Kyle Street, executive chef at Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar and Federal Delicatessen, is an avid lover of street food. He takes a playful approach to cooking – for him it is all about provenance, big flavours and, most importantly, respecting his ingredients. Through his monthly Bite column he shares insights and recipes based around staff meals served at the restaurants. Here he shares insights on himself...
What’s your earliest food memory?
My first food epiphany came while washing dishes in a café in wellington. The chef fed me a perfectly cooked green bean with butter, and God forbid seasoning. It was glorious and ignited a hunger in me to discover all the wonderful foods I had been missing out on.
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
Street food. I’ve always had a love for fast, fresh food, and my travels through America and Europe showed me how to do it right.
Who is your cooking idol?
Locally it has to be Al Brown, he has taught me so much, and his passion for flavor and NZ ingredients is inspiring. Abroad Anthony Bourdain. The man’s a rock star, I love the way he looks at food as a vehicle for good times and memories.
What is your greatest cooking achievement to date?
I’d say Depot, it was a huge step for me to take the reigns, and working with Al & the Depot team has meant that I’m always surrounded with passionate people.
What’s your favourite meal?
It may sound mundane, but I love American Hot Dogs. The Chicago dog with dill pickle relish and sport peppers being one of my favourites.
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?
I inadvertently tried burning down Logan Brown once. I was roasting veal bones and hadn’t noticed fat had dripped into the bottom of the oven. Later I turned the oven up.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
South America, it’s on my hit list, I ate amazing Latin food in Chicago and L.A, but I want to get to the grass roots of their cuisine.
What are your kitchen must haves?
Hot Sauce of varying types, a sharp chef’s knife, a keen eye. And a tasting spoon close at hand at all times.
Why do you love cooking?
I love sharing my food with others, and their reaction to it. I also enjoy the journey, in professional kitchens every day brings a new challenge.
Who is your dream dinner guest?
Anthony Bourdain. I’d love to serve him some of our countries amazing delicacies.
Here are Kyle Street's recipes.