PHUKET: Following on the heels of a successful wine dinner at Mom Tri’s Villa Royale in Kata Noi, head chef Darren Wiper spoke to The Phuket News about the work involved in creating the perfect menu.
How long have you worked at Mom Tri’s?
I have been working for Mom Tri nearly four years now. Prior to that I spent three years in Bermuda at a fine dining Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar, and before that three years in the south of France in a small 11th-century medieval village on the Côte d’Azur.
If I had to specify my cooking style, I would say French cuisine with a contemporary element.
What is involved in creating a successful wine dinner?
It is very important that the food and wine go up in stages with each course.
Strong intense flavours with the food should be paired with a more full-bodied
wine. The first thing is consulting with the wine director who points out the characteristics of the wine. He will suggest what flavours or ingredients will bring out
the best for the wine.
Often with our wine dinners the wine is selected by the wine companies or distributors, then we must pair the food to the wine. If the wine dinner has a theme we must also match the food to the theme. For example, for our latest wine dinner
we had New Zealand wines so we served lamb.
Once I have finalised a menu I pass it to Georges Ciret, our wine director.
What is your absolutely favourite dish to cook?
I prefer braised slow cooked meats such as pork belly, lamb shank or veal cheek stew. These are more homely cuts of meat but can still be made into refined restaurant dishes.
What is your signature dish at Mom Tri’s?
Pork belly and sea scallop with a curried pumpkin puree, rhubarb and ginger chutney (B890++). Pork belly is a classic home cooked dish which we serve with a restaurant twist and presentation.