Ask the Chef
Gabriel Gaté has learnt his craft from some of the great master chefs of France, knows the reality of being a family cook with little time, and communicates with dazzling success both the joy of cooking and how to make tasty food that is simple, easy and achievable.
Unfortunately, we're no longer accepting new questions, though feel free to browse our database of past cooking queries and Gabriel's responses.
I made four individual baked egg custards today and though they tasted great, the texture was a bit curdled. What caused this?
Try cooking your custard at a lower temperature. It may have been cooked too long or at too high temperature. Best wishes.
When making baked goods such as macarons, can we let the remaining batter sit at room temperature as home ovens can't fit too many trays at the same time?
It’s ok to cook macarons one tray at a time. It is the same with other biscuits. Keep those that are not cooking in a cool place or in the fridge.
What’s the best way to tenderise octopus?
When Greek fishermen catch octopus they tenderise them by beating them several times on rocks. They hold them by the head and beat them vigorously. They also rub the tentacles hard on the rocks. They then wash the octopus in water. At home you can find a large stone or chopping board to beat them on.
How can I prepare or crush poppy seeds to use in baking?
I have used poppy seeds many times in cakes and biscuits, and I use them as they come from the pack. There’s no need to crush, blend or soak them.
Do fresh figs pair well with haloumi and prosciutto?
Yes, fresh figs or grilled figs are delicious with grilled haloumi, and are often served in Mediterranean countries with prosciutto and other types of ham.
Featured Food & Recipes
- Andhra curry leaf chicken
- Fish head curry (gulai kepala ikan)
- Roast capsicum sauce (salsa de pimiento)
- Spiced pork skewers (pintxos morunos)
- Linzer torte
- Cauliflower and cavolo nero rice pie
- Indian chicken korma
- Lemon meringue tart with blueberry jelly
- Warm salad of rare roasted venison with celeriac, pear and red cabbage
- Best end of lamb with eggplant caviar and a fricassee of sweetbreads, chorizo and anchovy
Using a Tajine
Layer celery stalks on base of tajine before filling with meats etc. This acts as a trivet, lifting the meat off the base of the dish and prevents burning.
A strongly flavoured mushroom used in both fresh and dried forms. Also known as Chinese, black or oriental mushroom in its dried form.