Chef of the Week: Daniel Aladics, Pastry Chef at Gooey Co in Manchester

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I have been working at the Gooey Co for one year.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I truly believe my passion for creativity and the visual imagination for pastry products came from my father who has been an artist all his life. I completed a 3-year pastry school back in Hungary alongside training every 2 weeks in a 4 or 5-star hotel. After school I did 12 years of hard work in different types of 5-star hotels, 3 AA rosettes restaurants and members clubs.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
For me, to enjoy what I’m doing every day, is to make people enjoy and for myself to be happy with what I have created with the right flavour and texture balance…and of course a good team work.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
3 ingredients that I like to “sprinkle” in whenever I can would be: butter, vanilla pod and light brown sugar.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
Personally, my favourite and most-used equipment would be the Victorinox pastry knife.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
A trend, which I am also doing, is blending French and English flavour profiles into an American style of cake and sweets.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
The things chefs are struggling with, and it can let themselves down, is long working hours, sleepless nights and the constant focus which is 100% required every day.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Favourite time of the year is spring and summer time. There is plenty sessional fruit to enjoy.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
The dishes I am most proud of in my career would be a black forest baked Alaska, a sticky cinnamon bun and my potato sourdough.

How do you come up with new dishes?
The inspiration for new products usually depends on the brief of the occasion or seasonal ingredients.

Who was your greatest influence?
My influences are my previous head pastry chefs and colleagues who I learned all I could from through those years.

Tell us three chefs you admire
There is more than 3 chef I would mention and everyone deserves to be mentioned by name!

What is your favourite cookbook?
‘Tartine’ and ‘Flour Water Salt’…. And my recipe books!

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
The guys from Gooey definitely! There are some exiting things we will bringing up very soon.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Pollen Bakery and Maray Restaurant (from Liverpool, opening in Deansgate soon).