Sunday 27 May 2018

What chefs eat… (by Chef Kevin)

I started cooking because I absolutely love food. Since little, I have been obsessed with eating. My holidays are planned around breakfast, lunch and dinner and they would suck without great food. The success or failure of any trip has everything to do with delicious.

Having said that, the truth is that when it comes to what chefs eat day to day, you may be surprised. Given our profession, the assumption is that we eat better than anyone on earth, mouthful after mouthful of the most magical bites of goodness… but ironically, this is just not reality.

Chefs cooking at the highest level tend to be skinny, tasting often but eating rarely. Sitting down for a proper meal is almost unheard of and most meals are taken in seconds, not minutes, by packing as much as possible into your mouth in the shortest amount of time. You can always spot a chef at a dinner when he has finished before everyone else has picked up their fork. We chefs are always behind in our work, always facing new problems sprouting up like mushrooms in our pursuit to be ready for “dinner service”. The best things to eat are logically set aside for guests so trimmings, leftovers and scraps are our fuel. Food is our obsession but the actual consumption of it has its challenges, as most chefs just don’t have the time, the money or the appetite.

So, what do chefs eat then? It is after work that the true caveman comes out. After midnight, like a vampire, we feast giving our malnourished bodies the nutrition to keep us alive for the next day of battle. We are looking for the most fulfilling comfort food possible, nothing challenging, no experimentation, honest old school classics that never disappoint: macaroni and cheese, meatballs, roast chicken, scalloped potatoes… anything that grandma would make and the food that makes you feel loved; the dishes that hold your hand before bed and put you to sleep.

So, the next time you ask a chef for his recommendations on what to eat, keep in mind it may be like asking a four year old what he wants for his birthday.

However, if now you want to find out Where Chefs Eat… don’t miss this great little book. And yes, you guessed it, Cuca is on their list!

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Swig & Nibble™: a food event like no other

Food in restaurants has come a long way. Nowadays every city on the planet has access to all sorts of deliciousness. It is now taken for granted but I assure you that growing up things were very different and it would have been unthinkable to get a lunch of authentic dim sum, Korean BBQ, Indian Tandoori or a killer Turkish Kebab.

So indeed food has come a long way but there is one style of food event that is deeply rooted in tradition, unable to move forward, good but not great and in need of repair. Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about the dreaded Cocktail & Canape Reception! You may remember the last time you attended one of these beauties as people hung around for hours in uncomfortable yet elegant clothes looking happier than they should, sipping on room temperature champagne and eating small food from silver trays that is easily spat into napkins. We at Cuca are here to help.

We present to you the next gen of canape feasts, a fairy-tale food and wine experience:  Swig & Nibble™, Cuca’s uniqua-licious gastro tour!

This is how it goes: guests arrive at a unique space set up specifically for the event, locations are never repeated and guests are never the same. Three action-packed hours of 20 magically crafted savory and sweet canapes are presented on oversized trays brimming with humor and intrigue and served in a non-stop, predetermined sequence. All this, snappily orchestrated with meticulously paired wines and funky techno swing sounds.

Curious? We will let you know where we pop up next but until then, I guess it’s back to the violin and smoked the salmon.

Fish n Chips: one of our 20 tasty morsels 

Friday 23 March 2018

Happy people, more fish

Those simple words were the opening statement for the most recent sustainable seafood roundtable held in Bali. The goal was simple: to educate fishermen to fish responsibly Indonesia’s bounty of seafood ensuring a future for the oceans and providing better lives for those fishermen.

Local communities are carrying out multiple programs to teach old and new generations of fishermen and suppliers this very important lesson: less volume, better quality, more money.

Cuca was invited by MDPI (a non-profit organization operating regionally to promote sustainable fisheries and improve fisherman livelihood in Indonesia) to attend and shed light on the challenges we restaurateurs face currently working with local fishermen and suppliers. Our commitment to our customers is to ensure that the time from ocean to kitchen is as short as possible and all the steps along the way are icy cold. We need the seafood to reflect the magical pristine environment it came from and be a perfect example of the hard work that goes into making a dish the best someone ever had. No chef can revive a 5-day old fish but even a four year old can make that fish just caught, undoubtedly delicious.

Now "What can I do about all this?", you may ask. Well, lesser known fish are no less delicious so try and eat the things that are abundant. If you have no idea what you should or should not be eating the best way is to check the WWF fish guide for your county. It will probably have you shocked at what you should be avoiding and excited at what is best to devour. Wild fish taste better and are better for you so hopefully, we don’t become dependent on the manufactured chickens of the sea. Sea-food for thought!