After a couple of weeks in the Italian sunshine, eating some of the best gelato, pizza and pasta known to have ever past my lips and of course drinking quite possibly the best coffee in the world, The Gingerbread Woman is refreshed and back! To kick start what is proving to be a sizzling July we catch up with Graeme Pallister who is running the show at 63 Tay Street in Perth.
Perthshire born Graeme trained at Kinloch House Hotel in the mid-90s and has since worked at Longueville Manor in Jersey, The Angel in Sussex, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and Let’s Eat Perth where he was head chef for two years. Passionate about embracing local, honest and simple food, the greatest care and attention goes into every dish prepared by him and his team, using the best quality of ingredients. What’s more he also picked up the CIS Chef of the Year Award earlier this year, recognising his culinary skills.
1. Name: Graeme Pallister
2. Current position: Chef/Patron 63 Tay Street restaurant in Perth
3. What is your signature dinner party dish? I do a mean chicken chow mein, great fun to eat and helps to relax your guests.
4. Who encouraged you to get into the kitchen? My grandmother was a Cordon Bleu cook and my older brother became a chef. I worked in an Indian restaurant when I was 14 at weekends – I was the fastest onion-peeler in Coupar Angus! It seemed a natural progression.
5. What store cupboard essentials could you not live with out? I love the art of tea-making and have a great collection of fresh teas, tomato ketchup seems to appear on most late night things plus great bread and cheese is an absolute must. And all the ingredients for my wife’s homemade cakes and cookies need to be stocked up, I would hate to interrupt the flow of production!
6. What five dishes should everyone be able to cook from scratch? Sunday roast jumps out first, a good pot of soup, a lemon tart, a well-balanced and seasoned green salad and a simple whole roast fish with a perfect butter sauce.
7. Which five famous people would you like to invite to your own home to cook for? Charlie Chaplin, Stephen Fry, Jodie Foster (childhood crush, wasted), Genghis Khan and Hugh Laurie.
8. What do the contents of your own fridge at home say about you? It’s a typical family fridge with young children – it gets stocked up then runs out pretty quickly! There’s always lots of different vegetables, fresh eggs, milk and an array of yogurts and always a whole chicken sitting ready for Sunday, which is very much a special day as its the only time we spend as a family breaking bread round the table.
9. What do you do to relax and unwind when you’re not cooking up a storm? I am progressing as a part-time athlete. Over the past 10 years I have run several marathons and this year I’m entering the Kindrochit Quadrathlon, so basically when I can, I’m either running up a munro, cycling around one or swimming to one.
10. What sort of legacy would you like to leave in the world of food? Not so much of a legacy but a nod of recognition to a humble good cook that dedicated his life to Scottish cookery, never re-wrote the book or got the medal but realised he was part of something magnificent and loved every bloody minute of it!
63 Tay Street, Perth www.63taystreet.com
Visit Graeme’s very own blog http://www.localhonestsimple.co.uk/category/ramblings/