Name: Sharon Glass
Establishment: Sharon Glass Cooking School
Q. How would you describe your style of cooking? What inspires you?
A: I love cooking many different types of food. I am inspired by Vietnamese, Asian, Thai food. I am fascinated with the mix of flavours from the East. But I also love Mediterranean food. Having roots many many years ago in Lithuania, I’m sure the influence comes from there. I am inspired by everything I see and smell and taste.
Q: Describe a typical day in your restaurant?
A: As I run a cookery school, I am my own boss, so I have the luxury of teaching when I want to. However, in saying that, I spend my whole day either in the kitchen or food shopping. I have endless energy and don’t stop from the moment I wake up at 6 am until very late at night around 1 am.
If I’m not at yoga, then I’m at Woolies by 8 am, in the Sharon Glass kitchen prepping or trying out new recipes by 9, drinking multiple cups of coffee, testing, trying, testing and trying. I am always looking for guinea pigs to try out my dishes. By 7 pm I will have made about 10 different dishes or prepped for a class. Then it’s dinner time, and emails, social media, family time……and finally bed.
Q: What have been your proudest moments as a chef?
A: The day my very first cookbook was released will be one I will never forget. I was so thrilled that it was received so well. I felt humbled and honoured that people wanted to buy the book and cook the recipes.
Q: What has been your biggest learning curve?
A: As a chef I always thought everybody ate everything, and over the years I have learnt that there are many different eating habits around the world. I have learnt how to adapt recipes to different people’s eating habits.
Q. What are your favourite ingredients? And, 1 ingredient that we will never find in your kitchen?
A: My favourite ingredients are olive oil and Himalayan Salt. I think you can cook anything with both of these.
You will never find pork or oysters in my kitchen.
Q. What is your favourite dish that you enjoy cooking?
A: I love making desserts or baking. And my cheesecake is famous!
Q: Six people (dead or alive) who you would like to cook for?
A: Julia Child
Marco Pierre White
Q. What trends / challenges are restaurants facing in 2017?
A: Making sustainable food, using seasonal ingredients, no wastage – using all parts of the animal or plant;
Pickling and fermentation are huge trends because they add a wonderful taste to the complexity of dishes.
Q. The #1 thing that annoys you in restaurants?
A: Bad service and overpriced food. My pet hate are over-priced salads which are really basic. As a chef you know how much a salad costs and when you are charged a lot for something that is not worth it, I hate that.
Q. Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
A: I have always loved cooking and am passionate about sharing my food with my friends and family. After all, food brings us all together. It unites families and it is the one thing we all have in common, whether it be eating or cooking it.