An interview with our new chef special creator, superchef Nachi.
We are delighted to bring you our latest chef special. A delicious sweet and sour fresh salmon with stir-fried vegetables.
This time our very own chef Nachi has developed the dish. We caught up with Nachi for a chat about food, healthy lifestyle and Taekwondo.
You are from the Philippines and you live in Dublin right now, did you travel a lot?
I think that travelling is important, I’ve been to the US to teach taekwondo, which was an amazing experience, and when I moved here I fell in love with the people and their family values which remind me of how we are in the Philippines as well. Now I want to explore Europe.
How would you describe your lifestyle? Do you have the same health-focused way of doing things in Camile and in your everyday?
Well, I like cooking and taekwondo, I have students in taekwondo in different places for instance. I still practice taekwondo, and to me, it’s really important to have a physical activity: this how you achieve a healthy lifestyle and that’s probably how I would describe mine.
Are you happy being a chef for Camile? How long have you been a chef?
Yes, I always wanted to be a chef but my parents wanted me to study something else, back home we respect our elders, so whatever they choose, you have to go for it. Years later, I finally studied what I liked and now I have my dream job.
Camile is my first job as a chef, I have been a chef for 2 years and 3 months, I trained with Camile when I started the job of course, but before that, I did some on the on-job training in the Philippines for six months as a part of my culinary degree.
How would you describe the dish?
From the name itself, it’s sweet and sour, it’s a typically Asian dish, not just in the Philippines, and it has a Thai twist: sweet, sour, spicy, salty… it’s all there. I was trying to find a recipe that would best suit a Thai restaurant but also Irish people’s tastes.
Tell us about how you chose the ingredients, how quickly did you get the inspiration and was it a recipe you had been thinking about for a long time?
The recipe just popped into my head really. I wanted to create a dish that would be acceptable as Thai and tasty. People like spicy food in Ireland so it is easier.
For the choice of ingredients, sweet and sour is a flavour that suits most meats, but I wanted to create something fresh while also using the same ingredients we already have in the branch. That is why I decided to use salmon, trying to be sustainable and to make it easy for the chefs in all the branches. Except for one or two ingredients like the pineapple juice, we already have everything else in the kitchen.
How do you feel about this recipe being our next special?
I love it! Since Camile is my first job as a chef, I want to reciprocate the feeling, I hope it sells! If it sells, the company can expand, hire more people and we can grow together.
It’s not just for me. I am proud but the best thing is when you’re able to do good things for others, not just the company. It’s like a cycle, if you do something good for others, something good will happen to you as well at some point, so yes I am proud of the dish. But I will be even happier if it makes Camile even more popular with our guests.
Now that your recipe is going to be presented to customers, does it give you some ideas for other recipes, maybe even for a cookbook?
Many ideas, yes! It’s really encouraging me to create more, to try more fusion with Irish cooking and with European food. I don’t know about a cookbook…in the future maybe but right now I am learning something every day, I get to discover new ingredients and new combinations, it never gets boring to cook and I love it.
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