On the Pans With Trisha Greentree
Fratelli Paradiso’s head chef, mum to Ryo, lover of cold-season produce and gelato enthusiast. How many hats? Probably still not enough.By Gemma Plunkett
First things first. According to Trisha, now’s the prime time for cooking. Winter produce is heating up with bitter leaves, citrus galore and calamari en masse. In need of some cooking inspo? Look no further. Quick kitchen tips? She’s got you. Delving into a career in hopso? Read up folks. We caught up to chat kitchen-life, mum-life and what’s-for-dinner-life. Check it out.
Buffet: Hey Trisha, first up tell us, what was for breakfast this morning?
B: Okay, now to the business side of things… You’re running the kitchen at Potts Point’s iconic Fratelli Paradiso, what do you think makes it so cult? Its special sauce if you will?
TG: Consistent hospitality. It is all in those two words!
B: Just on the iconic-ness of FP, what’s your process to finding new menu inspo for such a classic restaurant?
TG: The weather and produce availability and then of course my ladies (in the kitchen) Hazen, David, Rodgers and Gray.
B: I’m sure you’d agree the culture in hospo is changing, what are you most excited to see for the future of the industry?
TG: Transparency, new business models and more mama chefs please!
B: I’ve heard you’ve crafted a pretty special kitchen environment there, talk me through what you look for in a fresh, young chef keen to join the kitchen?
TG: Attitude, always. But something particularly important to me is mindfulness — focus, sensitivity and humility trump any experience someone might have.
B: Hiring is a real challenge for restaurants right now, what's important to you when you hire, what do you look for?
TG: Trying to look for staff in the last two years has been very hard! For questions I like to ask, I like to break it down fast. I’m always curious about people’s Love Language, what they had for dinner the night before and who they’re listening to right now.
B: So you’re running the roles of head chef and mum, any advice for young female chefs out there?
TG: March to the beat of your own drum and the gut is always right. Find the right work environment for you. Be flexible always so you can receive it because if you choose to wear many hats, you are going to need it!
B: You told me last week that the produce at this time of the year is your favourite. Say you’re organising a dinner party with your friends this week, what's on the menu?
TG: Boiled artichokes and aioli, braised greens (cime di rapa, kales, erbette) with garlic and chili, roasted radicchio with honey and sherry vinegar, grilled lamb chops with a side of tinned anchovies , clementines (for palate cleansing) and Mapo if there’s still room.
B: On the seasonal note, what produce are you most excited to cook with this time of the year and in what dish? Please share!
TG: Citrus, radicchio, artichokes, chicories, crimson snow apples, celery, southern calamari, offal!
Recipe: Grilled spiced calamari with citrus and celery
1kg Cleaned calamari cut into rings
Four celery stalks and leaves cut into strips
Citrus segments — anything that’s singing at the moment. Clementines, ruby grapefruits or lemons (and save the juice)
Coriander seeds, fennel seeds, white pepper, salt — toasted and ground with flakey salt
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
— In a bowl rub toasted and ground spices into calamari rings
— Heat up a skillet pan or a grill. Cook calamari resisting the temptation to move them around. — Leave on high heat to caramelise, after 2 mins flip and kiss other sides and let rest in a bowl.
— In a separate bowl add your segments and juice and season with honey, a dash of fish and soy sauce. Taste and adjust to your liking.
— Add to your calamari along with your celery and toss for a happy marriage.
Good as a starter or with hot rice and a chardy.
B: What’s a kitchen trick you think more home cooks need to know about?
TG: Green goddess dressing in the NutriBullet.
— Open the fridge and grab whatever herbs are hanging out — this can include any salad leaves and even frozen green peas if you need to bulk her up.
— Boil an egg to soft boil, approx four and a half mins.
— Collect your fave condiments — a mustard, some capers, anchovies, a few cornichons, and a dash of vinegar. If you are lucky and have a lemon, zest her up and add the juice too.
— Place it all in the NutriBullet, cover it with either a neutral oil or mild olive oil and blitz.
— Taste and adjust seasoning with either salt, acid, mustard or another egg!
Serve with eggs, grilled meat, fish or toss through boiled cold potatoes. The possibilities are endless…
B: It’s pretty obvious by now that you run a very busy life. When it’s all a bit chaotic and there’s not much left in the tank, what’s for dinner?
Five quick qs:
1. Best condiment in your pantry right now?
Moon Mart anchovy and green chilli.
2. What’s a worthless kitchen utensil that no one needs but everyone has?
I don't have one as I am very minimal, I store nothing that is not used or needed. But I would have to say right now air fryers are going to be contributing to more landfill.
3. You’ve got the night off (work and kids), where are you going for dinner?
4. If you had to eat one cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be?
5. Would you rather all your food be a little too salty or never have enough salt?
Too salty because you can always correct it with sweet hot rice on the spoon.
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