Ratatouille’s gourmet rodent Remy is chef, restaurateur and Bite contributor Geoff Scott’s cooking idol, because he “cooks from the heart.” The owner of Vinnies restaurant in Auckland’s Herne Bay, Geoff ‘s choice of dinner guests are equally well considered.
We asked him a few more questions...
What’s your earliest food memory?
Thick slices of buttered Sally Lunn that my Dad would bring home for a Sunday treat.
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
I get excited by the passion that our Vinnies suppliers have for their unique produce.
Who is your cooking idol?
The film star who cooks from the heart — Remy ze French rat in ze film Ratatouille.
What is your greatest cooking achievement to date?
Representing New Zealand in the Youth Skill Olympics in the UK: four days cooking and being beaten to the gold medal by half a point.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
Delicious, uncomplicated food made with great New Zealand produce.
How did you start cooking?
Baking Edmonds Ginger Crunch, then taking over the stove from Mum and cooking for our large family on the weekends.
What’s your favourite meal?
Anything that’s home cooked – by someone else!
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?
When working at Le Gavroche in London, 27 live lobsters broke out of their delivery box before I could put them away in the fridge. They took off down Park Lane!
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Southern France, at a small restaurant in Aix-en-Provence, Le Clos de la Violette. This was my dream come true, I learnt to speak French, no one at all spoke English and all the produce and staff were truly local — the owner and his wife had never even been to Paris! Their cuisine was honest, tasty and had flavours of the surrounding land. Mouth watering!
What are your kitchen must haves?
Olive oil, garlic, Marlborough flaky sea salt.
Why do you love cooking?
To create a taste experience that my friends and guests will remember.
Who is your dream dinner guest?
Lord and Lady Grantham, Grandmama and the girls from Downton Abbey.