Marianne Kempf - chef, The Gala Restaurant, Ardross
The Gala Restaurant, Ardross
What do you like most about your job?
Well, I just enjoy it.
Biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
To think that good or perfect is the same for everyone. We’ve (partner and co-owner Hans Lang) learnt to see professional standards and customer appreciation as two different things.
No specific cuisine. We like mum’s cooking as much as Asian cuisine or any other style of cooking. Basically we like all food that has fresh and clean flavours and structure.
Favourite interstate restaurant?
Haven’t got a favourite interstate restaurant as travelling around Australia is rather difficult when running your own restaurant. However, one that would interest us to visit would be Vue de Monde in Melbourne.
Favourite international restaurant?
Three Michelin Star Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube, the gourmet restaurant at the Traube-Tonbach Hotel, Black Forest in Germany. The consistency of kitchen and service is incredible. The executive chef for the restaurant has been there for 30 years.
That’s something we could not see happening here in Australia, as the focus is on always trying to be different than others and by doing so consistency is, unfortunately, lost in the process or not the priority anymore.
Pet hate in the kitchen/your business?
To deal with narrow-minded professionals who think because they know one way of doing things it makes them an expert in the trade.
Cookbook you couldn’t live without?
There is a set of 100 issues of a gourmet book from Germany we have collected over the last 25 years.
The books are a great source when looking for ideas. Unfortunately the production of the gourmet books has come to an end, as the publisher felt that the professional interest in gourmet food has changed and fancy names for simply nothing has taken over.
We also believe striving for simple food has overshot the mark and has created a gap of knowledge with young chefs.
There is no need anymore for cooking skills as we have known them in the past. This, in turn, makes the industry stale and unappealing for young chefs and customers alike.
What kitchen tool would you hate to be without?
A Thermomix. It’s a piece of equipment that cooks, cuts, blends, grinds all grains plus many things more.
It took me a while to get used to the machine, but once one understands the capability of the equipment, it opens up new ways of doing things.
What wine or wine style are you enjoying right now?
As much as we like Australian wines we currently enjoy wine from France. Like wines from Burgundy/chablis and Chateauneuf du Pape blends.
If you weren’t doing your current job what would you be doing?
No idea, haven’t thought about it. Lot’s of interesting things to do, but let’s cross the bridge when we get there.