Back in November I was lucky enough to be invited to a tasting by Judge Bao. Made up of pair Jamie and Debbie, this passionate duo created some delicious and novel Chinese inspired dishes. While there I was able further learn about their history and their cooking passions:
What does cooking mean to you?
Jamie: Cooking for me is a way to express myself and a form of escapism. To me cooking and food are about love and care, so what better way to show love than by the medium of food.
What dish from your childhood makes you happy?
Debbie: My mum used to make steamed black bean spareribs and steamed salted duck egg on pork mince. I loved having them with rice. Whenever I make these dishes they remind me of mum teaching me how to cook. Of course hers will always taste better than mine!
What's your favourite ingredient of the last year?
Jamie: I'm totally besotted with Doubanjiang!! It's a fermented chilli and bean paste originally from Pixian. It's salty, spicy and is the soul of Sichuan food. We use it in a number of our Sichuan dishes, mainly in our take on Mapo Tofu - our Sloppy Po.
You're bringing a dish to a friend's pot luck. What do you bring and why?
Debbie: Fried rice. It's one of my favourite comfort foods, and such a great way to utilise leftover rice and ingredients from last night's dinner!
How does each of your culinary experiences compliment each other?
Debbie: I learnt how to cook from my mum, so my cooking style is mostly home cooking. The focus is on quality of the ingredients, and appreciating the natural flavours of the ingredients, healthy cooking methods, and using less salt and flavourings.
Part Two to come later in November!