Gelinaz, the chef’s collective, are back in town on the 3rd December. But this time, they are not travelling, they are staying “at home”. What travels this time, are their recipes. Each chef had to submit eight recipes that are typical for him/her, but she/he never served them at the restaurant yet. Those recipes were then shuffled and sent to another chef who will remix them in his/her own way and serve on the 3rd of December, for one night only, dishes inspired by those recipes to her/his guests. The guests and the chef will get to know whose recipes was interpreting the chef only at the end of the dinner through the Gelinaz ambassador who will attend the dinner (I will be that night the ambassador at the Aimsir restaurant in Ireland). Ambassadors will also take care of communication from the restaurants on that night, so if you are curious what is happening on the other side of the world, do follow us on Instagram (mine is here).
Jordan Bailey has received the recipes.
What was your first thought when you read the recipes you received?
My first reaction was… THANK GOD!!! I was excited but of course also a little nervous as to what menu we might receive. Before I received it, certain questions were circulating around my mind: From which country? From which Chef? Will they be thought out and tested recipes? Will I be able to get the ingredients or substitute ingredients of similar nature? Will I have the right equipment? Will I have enough time to test everything? Will it be a cuisine that I understand?
So I’m sure you can can understand the relief when I opened the file and seen the restaurant we got was titled ‘Contemporary Italian cuisine’. I very quickly flicked through the recipes and ingredients and my mind went to work straight away.
What do you think of them now?
We have started testing our first ideas a couple of days later and to great success from the get go. So I feel very confident we will be able to pull something I can be proud of and hopefully the Chef whose menu I have will feel the same if he ever gets to see it.
If you had to choose an animal to describe them, what would it be?
A bear. Gentle and calm one minute but might rip your head off the next.
How will you approach it?
I will approach it in the same way as we always do here at Aimsir. I will be sticking to the same philosophy, so using only ingredients from Ireland (no chocolate, olive oil, citrus fruits, etc), but at the same time trying not to deviate too far from the brief. So for example, for a ravioli dish where we can’t get pasta flour we will substitute the pasta for thin sheets of vegetables filled with different things, or for a risotto rice replacement we will use squid that we will cut into very small pieces to mimic the rice grains.
What will be the greatest challenge for you in this Gelinaz project?
I suppose it is about keeping the balance from what we normally do, in terms of showcasing Ireland, to what we are now expected to do, showcasing Italy. We want to stick very close to the brief but also not loose who we are as a restaurant. So even though the dishes are going to be delicious either way I also want people to be thinking they are eating Italian food but with Irish ingredients.
And what are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to seeing if we are successful in uniting the two cuisines into one. Also it would be great to pull some dishes out of this that could make it on our normal menu.
After this event is behind you, what’s the next thing?
Well we didn’t have anything crazy planned to be honest. We are keeping external and internal events to a minimum so we can focus on the restaurant. We have a full restaurant everyday now until the end of February so I will definitely be busy with that and working on a few menu changes between now and then. We have also squeezed in a little time off over Christmas to visit family in England and Denmark and a week skiing in Austria which I’m very much looking forward too.