Chef of the Week: Franciane Tartari, Chef Patissier at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in Scotland

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
I’m the Chef Patissier at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie. I have been there since July 2020, working alongside Head Chef Stevie McLaughlin.  

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I’m originally from Londrina, South of Brazil. I started to learn about Japanese pastry because the city have a big Japanese colony. When I was 15 I went to live on an island called Florianópolis where I had full immersion in the food industry working in pastry shops. I was a baker at one of the busiest hotels in the north of the island at the age 24.

Being a chef wasn’t in my plans, my dream was to be a diplomat!  I love languages, travelling and experiencing new cultures but I have my first child at 17, so I literally jumped into the food industry as it was an opportunity that could give me everything that I dreamed of. As a pastry judge at WACS I have travelled the world, I lived in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Scotland, won several medals in different countries,  in multiple categories. That’s also helped me to learn new languages, I speak seven languages and some dialects. I can say that today I’m happy and love what I do.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The diplomacy that food promotes. Food brought me here and around the world, and gives me constantly the opportunity to experience so many cultures, giving me knowledge and friends that I will keep for the rest of my life.

Being a chef is to have on our hands as art of expression, our souls in a simple plate. Food is connection, it makes memories.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
All types of sugar, together they give the right balance! Butter and salt.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
My Kenwood mixer.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Sustainability and vegan food. People start to look what they eating and ask a question from where the food came from. This makes so many companies start to look at not only how a type of food can be served, but have a conscience about what really happens to produce this food – water, energy sources, transportation and food waste..

Five years ago I decided to turn all my desserts gluten free, at the time that I was living in Sweden. 90% of my desserts were lactose free as well because where I was working ten out of ten customers have some allergy or food intolerance so I opted to produce a healthy, seasonal and sustainable pastry.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
I love summer, because there are a large range of fruit and vegetables available to create plates that refresh your body and give you energy. Every year I’m in a different country, I love Christmas time, because I’m always back to my roots and cooking memories.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Last year one of the combinations that really surprised me was a chocolate mousse with pickled pumpkin, pumpkin jus and ginger ice cream. Exquisite.

Who was your greatest influence?
The world champion Emmanuelle Forcone, I met he in 2012 in the south of Italy where he taught me artistic sugar techniques and showed me a new pastry world that in Brazil I’d never heard about. After three days working together he told me “stellina (little star) the world is waiting for you, you need fly”. Since then I dedicated myself and never stopped. He is not just a influence but a good friend.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Stephane Klein, Antonio Bachour and Kimberly Brock Brown.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Impossible to choose one, I love books, the smell of new and fresh printed pages, drives me crazy. I have a big library, at home they tell me to not buy anymore but is impossible to stopped me. I love to learn.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
New and young chefs full of creativity and energy, like Lorna McNee.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
Condita in Edinburgh and Coda, a two star dessert restaurant in Berlin.