The world travelled chef talks fruit bat curry, seasonal produce and fish and chips.
What or who inspired you to become a chef?
My mother worked in the industry and got me a part time job in the kelvin hall which was the main exhibitions centre in Glasgow. While I washed pots and pans I watched the chef and everything he did appealed to me. The executive chef there gave me the chance and 35 years later I am still doing it. The job has allowed me to travel the world and meet and cook for some interesting and famous chef celebrities and politicians but most of all to see different cultures, taste their cuisine and on my journey make some lifelong friends around the world.
What drives you to continuously create new recipes and new combinations?
A love of food and experimentation with ingredients . If you don’t strive to evolve yourself and your team then bored can set it so I feel its essential to remoan creative throughout it all.
Is your cooking influenced by the countries you have worked in?
Very much so. I think all well travelled chefs tend to incorporate ingredients and cooking methods they’ve picked up on their travels to create new and exciting dishes. A case in point is the grouper with mussels which was hugely influenced by my time in Seychelles and the flavours the place offered.
What’s the strangest food you’ve eaten and the strangest food request you have had to deliver on?
I’ve eaten Fruit bat curry in the Seychelles which is a local delicacy although there is not much meat on them. The curry sauce was very nice but when I tried to use a fork and knife I was laughed at by the locals and instructed to eat them like chicken wings. That was the first and last time I ate fruit bat. The strangest thing I have served up was whole roasted camels at a wedding for four hundred guests in Egypt.
Your must have kitchen gadget?
A Pacojet without questions as you can do so much with it such as mousses, sauces and sorbets ice creams
Your best cooking tip?
KISS keep it simple use the best local and seasonal ingredients available, don’t over complicate dishes and make sure that the main ingredient remains the star on the plate and don’t over power it with other ingredients.
A childhood meal you still recreate or enjoy?
As a kid living in a Glasgow housing scheme, the fish and chip van which came once a week was a huge treat. Nothing like a fish supper wrapped in newspaper with lots of vinegar . In fact have already found a bar here in Malta that serves a great fish chips and mushy peas.
Perfect dinner party menu?
I am a great lover of Asian food so my perfect menu would be sushi steamed dim sum steamed miso cod. However I have to admit that I do also like to order from my favorite Asian restaurant get it delivered so I can relax with friends and have a beer while someone else cooks.
chocolate/wine gums I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if I start eating these I forget to stop and my wife has to hide them
About the chef
Eddie is originally from Scotland and left his position as Executive head chef at the Hilton Abuja in Nigeria to take on that same role here at Hilton Malta.
He joined the Hilton culinary team in Scotland back in 1982 first making it as Head Chef role at Hilton Dundee in 1988. In 1998 he was appointed as Executive Chef for the two Hilton Hotels in Northern Ireland. Eddie continued to move internationally with Hilton Worldwide taking up positions in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and then moved on to be the Cluster Executive Chef responsible for the three Hilton Seychelles Resorts. Prior to moving to Malta he was based in Hilton Abuja which is one of our flagship African properties with 680 bedrooms, seven food and beverage outlets and twenty four meeting rooms with extensive banquet facilities.
Eddie has achieved many awards throughout his career including national association “Chef of the Year” awards, AA Rosettes and most recently was acknowledged by Hilton as the “Chef of the Year” for Africa & Indian Ocean.