“Analiese, you’re going to have to move your car, we’re going to blow up your car.”
This has to be one of my favourite-ever interviews – Analiese Gregory is one of the most fascinating chefs that I’ve been lucky enough to talk to.
Not that working in food was an obvious pathway for her – in fact, having a father who was acclaimed in the industry actually dissuaded her from cooking (her dad, Mark Gregory, was the first New Zealander to receive the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, a big culinary award). And even though she made, “what lots of people consider to be, like, the worst move of my life”, she has single-handedly built an impressive CV. After working at Quay as executive sous chef, she ended up spending her days putting together one of the world’s most legendary dishes – the gargouillou – at Bras in France, a restaurant on her bucket list.
She also juggled living in a house with 24 stagiaires – and their many dramas (car-ruining and otherwise!) – when working at Mugaritz in Spain. At the world-renowned restaurant, no idea was classified as off-limits, so she got to consider the surprising connections between live squid and hip hop, or carry out fascinating and out-there experiments with mould. “OK, well I’m still alive, so now I can feed this to other people,” she says in the podcast. Analiese also nailed a dish that Mugaritz had been trying to create for four years.
In this interview, she also chats about her unforgettable time running a pop-up restaurant in Morocco – where everything (yes, even rubbish) needed to conveyed in and out of the city via donkeys. There were no cars – and there were no suppliers. But the produce within her kitchen-stocking reach was staggering – such as camel milk and more types of honey than you could contemplate.
During the podcast, she also talks about the brutality of working in Paris, her favourite places to eat and drink in Sydney, and her upcoming Funemployed dinners – which sees her team up with a culinary gang that includes award-winning sommeliers Giorgio de Maria and Richard Hargreave (who is also her partner), plus acclaimed chef Luke Burgess, who has just returned to Sydney after his spell running the amazing Garagistes in Hobart.
You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And epic thanks to everyone who has kindly spread the word about this podcast or left a rating or comment in the iTunes store – it makes the late-night editing marathons worth it!
For info and tickets to the upcoming Funemployed dinners (which include Rice ‘N’ Greens on Sunday August 2 at Cafe Paci, The Italian Job on August 16, 10 William Street and Role Reversal on September 16 at ACME), visit the Funemployed website.
PS Apologies – there’s a slight sound issue at the start of the interview, but it only lasts for a few minutes, so I hope you persist, as Analiese has so many fascinating things to say! And if you’d like to follow her, you can do so at instagram.com/analiesegregory.
Funemployed photograph courtesy of Luke Burgess