At the Pass with Chef Aiko Uchigoshi

At The Pass Chef Aiko Uchigosh .JPG

Currently

Head Pastry Chef, Miku Toronto

Formerly

Aburi Restaurants (Vancouver), Legian Tokyo, Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

Favourite dish to make right now

Any kind of pasta because it’s simple, easy, and delicious. Lately I’ve been making Japanese-style pasta, with soy sauce, butter, mushrooms, and bacon, topped with seaweed.

Last cookbook purchase

So Good.. No. 10, a pastry magazine published every six month, featuring recipes from chefs all over the world.

Have you read it/tried any recipes

Not yet! I like to see photos of the pastries because they inspire new ideas and help me be more creative.

Name one dish or ingredient you’d like to see gone from menus

Goat cheese.

And one dish or ingredient that you’re excited about right now and would like to see on more menus

Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit. 

Who are your biggest influences

My senior chefs while I was working at Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka. They were very hard-working and taught me a lot, especially since it was my first job in pastry.In addition, the head chef who was working at Legian Tokyo during my term there, was a big inspiration to me.He taught me the ins-and-outs of a la minute cooking style.

If you could eat at any restaurant in the world, where would that be

El Bulli but unfortunately, they closed down a long time ago. Alinea, because they make their desserts right at the table!

What’s the last thing you ate

Matcha brioche French toast. 

What’s are 3 must-have ingredients always in your fridge

Natto (fermented soybeans), eggs, orange juice.

What’s your guilty pleasure 

Häagen-Dazs Caramel Cone Explosion, the best store-bought ice cream flavour ever!

Top 3 favourite Toronto restaurants

Canis, Alo, Richmond Station.

Your go-to drink

Dassai 50 Japanese Sake. 

What’s one habit you have in the kitchen that you should lose, but can’t seem to shake

 I always taste test every component, even if I know it will taste the same. Just in case!

Name one habit you have in the kitchen that will inspire young chefs

Quality checking! I always check every aspect from ingredients, to temperature, to baking equipment. I use the same equipment to make the same type of dessert to be as consistent as possible.

Best career advice you ever received

A chef from Legian Tokyo told me to trust myself, not only the equipment or other people.

Worst career advice you ever received

To “stay close to home and be comfortable,” and “not to challenge yourself and always take the safe route.”

Your advice for a young cook starting out in the business 

Listen to your mentors but don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice your opinion. Innovate, be creative. Take the skills, methods, and techniques you learn and try to make something new and different!