Congratulations to Chef Ana Birac- our September 2016 Chef of the Month! She is Chefuniforms.com first featured International Chef. All the way from Croatia, Chef Birac was almost as excited as we were to have her as our September 2016 Chef. Read below to learn more about her life cooking across the globe and stay tuned for some awesome recipes she sent us for you to check out!
I WAS BORN ON JULY 31ST, 1991 IN ZAGREB, CROATIA.
- Where do you work and where are you based?
I WORK IN ROVINJ – ISTRIA ON THE CROATIAN ADRIATIC COAST, WHERE I ALSO LIVE AT THE MOMENT. I’M BASED AT THE A LA CARTE RESTAURANT IN THE OLEANDER HOTEL– THAT IS BASED BETWEEN SOME OF THE BEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD: MONTE MULLINI (NO.1 IN THE WORLD), LOND (NO.3 IN THE WORLD) AND EDEN.
- What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS ARE: A SHARP KNIFE, GOOD TWEEZERS AND A THERMOMIXER.
- What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
TASTE, MOST DEFINITELY.
- What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
DON’T EVER LOSE MOTIVATION. BEING A CHEF IS THE BEST JOB EVER BECAUSE THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO SURPRISE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM FEEL ENCHANTED, HAPPY AND SATISFIED. YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN COLORFUL LITTLE WORLD MADE OF INGREDIENTS.
- What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
A SHARP KNIFE AND AN ENDLESS IMAGINATION ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS IN THE KITCHEN. AND OF COURSE, A TOUCH OF LOVE AND CRAZINESS.
- What does good food mean to you?
FOR ME GOOD FOOD IS MADE WITH LOVE. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN EXPENSIVE AND NUMEROUS INGREDIENTS. YOU JUST NEED TO PREPARE IT WITH LOVE AND PASSION, YOU NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF TO THAT DISH.
- What trends do you see emerging in the near future?
UNFORTUNATELY, IT SEEMS THAT TECHNOLOGY IS TAKING OVER THE KITCHENS AND REPLACING CHEFS. BUT AS LONG AS THERE ARE YOUNG CHEFS TRYING TO BEAT THE MACHINES, I SEE A LOT OF NEW VEGETABLES, SPICES AND PLANTS ENTERING THE KITCHEN SCENE.
- What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME IS THAT MY CHEF COAT IS COMFORTABLE. AS AN EXECUTIVE CHEF, I SPEND 15 HOURS PER DAY IN THE KITCHEN WEARING MY UNIFORM. IT HAS TO BE LIGHT AND COMFY, BUT ALSO I LIKE IT TO BE A LITTLE FUNKY – WHETHER IS IT COLORFUL, WITH DOTS, WITH SOME PICS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I ALSO PREFER LITTLE POCKETS ON MY LEFT UPPER ARM TO KEEP MY PEN, TWEEZER AND SPOON.
- What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?
MY GO – TO CHEF OUTFIT DEFINITELY MEANS PANTS AND COATS. APRONS HERE AND THERE, HATS (I HATE TO ADMIT IT, BUT ONLY WHEN HEALTH INSPECTOR COMES J ) AND GOOD SHOES.
- Favorite ingredient to work with?
MY FAVORITE INGREDIENTS TO WORK WITH ARE VEGETABLES (NO ONE SPECIFICALLY), BUT BEFORE EVERYTHING I ADORE THYME!
- Favorite City to dine out in?
I DON’T REALLY HAVE FAVORITE CITY TO DINE OUT IN. IN GENERAL, IN CROATIA THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE ZAGREB. FOR ME THAT IS MY LIVING TOWN – ROVINJ. BUT DON’T GO OUT TO A RESTAURANT, GO TO YOUR FRIENDS HOME AND ASK THEIR GRANDMA TO COOK FOR YOU. YOU’LL HAVE THE BEST DINNER EVER!
- Best Dish you have ever made?
HOME MADE “ŠTRUKLI” FILLED WITH SQUID RAGOUT, DRIED TOMATO AND MOTAR SAUCE
Place you eat most often on your days off?
BEACH OR WOODS – IT’S IMPORTANT THAT IT IS IN THE OUTDOORS AND WITH FRESH INGREDIENTS.
Person you would most like to cook for?
FOR ALL MY FRIENDS AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING ME DURING THIS WHOLE PROCCESS OF BECOMING AN EXECUTIVE CHEF.
ALSO FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THAT MEAN SOMETHING TO ME IN MY LIFE.
FROM CELEBRITY CHEFS: GRANT ACATZ – OF COURSE, RENE REDZEPI, ALEX ATALA AND
ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ.
- What made you decide to become a chef?
LOVE FOR THE INGREDIENTS, LOVE FOR THE FOOD, LOVE FOR THE JOB, LOVE FOR THE UNIFORM.
I’M TELLING YOU – THE BEST JOB EVER!
THERE ARE NO LIMITS, THE IMAGINATION IS ENDLESS, COLOR YOUR PLATES AND MAKE THEM LOOK DIFFERENT AND PERFECT EVERY SINGLE TIME.
- What is new on your DVR?
THERE’S PRETTY MUCH NOTHING AND EVERYTHING NEW ON MY DVR! YEAH, FUNNY SENTENCE, I KNOW.
WELL, LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY: I AM TRYING TO DO SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY. SOMETIMES IT WORKS AND I GET COMMENDATION AND SOMETIMES I JUST… DO SOMETHING WRONG AND EVERYTHING GOES DOWN THE TOILET.
BUT I NEVER GIVE UP AND ALWAYS KEEP POSITIVE, SO THERE IS USUALLY SOMETHING GOOD TO TAKE A LOOK AT.
Come back next week for a new recipe from Chef Ana Birac!