Hi, my name is Ash Mair. I cook, consult and write about food.
From Tasmania, Australia, I now reside in London from where I make frequent trips abroad to work and to search for new ingredients and inspiration.
Influenced by Spanish and Japanese cuisine, my food is modern yet respectful to classic cooking techniques and traditions.
After literally months of planning, waiting, more planning and even more waiting Restaurant Bilbao Berria finally has the go-ahead. All documents are signed and the builders are just about to get to work, so around 3 months from now the doors should be opening.
Now the serious work begins and one of my first and most important tasks is to find a passionate, hard working team who want to make their mark in the Bilbao Berria kitchen.
Presently I'm looking for a head chef whom has an interest in Spanish/Basque cuisine and would like to work closely with myself in the development stages and day to day running of Bilbao Berria. More information can be found HERE
Bring on the cold! Yep, it's here again, but its not all bad as the cold weather also brings warming soups, slow braised meats and tasty game birds for roasting. I simply love roasted root vegetables, especially parsnip or sweet potato, which are often overlooked for white potatoes or carrots and the coming months are the perfect time to enjoy all types of root vegetables.
Anyway, as much as I love cooking a great roast, much of my time is now being taken up designing dishes for the Bilbao Berria restaurant project. I am looking quite far ahead but I'm more than happy to work and re-work the dishes to get them as perfect as possible. Development does take a lot of time and can be quite tedious but it's an important part of the job which I also find most enjoyable.
The good news is that the restaurant project is definitely happening; it's just that it is taking a little longer than expected. Along with a few minor kitchen design problems to deal with we still need to finalise the whole layout of the restaurant to make the most of the space and to ensure it is a fantastic dining environment. We are pretty close and hopefully we will be starting the fit out before the end of the year.
Image Copyright 2012 Estudio In
The last few weeks have been slightly hectic to say the least but it's an exciting time with the end of one project not too far away and a new project about to finally kick off.
I've just completed "proofing" the first draft of my book and I'm very happy how it's looking so far. Overall I've totally loved working on it and it's definitely something I hope to have the chance to do again in the future. After months of writing, recipe testing, research and photo shoots it's a great feeling to see it all finally coming together and I just can't wait to see it in print.
So as one project is coming to the tail end I'm stepping straight into another with my first restaurant project in the UK. Nearly everything is in place to start fitting out our site in central London. A few more tweaks with the design of the dining area and a final kitchen plan is all we are away from starting to build. After that first critical step we will be recruiting staff, working on menus and training along with all the other necessary steps to open a restaurant.
All in all, we have a lot of hard work ahead but as a core group, we love what we do and we are taking it in our stride. It's an exciting time for us all and we can't wait to start the build then get the restaurant up and running.