Consultant chef Kieran Moore shares his views on Bahrain's restaurants
Time Out Bahrain staff
So why have you been in Bahrain exactly? This is my second trip over. I’m here to act as a consultant for the Bahrain Family Leisure Company (BFLC). Ponderosa Steakhouse is one of theirs, and I’ve created a complete set of menus and recipes for it. Bennigan’s is another, and here I’ve given training and tips to make the menu the best it can be.
And what’s this we hear about a brand new restaurant? Yes, Cucina Italiana, which will open in November. I have compiled a wonderful authentic menu for this concept, and I have been training the chefs on making fresh pasta and gnocchi. There has also been some intense training on sous vide cooking, which involves low temperatures under a vacuum – it’s basically a healthy, more natural way of cooking, using the natural oils and proteins of the product. One of the first dishes that will be using this is the slow poached salmon, which is first cured for 20 minutes in lemon lime and rock salt, and then cooked at 55°C for 45 minutes – the flavour and texture of this dish is stunning,
Is travel a big part of your life, then? I’m currently based in London, but have international experience. I’ve worked as a group executive chef in Sydney, the States, and even as a consultant chef during the opening of Euro Disney. I’ve also been fortunate to train in the kitchen under Marco Pierre White, Anton Edelman and Raymond Blanc. But I have my own company, Kieran Moore Consultancy, and travelling is a big part of my business, as helping others is something I do with it. Here I work with my sister company, Savvy IQ, to develop new, innovative and successful restaurant concepts, from business start-up to opening day. And we also help businesses improve. I also have a bespoke catering company, Coco Bahloo, and specialise in food photography – we have a studio in London where we design, cook and shoot food products. But I do travel a lot, and that is how I acquire most of my inspiration.
What are the main things you focus on as a consultant chef? Keeping ahead of the competition is probably the main part of being a consultant. When I create a dish, I keep on pushing it to new levels, adding flavours and textures, and presenting in different styles. In every country I travel, I set myself a rule that I must leave with 10 new great menu ideas. Hopefully, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Bennigan’s, and Cucina Italiana will all benefit through my input.
How big is the team at the restaurants in Bahrain? There are approximately 20 chefs, all with a desire and passion to learn and create outstanding dishes. With this much enthusiasm, I can bring the best out of any budding cook.
What do you like to make for yourself at home? At home, a nice grilled steak with a rocket salad or a roast free range chicken, with creamed potato and fresh vegetables.
Do you have a signature dish? Signature dishes in my opinion are dated, I think this goes back many years, to Escoffier’s days when chefs could make a dish they were comfortable with and become masters of that dish. I am a creative chef who improves my dishes all the time. I could add more of something, less of something, or completely change the dish. When I cook for people, I need to understand their likes and preferences. I will then create something just for them using the information they have given me – this is how you can surprise your guest with wonderful food textures and flavours.
Have you had a chance to look at the restaurants around Bahrain? Yes, I have tried many. I always visit different restaurants when I travel to other countries, as I love to see what is popular in the market. My two favourite restaurants in Bahrain are Block 338 and Bushido – these two really stand out in terms of ambience and service. And I do love the steak at Bennigan’s. More info from Bennigan’s (17 813 750) and Ponderosa Steakhouse (17 580 552). Cucina Italiana will open next month in Juffair.
Chef Kieran’s recipe: Twice bite cheese soufflé
Ingredients 20g unsalted butter, melted, for greasing 20g dried breadcrumbs, toasted, for dusting
For the soufflé base 50g unsalted butter 50g plain flour 450ml full-fat milk 2x pinches sea salt 2x pinches white pepper 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 3x free-range egg yolks 160g Parmesan cheese, grated ¼ lemon, juice only 7x free-range egg whites Pinch cayenne pepper
Method • Grease a shallow Ramekin or baking dish with the melted butter. Coat the sides and bottom with breadcrumbs. • For the soufflé base, melt the butter in a small saucepan. • Add the flour and whisk to combine, then continue to heat, whisking regularly, until the mixture is smooth and golden-brown, about five-six minutes. • Heat the milk in a separate saucepan until just simmering. Add half of the hot milk to the roux and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining milk, whisk, then mix in a pinch of salt, pepper and the mustard. • Remove the pan from the heat, then whisk in the egg yolks and cheese until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. • Add the lemon juice to the egg whites, then continue to whisk until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and whisk again. • Whisk one-third of the egg white mixture into the soufflé base until well combined. Now fold in the remaining egg whites and season. • Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top with a palette knife. Slide your finger around the rim of the dish, Sprinkle over the remaining finely grated Parmesan cheese. • Immediately transfer the soufflé to the pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes, 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4, or until pale golden-brown, risen and set. Serve with cherry tomatoes and a splash of good extra virgin olive oil.