We recently caught up with patissier and Chef Adriano Zumbo at the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival to have a chat about all things sweet.
When you were growing up you were a fan of lollies and junk food, does this still feed into what you create now?
Yeah totally, it does have a part. We try and balance it out, we don’t like doing everything junk food. It’s always good to have one or two things. Nostalgia will always be a part of us no matter what is in trend. We all remember what we had as a kid, the things that we craved, the things that we had, andit’s always good to visit that. People love it.
In terms of the creative process, where do you start with new recipe development?
It depends. Sometimes it can be name, someone will say a name or I’ll think of a name and think that’s a mad name for a cake and that’s how it starts. Then I start to think of what I can make to balance in with that name. It could also be flavours, these flavours sound good because you can sort of taste things in your head. After a while you make this creation in your head, think about it, and you can sort of taste it already. Until you do it you don’t know, but a little bit of tweaking and you’re there.
What’s one tip of advice you have for home cooks?
Take time to master the basics. For the aspiring patissier, your basics would be your choux pastry, sweet crust pastry, puff pastry, even making a good custard or crème. To start at home, you need to learn how to make those first. Learning how to make pastry is quite crucial to getting a good result.
You can make amazing pastry and just a simple filling and it could be like something you’ve never tasted before. It doesn’t have to be complex. Most of the time the simpler things are the better.
What are you essential kitchen tools?
Essentials for pastry would be a scale, a mixer, an oven and a good freezer. Having these will make your day so much easier. It’s hard to get those nice finishes and neat layers without good tools.
What do you like to cook and eat on the savoury side?
I cook pretty simple at home. A lot of chicken and salads, roast veggies, a bit of Italian. I watched my mum as a kid. That’s the stuff I miss, so I love to cook what she used to cook. I love to come home and cook simple savoury because it’s just like a wind down. I get away from thinking about the pressures of being creative or being talked about as Zumbo’s. I also eat a lot of cake every day so it’s good just to eat some veggies or keep it quite simple at home.
At the moment, is there anything you have bubbling away in your head?
I’ve been working a little bit with chamomile lately because I found some on the shelf in the kitchen, so I just started to use it up. I’ve just grinded it into a powder, put it through mousse’s. I have been mixing it with banana, lemon and earl grey tea so it’s been good.
Last thing, how do you stay healthy when you’re cooking sweets all day?
Take only one spoon full. If it’s really good you might take two spoons, but you don’t eat the whole thing!
IMAGE SOURCE: Noosa Food & Wine