Gareth Carberry

Talking cakes, celebrity chefs and funny cooks with the self-proclaimed master of mashed potatoes.

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Irish-born chef Gareth Carberry cut his culinary teeth in some of Dublin’s premier steak joints before bringing his mastery of meat to Manhattan Grill at the Grand Hyatt. Now doing a roaring trade at The Market Café, the 27-year-old chatted with James Brennan about mashed potatoes, Irish stew and a mysterious chap who goes by the name of ‘Carrot’.

You reckon your mashed potato is the best in Dubai -– what’s your secret?
Mashed potato is very simple to prepare. There is no real secret, you just need to follow a few guidelines and cook with a lot of love.

What’s the most difficult thing to cook properly?
Sauces can be quite difficult to cook properly; they have to have great flavour and every sauce completes any dish. All sauces have to be at the right consistency.

You’ve run over your girlfriend’s cat – what do you cook her to make up for it?
Knowing my girlfriend, I’d have to do a lot more than just cooking.

What do you prefer – Christmas puddings or Easter eggs?
Easter eggs. I am a chocolate lover.

How many hard-boiled eggs do you reckon you could eat in one minute?
Don’t know. I never tried but probably three or four.

What’s your favourite traditional Irish dish?
Has to be Irish stew. I still have memories of when I was a child; I would come home from school on a cold rainy winter day to the aroma of hot stew with potatoes and carrots. My mom would put some in a bowl alongside freshly baked bread for me. Lovely.

Who are your favourite and least favourite celebrity chefs, and why?
Least favourite is definitely Ainsley Harriot because I don’t see many culinary skills there. My favourite is Gordon Ramsay. I simply love his passion and drive and the way he gives it out to other chefs.

How do you keep a sense of humour when the heat is on in the kitchen?
When the heat is on, you don’t really have time for humour. All that is on your mind is controlling the kitchen behind you and making sure all the food is to the highest standard possible.

Who the heck is Carrot?
Carrot is a name that was given to me by a lady chef. Her name was Vu thi Thanh Sam. She was a commis in Manhattan Grill and she couldn’t pronounce her Gs so every time she said my name it sounded like carrot. So, of course, everyone started calling me Carrot.

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