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- March 3rd, 2015
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Emma Davies has been part of our culinary team since 2006. Emma is in-charge of the Bistro’s popular Blackboard Weekend Lunches where she seeks out inspiration, plans, sources fresh produce and serves to many a happy diner with a new menu every week.
We’ve asked Emma a few questions about her beginnings in the kitchen to juggling life as chef and mum.
Can you tell us a little background about your journey to become a chef and how you came to work at Boulcott Street Bistro?
After finishing high school I got a job in a restaurant in Hamilton as a kitchen hand. I really enjoyed the busy atmosphere and got a real buzz working in a fast paced kitchen. Also enjoyed the after work drinks….I thought the hospitality industry could be for me.I trained at Waikato Polytech for two years then moved to Auckland and got my first job as a commis chef at the Sheraton Hotel. I worked there for two years then made the big move to the UK.
I got an amazing job at a small British restaurant in southeast London where the focus was on seasonal, fresh ingredients. The menu changed daily depending on what was coming in/available. We used a lot of rare breed meats and small independent suppliers. This is where my passion for British cuisine/simple food came from.
In 2006, it was time to return home and put down some roots in wellington. I sent my CV out to all the best restaurants in Wellington and got a call from John Lawrence at Boulcott Street Bistro. I came in to meet him and was offered a job as chef de partie and have never looked back. I gradually worked my way up the ranks, and was lucky to work with some fantastic chefs too, Chris Green, Jacob Brown and Rex Morgan.
And here we are, almost nine years later, BSB has become my second home, and I’m very proud to be part of the Bistro’s extended family.
Who are some of your culinary heros?
I am drawn to chefs who create simple classic food. One of my favourite chefs is Fergus Henderson of St Johns in London. I really like his approach to food and using the whole animal. Patricia wells, who does a lot of simple, delicious but not to fussy, French bistro style food. Other chefs I am inspired by are Hugh Fearnly Whittingstal, Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray of the River Cafe, Simon Hopkinson, and Al brown.
What are some of your favourite aspects of the job?
I love being able to plan the Weekend Blackboard Lunch menus, create dishes and then see them on a plate. It’s an amazing feeling getting great feedback from both staff and happy customers.
I also really enjoy teaching the younger chefs, seeing them learn and grow benefits the whole team. It’s great to be able pass on my knowledge and to see chefs go on to work at some amazing restaurants all over the world.
You’re a mum by weekday, chef by weekend where you’re in charge of the popular Boulcott Street Bistro Weekend Blackboard lunches. Can you tell us where you get your inspiration for menus, what’s involved in delivering these delicious dishes week to week and how you fit it all in!?
Planning the menu starts on a Monday. I call suppliers and see what’s new for the week. That gives me a point to start. I have a couple of popular dishes I put on every few weeks. I usually think about what I would like to eat if I was out for lunch and go from there. I have a very fresh light feel to the menu over spring summer and then as winter approaches I like to do some real comfort food, smoked fish and mussel pie, Coq au vin, something to warm the belly.
I have an early start on Saturday mornings to get all the preparations done, but luckily daddy is home to look after molly. I also have a very supportive family who are able to have molly on nights that I work.
What’s are a couple of you favourite weekend lunch dishes?
I love anything with black pudding. One of my favourite is black pudding scotch egg with piccalilli. Also pot-roasted Waitoa chicken with fennel, chorizo and sorrel is another favourite, which will be on then as well.
You can try both of these dishes on the Weekend Lunch Menu, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March.
The Weekend Lunch Menu is posted to our Facebook page every Friday, so be sure to check it out and come in and enjoy Emma’s tasty work!
Want to book a table? Call or email us today
04 499 4199