Chef of the Week: Adam Kesacoff, Chef Patron at The Aussie Smoker in Cornwall

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Technically, I own a catering business so have a large prep area called BBQ HQ with smokers and a catering kitchen. This all started off just at home in the kitchen, then I converted the garage to a prep kitchen and now have an area of around 6 sea containers.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I grew up in a Jewish family where every Friday night we would come together for the Shabbat and eat. Food has been a part of celebration and in times of mourning and something no matter what brings people together.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
I do not call myself a chef as I have no culinary school education. Just a lot of TV shows, YouTube and mistakes. What I love the most is watching people eat my creation, the silence before the smiles and head nods of approval.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Smoke, salt and smoked paprika.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My lighter!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
People are loving the more relaxed vibes of sharing platters.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Thinking the eating experience is only about the food.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Summer is always a winner as everyone loves a BBQ, however I really enjoy showing that a BBQ can be used all year round and feeding winter warmers.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
My mum’s summer carrot salad. It’s a dish she used to make for as long as I remember growing up in Australia and now I am showcasing this dish across the world in the UK to thousands of people each year.

How do you come up with new dishes?
I love working with leftovers and just throwing things together. The quicker the better.

Who was your greatest influence?
My whole extended family contributed to my love of food all in their own special way. However an incredible chef said to me when I was really young, do I want to work when everyone else parties? I said of course not and his response was. Don’t become a chef. From this I went out and lived life and developed my passion for food and have brought all those experiences to now running my own business in food on my own terms… almost.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Aaron Franklin, Josh Katz and Yotam Ottolenghi.

What is your favourite cookbook?
The Cookbook by Berber and Q.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
The Wig and Pen in Truro, Conrwall.