My life in food: Keri Moss, chef
'I like to buy foods I've never come across and experiment'
Thursday 27 June 2013
Born in Erith, Kent, Moss knew she wanted to become a chef from the age of 13 and started a Youth Training Scheme apprenticeship aged 17. She was working as a freelance caterer when she decided to compete in Masterchef 2012. She was crowned winner along with Anton Piotrowski last December. She opened her first restaurant in March, the Corner Restaurant and Champagne Bar, at Selfridges. She also works for Smart Hospitality, the company that catered for the Olympic Hospitality Centre last summer.
What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?
In the restaurant, surprisingly, we have a little pressure cooker. That's our most used piece of equipmentbecause it cooks things really rapidly. Our least used equipment: well, we did have a microwave at one point, and we don't have that any more.
If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?
I like to see what weird and wonderful things they have in Chinatown, and if I get a chance, I try and pick something up I've never seen before and experiment with it.
What do you eat for comfort?
I really like a good steak. I like steak and chips, hand-cut chips that are really fluffy on the inside and really crisp on the outside and great béarnaise sauce.
If you could eat only bread and potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Oh my god, potatoes. Definitely potatoes. Chips, mash, gnocchi, there are so many different things you can make with them, and there's no allergies, either.
What's your desert island recipe?
I love ice cream. And when I was little, we used to have Parma Violets, those tiny little sweets. I love the taste of violets, so it would be violet ice cream. It's so nice and refreshing and perfumed. It's delicious. I've just come back from El Cellar De Can Roca in Spain, and one of the desserts is a violet ice cream. Oh my god, it was amazing, absolutely amazing. When I came back to the restaurant, I said to the pastry chef here, "Max, you've got to make some violet ice cream, and I want it by 5pm today," and he made it. It was so delicious, it made my day.
What's your favourite restaurant?
My favorite all-time restaurant is actually El Cellar de Can Roca in Catalonia , just because of the whole experience. You walk in and you feel as though you're in an open space. There's trees in the middle of the restaurant, which are encased in glass. As soon as you walk in the door, you just feel so special. The service is amazing – they're really attentive without being intrusive. The food is just stunning, and the environment is something else.
Who taught you to cook?
It was my mum, actually. When we were little, that was how we got quality time with our mum. She's an amazing cook, she makes the most fantastic cakes and she's a great baker, and we were always vying to be with her. It was quality time, really. I would always help with dinner or baking something.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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