I am pleased to welcome my brother, Brando, as a new contributor and writer to the My Food Trail blog! He is otherwise known as @brandothepig on Instagram and loves eating and taking photos of his food as much as I do. Maybe even more 🙂
Brando is a keen home cook and I have been very lucky to have had a number of his delicious meals. He will be sharing some recipes on My Food Trail as well as writing up his restaurant visits.
So My Food Trail readers can get to know Brando a bit better, I asked him some food related questions below. You’ll notice that typical questions such as “What is your favourite food?” or “What is your favourite restaurant?” have been excluded because I know how hard it is for a foodie to answer those questions with just one response!
April: What is the most unusual item in your pantry/refrigerator?
Brando: Whenever I travel, I always have to bring local food specialities back home with me, so my pantry looks a bit like the United Nations of food. I have shrimp chilli oil from Thailand, wakame seaweed from Japan, maple butter from Canada, aceto balsamico from Italy and seaweed pork floss egg rolls from a recent trip to Macau. The most unusual item in my pantry however, would be the various Ferran Adria branded powders and agents I still have from my dabble in molecular gastronomy during the reign of the El Bulli days. It’s probably more unusual that they are expired and I can’t bring myself to throw these big, almost full tins out!
A: Unlike some men who don’t have a sweet tooth, you definitely do! What would be your dream cake?
B: It’s funny that I don’t really think I’m a sweet tooth. Nine times out of ten I would choose an entrée over a dessert, but then I look over my Instagram feed and see how much sugar I actually eat. No wonder I’m not losing weight haha. When I think of a dream cake, I think of the most memorable cake I’ve eaten – my wedding cake. It was a giant croquembouche from Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, which my amazing Mother-in-law then pimped up with Persian fairy floss, dried figs and candied flower petals. It definitely needs texture. I’m a texture junkie…
A: Do you have a food hero/chef crush?
B:I have too many to mention! If I could only pick one, I would have to choose Massimo Bottura. He is a legend in my eyes. I went to a couple of his masterclasses at the Melbourne Food and Wine show, and I ate at his 3 Michelin restaurant in Moderna, Italy. The way he crafts his ideas, the way he bends food concepts into emotion and nostalgia is just awe inspiring. Honourable mentions to Grant Achatz and Heston Blumenthal too.
A: What is your favourite snack food?
B: Like I said, I’m a texture junkie. Give me anything with a crunch. Crackling. Corn nuts. Chips.
A: What is your guilty food pleasure?
B: Bacon. And lots of it. Even worse I think would be my bacon jam because it is also loaded with sugar. And don’t get me started on icecream and donuts!!!
A: What would be your last meal?
B: It would be the ultimate degustation. Dan Hunter’s eel bone marrow dish, Grant Achatz’s hot potato cold potato, plus his Basque cake for dessert, Martin Berasategui’s gin apple cucumber celery dessert, Mark Best’s Chocolate Ecrasse, a couple of courses from Vue Du Monde, actually, this question was a bad idea haha.
A: What won’t you eat?
B: I’ll usually try everything and anything at least once. For example, I accidently ordered chicken sashimi (ie raw chicken) in Japan, and thought “I may regret this” but tried it anyway. There was one time however, I got really sick eating pork ribs from a well known chain, losing about 5kgs in five days. I’m still scarred from it so I don’t really touch pork ribs. I’m not particularly fond of durian, goats cheese or offal either, but that’s not to say I absolutely wouldn’t eat it.
A: What did you have for dinner last night?
B: Pan fried salmon with homemade basil and cashew pesto, asparagus and a raw salad of beetroot, green apple, carrots, coriander and toasted pepitas.
A: What is your most memorable food experience?
B: Such a hard question so I will answer it broadly. My most memorable food city is definitely, hands down San Sebastian in Spain. It is an absolute food mecca up there, which I have so many fond food memories. The best meal I’ve ever eaten was closeby at the eponymous 3 Michelin restaurant called Martin Berasategui in Gipuzkoa. I was absolutely floored by the balance of intensity and delicateness of the Basque flavours, along with the inventiveness of the dishes. It transported me into food heights I never imagined possible. The whole experience, including the impeccable service, was faultless.
Thanks Brando! Look out for his posts coming soon.
Over & Out, April xx