Are you as excited as we are for the Taste of Q8? As time edges closer, we’re prepping ourselves for all the fun that’s to come in the three-day long event. One of our favorite features in this food-filled weekend is the live cooking demos held by globally renowned chefs and culinary masterminds!
There’s nothing like watching an expert at work, inspiring you to go and create something brilliant of your own! That’s why we’re kicking off our pre-Taste of Q8 mood with a Q&A with star global baker, Dean Brettschneider. Known for his internationally acclaimed baking skills, and not to mention his delicious Singapore and Manila based eatery Baker & Cook, Chef Dean returns to the Taste of Q8 for a second year in a row! Sponsored by Costa Coffee, Chef Dean will regale us with baking do’s, don’ts and everything in between.
What is your favorite thing about baking?
It has to be the magic of combining simple ingredients together (flour, salt, yeast, water, eggs, sugar, butter) to create amazing breads, cakes and pastries. It’s what I call the magic of baking!
Do you find that baking is more challenging than other aspects of the culinary arts?
Yes, I do. Baking is an art and science when it comes to combining ingredients and processes together. With baking, it’s not until several hours later that you get to see your results, and often, not till the next day. It gives more significance to weighing, mixing and processing.
What is your favorite signature baked good made by someone outside of your concepts?
Now that’s a hard question! I do love the simplicity of the Far Breton: a traditional cake or dessert from the Brittany region in France. Its base is similar in composition to a clafoutis batter, which is flan-style eggs-and-milk custard with flour added. Prunes or raisins are common additions. It’s super simple and should be enjoyed with your eyes closed so you can let your taste buds experience with all their senses.
What is your favorite thing to bake?
At work: when I get a chance, I love making sourdough breads. It’s an amazing experience, working with natural wild yeast and how you control it to give you an amazing crust, crumb & complete flavors. At home: I love making a simple gingerbread loaf using grated stem ginger. I can’t wait for it to cool and then spread a thick layer of salted butter on it.
Do you find that people’s baked indulgences differ globally? (Based on your experiences).
Yes, I do. For example, sweetness levels in one country differs from sweetness levels in another country, so the challenge is to identify which level is right for the market and then deliver a product that maintains its originality and integrity. Having said that, one global indulgence that doesn’t change is the love of chocolate!
What is your number one rule when it comes to baking?
That’s easy but it’s not often adhered to: read the recipes not one, but two or three times before starting to bake. Many mistakes bakers and home bakers often make is they don’t follow the instructions, or prepare ahead of time (as in many cases with baking).
Which baking tool could you not live without?
A good set of digital scales. Without accurate weighing, problems will happen.
How do you feel about being back at the Taste of Q8, and what attracted you towards Kuwait’s culinary scene?
I love being back, and it’s an exciting time to be involved with the Taste of Q8. The Kuwait food scene is beginning to explode, not only with international influences but more so with the exciting local cooks and chefs that are bringing local flavors and foods into the limelight. I can’t wait to see more innovative Middle Eastern foods influencing other food cultures.
From a baking point of view, my style of New World Baking is all about bringing the very best of global baking to the region. Old World French style baking is being replaced by the more innovative flavors and textures from around the world.
For more information on Chef Dean Brettschneider, visit www.globalbaker.com, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @GlobalBaker. Attendance for this year’s Taste of Q8 is FREE, so mark your calendars for the 16-18 of March! For more information or to book your restaurant space at the event, email the organizers at [email protected] and visit www.TheTasteofQ8.com. Follow them on Instagram @TheTasteofQ8.