Francky: "This is our 4th year participating in F.A.W.C and we absolutely love being a part of this event. It allows for us to create events that we wouldn’t normally have a platform for and markets them on a national and international stage. It gives a chance to experiment, create, add a bit of theatre and have a bit of fun with menus. This year we are playing around with another cuisine, one in which is completely experimental for myself but drawing on my knowledge of my childhood and the cuisine I grew up with."
How did you get your start in the food industry?
"From a very young age I've been interested in food, cooking, and being in the kitchen. Once I had that interest in food, it was all about finishing school and getting deeper into the industry. I was offered my first job by a family friend in his restaurant in Goa when I was 16. I worked my way through the ranks over a 2 year period, in which my passion grew. Once I turned 18, I decided to move to Dubai to gain the experience and knowledge required to be successful in this industry."
St Georges is your kitchen, you’re no doubt very familiar with the Hawke's Bay food scene. What do you think typifies Hawkes Bay cuisine/eateries?
"Our fresh and local produce, outstanding local wines, quality of suppliers and our location. The collaborative nature / movement of the industry in regards to harnessing knowledge drawn from the entire community of people who gather, grow, raise, prepare and work with the gifts of the land and the sea.
Also every three months the season changes and we need to revolve our menus around that season, so the cuisine across the country as a whole is shaped by what's available at the time."
In your opinion, what sets Hawke’s Bay produce apart from the rest of the country?
"Growing conditions in Hawke's Bay allows to produce high quality products and a vast range of produce."
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received, when coming up through the ranks?
"Whatever you think you should make, you’re probably wrong. Go to places where you want to work and wait for an opportunity there. Those are the places that are going to mould you into the chef that you will become."
What advice would you offer a young Kiwi chef looking to make a start in the industry?
"Developing a good foundation of knowledge, skills & but most of all the right attitude and work ethic will take you far in this industry. Passion for the industry is a must, with the willingness to always develop."
What’s your favourite dish to cook and why?
"Goan Seafood Curry. This is one of those dishes from my childhood, and is a staple of Goan cuisine. I have many fond memories of my mother making this dish, my dad leaving the house at 4am for the fish markets and returning with the freshest fish and seafood. Many hours spent fishing as a child, and our catch being turned into this dish. Every time it warms the heart and pleases any appetite.
Who is your favourite person to cook for and why?
"My three children, as it’s a way to show them how much I love them. It’s also allows for me to teach my children good eating habits, to experience new foods and cuisines and pass on my knowledge and passion for food."
Best street food you’ve ever experienced?
"Choris and Pao – Goan Sausages and Freshly baked Goan bread. This is a typical reflection of Ino-Portuguese from Goa."
Best fine dining experience?
"One–O–One Restaurant in London."
Hawke's Bay Winter F.A.W.C will run from Friday, June 9 until Sunday, July 9. To learn more about F.A.W.C or secure your tickets to the event, see their website here.