Describe your personality.
Sociable and determined with a dry sense of humour.
Describe your personality in the kitchen – do you change?
I tend to be more serious in the kitchen – things have to be done right!
Describe you cooking style.
Modern. I like my dishes to be clean and sharp, rather than cluttered. Flavours have to be fresh and balanced, and it’s great to cook a classical dish with a modern twist.
What items do you have in your fridge at home?
A range of chutneys and mustards, butter, eggs, cheese, a huge range of drinks and some herbs.
What was the last dish you cooked for yourself?
The last meal I cooked was a traditional British roast chicken dinner with lemon and sage stuffing, roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese.
What was the last dish you had cooked for you?
I can’t remember the last one I had at home – apologies to Claire, my wife! Every week the chefs at The Noodle House cook me dishes to try and some are very good. Steamed red snapper with XO sauce was last week’s highlight. Well done, Michael.
Who would you want to cook your last meal on earth?
American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. I’d love to see how this guy works. He has opened the eyes of so many people and with all of his experiences and food-related travelling I think a final meal by him would be very interesting.
Which dish could you happily eat for the rest of your days?
Corned beef hash, for the childhood memories. Also, it’s the ultimate comfort food and a dish that can be presented in so many different ways.
Which dish would you be happy never to eat again?
Fish head curry. Do I need to say why?
Which dish would you be happy to never have to cook again?
I wouldn’t miss cooking tripe – the smell, texture and time needed to do anything interesting with it makes me want to stay well clear of the stuff.
Italian or French cuisine?
French. I was trained in France, so I have to say that.
Describe Dubai’s dining scene in three words.
Energetic, interesting, evolving.
The Noodle House, various locations including DIFC, www.thenoodlehouse.com (04 363 7093).
‘I love this laksa recipe because it’s full of flavour and brings back fond memories of travelling around Asia. I learned this recipe during my first week at The Noodle House. It impressed me then, and I still love to eat it – it’s all about the balance of flavour.’
15g sambal oelek (chilli)
3g dried shrimps
40g laksa paste
85ml coconut milk
100g coconut powder
20ml fish sauce
20g vegetable stock powder
1g white pepper powder
8 tiger prawns (halved and boiled)
300g udon noodles
60g baby pak choi
20g bean sprouts
1 litre curry laksa soup base
8 hard-boiled eggs
8g spring onions
6g fried banana shallots
4g dried chilli flakes
15g ground peanuts
1 Heat a saucepan or wok over a medium heat, then add oil and sambal oelek and sauté until the oils have been released (it should take about two to three minutes).
2 Add the dried shrimp and laksa paste and sauté for another minute. Be careful not to burn the soup: be sure to regulate the heat appropriately.
3 Add water and bring to boil.
4 Whisk in the coconut milk, coconut powder, fish sauce, vegetable stock powder, cream, salt, sugar and pepper. Whisk constantly while bringing the mixture back to the boil.
5 Allow to simmer for three minutes.
6 For the filling, boil the prawns for five to eight minutes. Hard-boil the egg, and prepare the udon noodles as instructed on the packet.
7 Place the boiled prawns, blanched pak choi and udon noodles into the base of a small soup bowl.
8 Pour the laksa soup base over the ingredients.
9 Top the soup with bean sprouts, fried shallots and spring onions, and arrange the quartered egg on top. Serve with ground peanuts and chilli flakes in separate side dishes to season the soup as required.