocados for environmental reasons.
The combination of cold-smoked salmon with poached eggs and hollandaise makes my stomach turn. In fact, poached egg on anything at this stage makes me squirm.
What five ingredients do you always have in your kitchen?
Butter, garlic, anchovies, olive oil, pasta.
What's in your fridge right now?
Butter, milk, anchovies and good coffee.
What is your default dinner after a busy week?
If I want to keep it light, I will go with a platter of our salt fish brandade at Goldie, with seaweed crackers and pickles. There is no cutlery involved - just eaten with your hands.
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What is your favourite kitchen gadget?
It’s my copper, limited-edition Kitchen Aid I saved up for when I first started working in kitchens. A very prized possession of mine.
Do you have a favourite chef or cookbook?
My favourite cookbook without a doubt is Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes by Nick Balla and Cortney Burns. It is the most amazing reference book.
My favorite chef would have to be Fergus Henderson; his restaurants, his books, his philosophy and his unapologetic individualism.
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Have you ever had a kitchen disaster?
I actually attempted to cook 28 soufflés to order during a 13 course pop up menu. A disaster based on total naivety.
What's the best thing you've ever cooked?
This is such a difficult question to answer! Because of the nature of cooking, you never believe anything you’ve cooked is the best you’ve ever done. It is always in the future.
What is the best cooking tip you've ever been given?
Using the stock bacon is cooked in for cooking cabbage; learned at a young age. I think the principle of this can be applied ten-fold, especially in a professional kitchen.
What would be your last meal?
I would start with a dish of oysters followed by clams steamed in a delicious broth. For mains, I would have bacon and cabbage and my dessert would be rice pudding, all the while quaffing the finest Champagne!