Taste of Success. How Great Chefs Cook, Play, and Make Money - Arina Nikitina. With an Introduction by Massimo Bottura - ebook
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From Michelin-starred winners to farmers who learned everything from the internet, you will learn how 22 chefs from around the world have built and grown their businesses from scratch. In these enlightening and practical recipes for success, they will openly talk about unexpected challenges and painful setbacks that they had to overcome to get to the top.What is more, at the end of each chapter you will find an exclusive recipe shared by the featured chef. So, along with the encouragement to follow your dreams, you will be able to literally experience what success tastes like."The greatest chefs, just as the greatest artists, have built their success stories on passion, humility, and hard work. Most of them had a greater dream of becoming the best they could be and leaving their mark on this world." Massimo Bottura

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First digital edition: november 2017

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Table of Contents

Cover

Title page

Colophon

Credits

Description

Massimo Bottura

OSTERIA FANCESCANA

Andrew Blas

PROPER PATISSERIE

Anton Bodyashkin

UGLI

Aquiles Chávez

SOTERO

Aurelio del Casar González

DULCES MOTOLITE

Cesare Battisti

RATANÀ

Christopher Thé

THE BLACK STAR PASTRY

Darren Goodwin

GRAFENE

Diego Lozano

ESCOLA DE CONFEITARIA DIEGO LOZANO

Douglas McMaster

SILO

Estanislao Carenzo

ELEPHANT, CROCODILE, MONKEY

Iside De Cesare

LA PAROLINA

Jeff Ramsey

BABE

Leonardo Di Carlo

PASTRY CONCEPT

María Fernanda Olavarrieta

DU BLé BISTRO

Pete Teo and Lisa Ngan

A LITTLE FARM ON THE HILL

Phillip Foss

EL IDEAS

Ronnie Murray

PECKHAM MANOR

Roy Salomon Caceres

METAMORFOSI

Rubén Abascal

IBIDEN

Ryan Clift

TIPPLING CLUB

Sandro and Maurizio Serva

LA TROTA

Troy Rhoades-Brown

THE MUSE

Recipes

Massimo Bottura

Andrew Blas

Chocolate Macaroons

Mango Macaroons

Anton Bodyashkin

Milfei Salad

Aquiles Chávez

My Mother’s Mole Verde with Creole Turkey and Rice with Giblets

Aurelio del Casar González

Roscón de Reyes

Cesare Battisti

Roasted Squash, Squash Mayonnaise, Robiola di Roccaverano, Sweet and Sour Onions, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Christopher Thé

Strawberry Watermelon Cake (Home Version)

Darren Goodwin

Ox Cheek and Celeriac Lasagne

Diego Lozano

Orange Marzipan

Douglas McMaster

Poached Rainbow Trout and Sea Vegetables

Estanislao Carenzo

Chicken Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

Iside De Cesare

Whitefish with Cucumber Sauce, Sour Cream, and Sweet and Sour Vegetables

Jeff Ramsey

Black Truffle and King Crab Chawanmushi

Leonardo Di Carlo

Note di Golosità

María Fernanda Olavarrieta

Extraviado Fillet of Fish with Herbs, Meuniere Tamarind Sauce, and Cauliflower Puree

Pete Teo and Lisa Ngan

Slow Roast Spicy Leg of Lamb

Phillip Foss

Quail with Ricotta, Strawberries, Kataifi, Snow Peas, Mustard, Honey, and Cardamom

Ronnie Murray

Ronnie’s Apple Pie

Roy Salomon Caceres

Lidded Rice

Rubén Abascal

Fried Milk

Ryan Clift

Garlic Soup with Razor Clams

Sandro and Maurizio Serva

Carp in a Poppyseed Crust with Potato and Beetroot Mayonnaise

Troy Rhoades-Brown

Little Hill Farm Chicken, Jerusalem Artichokes, Macadamia Nuts, and Rosemary

Credits

CONCEPT BY

Nicola Michelon

ART DIRECTOR

Alberto Mattiello

PHOTOGRAPHY

Gianni Antoniali

VIDEO DIRECTOR

Michele Codarin

DESIGN

Martina D’Ercolii

PROJECT MANAGER

Davide Ferraresso

SUPERVISOR

Annalisa Randi

TYPOGRAPHY

D’Auria Printing, September 2017

SPECIAL THANKS

Nicola Lai

Description

From Michelin-starred winners to farmers who learned everything from the internet, you will learn how 22 chefs from around the world have built and grown their businesses from scratch.

In these enlightening and practical recipes for success, they will openly talk about unexpected challenges and painful setbacks that they had to overcome to get to the top.

What is more, at the end of each chapter you will find an exclusive recipe shared by the featured chef. So, along with the encouragement to follow your dreams, you will be able to literally experience what success tastes like.

“The greatest chefs, just as the greatest artists, have built their success stories on passion, humility, and hard work. Most of them had a greater dream of becoming the best they could be and leaving their mark on this world.”

Massimo Bottura

* * *

Watch powerful The Taste of Success videos, featuring the success story of each of your favorite chefs. Get a shot of inspiration in under three minutes!

Massimo Bottura

OSTERIA FANCESCANA

“I am Massimo Bottura. I close my eyes and I want to understand where I am;cooking is about emotion, it’s about culture, it’s about love, it’s about memory.”

An Introduction by Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura is a thought-leader, an ambassador of modern Italian cuisine, and one of the most influential figures in the culinary world. He studied law but gave it up to become a chef. In 1995 Bottura opened Osteria Francescana, juxtaposing tradition and innovation in Modena’s medieval city center.

On June 12 2016 Osteria Francescana was rated number one in the world by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. It has three stars in the Michelin Red Guide, and achieved near perfection with the highest vote ever recorded—19.75 out of 20—in l’Espresso dining guide.

Last year, Chef Massimo Bottura was named European Chef of the Year for his work at the Refettorio project. Massimo and his wife, Lara, also founded the nonprofit association Food for Soul to help expand the Refettorio vision beyond Italy and address such serious issues as social exclusion and food waste.

Waking up in the morning and going to bed at night, and doing what you love in between—there is no bigger success than that. I don’t believe in overnight accomplishments or financial prosperity without greater purpose.

The greatest chefs, just as the greatest artists, have built their success stories on passion, humility, and hard work. Most of them had a greater dream of becoming the best they could be and leaving their mark on this world.

This book is a collection of stories of human spirit, of ups and downs, moments of triumph and periods of fear, self-doubt, adversaries, and physical and mental exhaustion.

What unifies these chefs is an unstoppable passion for cooking. This passion can manifest itself in the blood-pumping thrill of a dinner rush, in the quiet serenity of serving others, or in a stroke of inspiration that comes from art, music, or travel.

I believe that the role of the chef is much greater than the sum of his recipes. Recipes have to do with cooking, but not with a person being a chef. When I left for Monaco to learn from mentor Alain Ducasse, he tore up my notes and taught me to stand on my own. That was the moment I learned to think. A chef, above all, is his culture, his sensibility, his intelligence in building and leading a team.

Today, more than ever, chefs can become spokespersons of cultural projects that will have a real, tangible impact on people’s everyday lives.

I’ve founded the “Food for Soul” project to bring attention to and fight against the dual problem of hunger and food waste. “To fight” means to give others a positive example and to create something that lasts. In the Refettorio project that we launched during Milan Expo 2015, the resources that inevitably would have been wasted were redirected toward promotion of social inclusion. It wasn’t about charity. It was our cultural response to the Expo’s theme of “Feeding the planet, energy for life.”

During the seven months of Expo, 70 chefs came to cook for those less fortunate, who had been shunned by society.

This is a real impact that our work as chefs can have toward creating change for the future. And if I had to give advice to the aspiring chefs of today, it would be the same advice I gave to myself 25 years ago: “Believe in your dreams, don’t give up, work hard, and stay humble.”

Andrew Blas

PROPER PATISSERIE

“Challenge Your Comfort Zone”

Andrew Blas

Proper Patisserie — Hebburn, UK

Chef Andy Blas has tailored his career to fit his end goal of opening a patisserie. He has collected skills like pieces of a puzzle, which has often involved making some bold and even unpopular choices—like quitting a Michelin-starred restaurant to learn how to bake a perfect loaf of bread, or learning to ice carve in six months to participate at the World Pastry Cup…

It would be redundant to say that Chef Andy Blas has always loved food, because most people love food and a good part of those people also enjoy cooking. Yet unlike most people, Andy has always loved thinking about cooking and about eating. He would ask himself why his French grandparents ate different food than he was used to back in the UK. Why did people enjoy their food differently?

I’ve always asked myself, what does the food I eat say about who I am?

“I felt that the food my grandparents cooked in France said something about our family. Just as the food my friends had back in Northern England said something about them and their families,” Andy remembers. “I quickly learned that the more I talked about food and cooking, the more my family would involve me in cooking and baking at home.”

At the age of 17, Andy Blas was sure that he wanted to be a pastry chef and to one day open his own patisserie.

“Food in Northern England wasn’t a big thing, so I had to leave home to pursue my career. It was a huge turning point in my life, especially since I had to leave my family behind.”

After an 18-month stint at the Samling Hotel under the watchful eye of Michelin-starred chef Chris Meredith, Andy started working in the kitchen at Belmond Le Manoir, a two Michelin star hotel.

“To get a job at Le Manoir, I had to pass four full days of cooking trials. The whole hiring process wasn’t as much about a chef deciding whether the job was right for him as it was about Le Manoir deciding how a chef fit in their kitchen,” Andy smiles. “Getting a job there definitely put my career on track.”

While working at Le Manoir, Andy met Dan Schickentanz, a founder and master baker at DeGustibus Artisan Bakery. Mr Schickentanz came to the hotel to teach bakery courses; during one of his visits, he suggested that Andy work at the bakery. After completing his work period at Le Manoir, Andy first went to teach at the cooking school and then decided to accept Mr Schickentanz’s offer.

“Bread is something that I have been interested in since I was little. I wanted to learn from the best, and Dan was such an inspirational person,” Andy recalls. “He was originally a lawyer, but changed his career path and ended up making some of the best artisan bread in the country.”

For Andy’s former colleagues, his career choices seemed perplexing to say the least. Despite his undeniable talent and promising career opportunities, he would switch fields—going from pastry chef to bread baker, from operations manager at a wholesale company to chocolatier.

At some point, he even created a dress completely out of chocolate for London Fashion Week.

“It was very exciting, but definitely a challenge. When you’re making a dress from chocolate, you’re putting something static on something that moves; plus, chocolate melts,” Andy says.

Experiences like Fashion and Chocolate Week have helped Chef Andy Blas make a name for himself.

Only years later—when Andy accepted the executive head chef position at the legendary Café Royal in London, where he led a team of 21 chefs—did his ex-colleagues finally realize that Andy’s career strategy had paid off. There were hardly any chefs in the UK who were as multi-skilled and knowledgeable as he.

“I’ve always challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone, and I’ve picked a very unusual skill set for a chef. I’ve chosen jobs because I knew what my end goal was. I didn’t want to rely on hiring anyone else to do a part of a job I wouldn’t know how to do when I opened my own business.”

One of the newest skills Chef Andy Blas has had to master is ice carving. He had to learn it in six months and carve an ice sculpture in front of 4000 spectators during the 2015 World Pastry Cup. No pressure.

“I was a reserve candidate for the UK team, never thinking for one minute that I would actually have to do anything,” he remembers.

The competition was in January, and at the end of July, an ice carver resigned from the team. So, I had no choice but to step in and learn ice carving quite quickly.

He practiced relentlessly, carving inside, outside, in a freezer—everywhere he could think of to make his task as challenging as possible, trying to get himself ready. Yet nothing would prepare him for the day of the World Pastry Cup…

About twenty minutes into the ice carving, his block cracked in half.

“Imagine being in a room of 20 degrees. There are thousands of people screaming toward you. Cameras are on you,” he remembers, “judges are right there, and then your ice block snaps in half. Your ability to manage pressure, think fast, and focus fully on the task at hand becomes crucial.”

Andy finished his sculpture on time and his team still finished sixth out of 21 countries. In 2017, Andy was selected to be the UK’s “ice man” for the second time during the World Pastry Cup that took place in Lyon.

Ice carving, Andy says, is completely different from competitive pastry.

“With chocolate or sugar, you first build up a structure. You work by adding things to your sculpture. With ice, it’s the exact opposite. You start with a solid block and you take ice away to reveal an image inside. It’s the closest I get to actually sculpting. It’s also a completely different way of working for a pastry chef. That’s why so few pastry chefs know how to do it.”

The second World Pastry Cup went more smoothly for Andy. The sculpture turned out perfect and the British team came the furthest they’ve ever been in terms of points gained.

Right after completing the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon, Andy made another decision. He resigned from his position as Corporate Pastry Chef for ultra-luxury cruise line Seabourn to start his own venture.

Proper Patisserie opened its doors just three months later, and the business has grown at an impressive speed ever since. Chef Andy Blas has also been busy consulting for other companies. That, however, doesn’t stop him from looking forward to new challenges.

“I don’t know what it is yet, but I know that it’s lurking just around the corner.” Andy laughs. “You have to keep things interesting and make sure that your goals are slightly outside your reach. Otherwise, you stop growing.”

Andrew Blas

Proper Patisserie — Hebburn, UK

Chocolate Macaroons

Shell (Makes approx. 100 half shells)

Ingredients:

• 200g icing sugar

• 200g ground almonds

• 130g egg whites (≈ 4 eggs) divided into 2 equal batches

• 160g caster sugar

• 60g water

• Cocoa powder (to decorate)

Method:

• Blitz the ground almonds and the icing sugar together in the Thermomix until fine. Place dry mix into a mixing bowl, and mix in the first batch of the egg whites.

• For the meringue, place the caster sugar and water in a pan and heat sugar to 250 °F; meanwhile whisk the second batch of the egg whites in the machine to form soft white peaks.

• Add hot sugar to the egg whites and whisk until cool.

• Then add sifted cocoa, stirring well.

• Mix the Italian meringue into the icing sugar and ground almonds.

• Pipe to required size on silicone trays.

• Dry for around 20 minutes and bake in the oven at 320 °F for 12 minutes.

• Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

• Eat within 3-4 days.

Filling (Fills approx. 50 macaroons)

Ingredients:

• 110g dark chocolate (70%)

• 130g whipping cream

• 25g inverted sugar

Method:

• Place the chocolate into a Robot-Coupe.

• Bring the cream to boil.

• Allow the cream to cool slightly, then pour onto the chocolate.

• Close the Robot-Coupe and blitz until you have a smooth, emulsified ganache.

• Pour the ganache onto a flat tray; allow to crystalize.

• Pipe into the center of the shells.

Andrew Blas has used the UNOX BAKERTOP MIND.Maps™ oven with its innovative technologies and accessories to create this recipe.

Andrew Blas

Proper Patisserie — Hebburn, UK

Mango Macaroons

Shell (Makes approx. 100 half shells)

Ingredients:

• 200g icing sugar

• 200g ground almonds

• 130g egg whites (≈ 4 eggs) divided into 2 equal batches

• 160g caster sugar

• 60g water

• 1g yellow food colouring

• Fudge pieces (chopped finely to sprinkle as décor)

• Feuilletine mixed with gold powder (to sprinkle as décor)

Method:

• Blitz the ground almonds and the icing sugar together in the Thermomix until fine. Place dry mix into a mixing bowl, and mix in the first batch of the egg whites.

• For the meringue, place the caster sugar and water in a pan and heat sugar to 250 °F; meanwhile whisk the second batch of the egg whites in the machine to form soft white peaks.

• Add hot sugar to the egg whites and whisk until cool.

• Add yellow food coloring, stirring well.

• Mix the Italian meringue into the icing sugar and ground almonds.

• Pipe to required size on silicone trays.

• Dry for around 20 minutes and bake in the oven at 320 °F for 12 minutes.

• Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

• Eat within 3-4 days.

Filling (Fills approx. 50 macaroons)

Ingredients:

• 4g chopped chilli

• 3g chopped ginger

• Lime peel and juice from half a lime

• 100g stock syrup 30%

• 350g mango puree

• 15g caster sugar

• 20g lemon juice

• 10g agar

Method:

• Make an infusion with the spices and stock syrup and leave for 24 hours.

• Add sugar and agar to the mango puree, with 40g of the infusion; bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes.

• Add in the lemon juice. Pour into a plastic container, cling film to contact. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

• Blitz the gel in the Thermomix, dilute with spiced syrup until smooth and to desired texture.

• Once cool, pipe between 2 macaroon shells.

• Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

• Eat within 3-4 days.

Andrew Blas has used the UNOX BAKERTOP MIND.Maps™ oven with its innovative technologies and accessories to create this recipe.

Andrew Blas

Photogallery

Andrew Blas

Photogallery

Andrew Blas

Photogallery

Andrew Blas

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Andrew Blas

Photogallery

Anton Bodyashkin

UGLI

“Start with the End Result”

Anton Bodyashkin

UGLI — Yekaterinburg, Russia

Chef Anton Bodyashkin may be young, but after putting on a head chef’s jacket six years ago, he helped to launch two successful American-style steakhouses in the heart of Russia. The metric that Anton uses to measure the level of customer satisfaction is rather atypical, but it makes a lot of sense…

Anton Bodyashkin made a conscious choice to be a chef long before graduating from high school. And unlike many of his peers, he had no illusions about how challenging that path to success would be.

“I moved from my hometown, Tavda, to Yekaterinburg to study food technology at Yekaterinburg University. Back then, being a chef wasn’t a popular occupation. Cooks’ salaries were miserable, especially for young apprentices. You really had to be passionate about cooking, driven to learn rather than to make money. Out of 32 students, only six to eight are currently working as chefs.”

After graduating and doing some seasonal work, Anton found a job at Shustov, the new restaurant of Russian cuisine in town. It was 2009, and many restaurants were closing down due to the financial meltdown that hit Russia as well as the rest of the world.

“We’d opened in 2008, and a few months later, the market crashed. The first expense people cut was eating out,” remembers Lyubov Pinigina, the owner of Shustov. “We could no longer afford to pay our employees as much. I remember that we called everybody and offered them a choice: to cut their salaries and keep the entire team or to lay off some of the staff and keep the old salaries. The team voted to stay together. Our first year we didn’t make any money, but we’ve managed to stay afloat.”

When Anton came to Shustov, he was one of the youngest chefs on the team. His friend once asked him jokingly when he was going to make head chef.

I told him ‘just give me two years.’ My friend just laughed and dismissed my reply. The truth is that everything has happened exactly how I planned it.

After a year of working at Shustov, it was clear that Anton had outgrown the sous chef role he was in. Lyubov Pinigina offered him the position of head chef at the company’s second restaurant, Stroganov Grill.

“The kitchen design wasn’t ergonomic,” Lyubov Pinigina says. “It was very small and we had to find chefs willing to work in such a confined environment. The crew changed every three months. Plus, the management was making decisions that Anton disagreed with.”

After about six highly stressful months of running the restaurant, Anton was seriously considering quitting. He even gave his two-week notice.

“Fortunately, new people were put in key management positions, and then the restaurant just flourished within the next few months. In 2014, Stroganov Grill was ranked the #1 Restaurant in Yekaterinburg, according to that version of the world’s largest site for travelers, TripAdvisor,” Anton says.

Being one of the first steakhouses in town offering prime quality meat, Stroganov Grill became a hit with locals and visitors alike.

“We’re accustomed to having guests come to Stroganov Grill with their suitcases. It’s the first place they go for lunch or dinner when they arrive in town,” Lyubov Pinigina smiles.

Anton believes that running Stroganov Grill for almost five years was a priceless learning experience for him, especially when it comes to the business side of things.

“I believe that chefs should think like entrepreneurs, even if they are not running their own restaurant,” Anton says “As a chef, you have to care about the profits, about the level of service and customer satisfaction, even if it has nothing to do with how well you cook. At the end of the day, our job is to make guests happy, not just to serve them a nice meal.”

To make sure that his guests are happy, Chef Anton Bodyashkin relies on the “empty plate” metric. Seeing the empty plates return to the kitchen is what satisfies him more.

It’s extremely uncommon for customers in Russia to go back to the kitchen and compliment the chef. The best compliment one could get is a full restaurant and a stack of customers’ empty plates after they are finished with their meals.