Ask A Chef: What Food Will You Never Order?
The lady behind the increasingly popular Spanish-influenced eatery Tiki Taka, chef Carrie Scully has a bubbly personality and a special passion for food reserved for Penangites. Because of her creative approaches to tapas and pintxos, Tiki Taka won our Best New Restaurant award last year, reinforced by the fact that the public had a central part in voting for the eatery's accomplishment.
When she has time out of the kitchen, Scully is a coffee lover with a sweet tooth, paying visits to her favourite cafes and bakeries to get her fix and relax with a book.
With experience as a barista and passion for baking, it's an open secret that she flirts with a desire to open her own coffee shop one day, complete with pastries and cakes that she loves. Which is why she chose to meet us at Ben's Bake Shop over at Plaza Batai, a bakery cafe she says is a close representation of what she envisions to own some day down the line.
2/7What Is Your Ideal Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner?
"I've always been a half-boiled eggs person, so two eggs done that way with a side of toast with a lot of butter and no kaya will do for breakfast. For lunch, I would probably have dim sum and I'll end the day with porridge," says Scully. "I like to eat porridge and I can eat it anyday. I feel like it's one of those underrated dishes because good porridge requires a lot of effort," she adds.
3/7What Are Your Favourite Cuisines?
"Definitely Thai and Indian because of my heritage. I gravitate towards these cuisines because of my background and it is where I also get my inspiration, taste and flavour from," says Scully.
4/7What Food Will You Never Order?
"It would have to be freak shakes. I know it is instagrammable but I don't know how to eat or drink it. I mean, what do you do with it? It's just such a difficult thing for me to look at," she says with a chuckle. "It's just too over the top for me!".
5/7What's Your Guilty Pleasure?
"I would say instant noodles. As much as I advocate healthy eating, local organic produce and everything wholesome...when I get home after a long day and I'm so exhausted all I want to do is eat instant noodles," she reveals. "I also have a soft spot for cakes, that's why I like to come here (Ben's Bake Shop), and I enjoy celebrating birthdays so I think I've bought almost all the cakes available here".
When it comes to her flavour of choice, a classic chocolate cake will fit the bill.
6/7How Do You Keep Your Palate Clean And Ready For Action When In The Kitchen?
"I drink a lot of water actually, which I feel is essential and very basic. I don't like to take too much of something as to compromise my tastebuds and I would drink water throughout the day while I taste," explains Scully.
7/7What Do You Think Are The Greatest Challenges A Modern Chef Faces?
"I think people come into the industry not really knowing what is required of a chef. You have to be dedicated and you need to have fortitude. Passion is important but you have to be focused," says Scully. In a physically and mentally demanding line of work, this lady chef's biggest gripe is the fact that a lot of people come into the F&B field with a romanticised idea of how a kitchen runs.
"Newcomers need to understand that when you first start you have to put in everything you've got. Even when it comes to washing and cleaning, which are the fundamentals, you have to know these things," she continues. "On a daily basis you're not only dealing with customers but also your teammates, which you see more than your own family. Each of them come from different cultural backgrounds and age groups, making you play a lot of roles at the same time".
To sum it up, if you want to be a professional chef you have to be a people person.
Check out the other chefs we spoke to: James Won of Enfin | Darren Chin of DC Restaurant