Bridget Davis has spent the last 20 years immersing herself in everything culinary. As a qualified chef she has worked and operated some of the best, busiest and most demanding restaurant kitchens in Australia and New Zealand.
Her last role as head chef for Bill Granger in his iconic Sydney restaurant had her scrambling eggs for restaurant goers before taking up the role of live cooking demonstrator and chef for Electrolux, alongside the masterful Tetsuya Wakuda.
Her blog The Internet Chef is a portal for good honest food where her mantra is: 'Inspiring and empowering you to cook and eat better." Follow Bridget on Twitter.
Your secret food shame"¦
Growing up, I seem to remember my older sister once commenting that all I ate was mashed potatoes and peas. I failed to see a problem with my dietary intake at the time, though as my palate has matured and defined itself, my new secret food shame is KFC potato and gravy!
Ingredient you can't live without"¦
I could never name only one! I would surely expire without natural sea salt flakes. And what would be the point of getting out of bed be if I didn’t have access to a perfectly ripe avocado? That’s just today’s menu"¦
What inspires you and your food?
My favourite place to cook is at home. I am humbled by the happy contented sighs from my beloved family as night after night, meal after meal is love poured over from our kitchen table. Such an appreciative audience, who inspire me to work harder in creating new culinary sensations. To my partner Mahe’i and our wonderful children – they are the butter between my bread!
What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?
History... or their story. Sadly not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time, resources or knowledge to be able to confidentially prepare a stunning meal. I am grateful that I was exposed at a young age to a family of wonderful cooks. We went foraging and cooked using fresh ingredients. We didn’t have a lot, but what we had we shared amongst family, friends and neighbours and eating was always an event to be celebrated and embraced.
What is the recipe you most like to cook?
There are so many recipes and to pick only one would not do justice to all the other recipes. My Grandmother Lyn recently passed, and with her passing she handed down to me her most precious gift. All her handwritten, tried and true recipes that she collected and cooked for over 80 years. One of her recipes, received first prize in the local newspaper in 1991 – Lyn’s steamed fruit pudding, and is a favourite of anyone who tries it.
What is your favourite recipe ...
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach "¦ so to impress the man of my dreams I like to cook for him super crispy skinned roast duck
For comfort food:
Nothing speaks of comfort more than a beautiful soup, and when it’s the world's easiest soup recipe the comfort level just goes through the roof!
For an easy weeknight dinner:
For the easiest weeknight dinners, I can’t go past the 10minFoodie food videos (foodeos) and recipes! Classics include 'how to panfry the perfect fish fillet' or 'how to cook steak to perfection'! But something we get quite a thrill from is bang bang chicken. Ten minutes and viola! Dinner is served.
What chef has inspired you?
I was only three years old when he died, but my Grandfather Pere Davis was one of the greatest cooks in our area of The Bay of Islands in Northland New Zealand. A formidable force, he controlled the stoves of many local marae (meeting houses) including the annual national event where he cooked for thousands during the Waitangi day celebrations. His spirit lives on our whanau (family) where we cook and teach our family the methods and secrets that made him so great.
Tell us about your favourite food event in Australia"¦
This would have to be Media140 for Foodies. The first of its kind in Australia, where we explore the social web and how it can impact and improve how we eat, dine, cook, read and buy food in real time. The event kicks off in Sydney on May 5, with its gastronomic journey through the eyes of a chef, restauranter and food blogger with tempting canapés and drinks.
What is your favourite cookbook, food show and cooking utensil?
My collection of cookbooks is rather extensive, so to choose just one is quite daunting. As I’m doing a lot of baking at the moment, I find myself flipping between the Edmonds Cookbook (kiwiana at its best!) and Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess.
One of my favourite food shows is Italian Food Safari for its richness and depth, but on the shallow side of the pool – I love Ironchef!
My number one cooking utensil is a Kitchen Aid cake mixer because I currently don’t have one! But on the upside, my biceps are getting a work out!
Can you tell us your favourite restaurant in your area (Sydney)?
I have three favourites, each within close proximity and at different price points. For cheap and cheerful I would head to Mamak in Chinatown. It's Indo Malay at its delightful best and BYO is a bonus.
For a business dinner or catching up with friends I like to treat them to Busshari in Potts point for the sensational sake list and steamy dreamy eggplant dish. And when out to impress, Tetsuyas is at the top of my list. We are so fortunate to have one of the best restaurants in the world on our doorsteps, so every opportunity I get, I head for the 'Tets' experience.
Anything else you want to tell your fellow foodies?
To steal a quote from Harriet Van Horne: "Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all!"