Chef of the week: Stephen Gomes, chef-patron of Moksh restaurant in Cardiff

Every Thursday, our editor, Mark Taylor, treats you to an insight into a different Chefs’ Forum Member’s profile and culinary outlook.  This week, its the fantastic Stephen Gomes who recently hosted our most recent  Chefs’ Forum event in Wales. Stephen is just about to move Moksh to a larger site just across the street.

The existing Moksh location at Ocean Building Bute Crescent will be reopened in 2018 and will embark on a new culinary journey powered by Chef Stephen Gomes, It will see Cardiff’s first ‘Gastro Physics’ Restaurant: 101.

101 will see progressive Welsh & British cuisine with modern methods of cooking such as projectors, distillation of food, new equipment and a good helping of molecular gastronomy.  Wales’ first ‘Interactive dining Restaurant’!

Here’s the lowdown on the culinary wizard that is Chef Stephen Gomes:

Stephen demo

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
Ten years.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
It runs in my family and my chef father plays a great role. After I did my hotel management and catering technology qualification in Mumbai, I trained with my father at the Sun-Sand 5-star hotel and then my chef journey continued around 5-star hotels in India. When I left India, I continued learning and cooking in Dubai, the Middle East, Europe, South Africa, USA, Far East and London before arriving in Wales, where I have been for the past 14 years.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
The creative and innovating part. To serve food that you cook is quite a noble cause.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Salt, black pepper and garlic.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?
I love my rotary evaporator and a simple gas burner.

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Gastro physics and interactive dining.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Concentrating too much on presentation and not flavour.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
Without a doubt, the Christmas period. There is something special about the festive period. All of the pretty and beautiful lights and decorations complement and reflect my cooking. People are generally happy during this season.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
5000 miles form Andhra, and Willy Wonker & the Spice Factory.

How do you come up with new dishes?
In my cookery lab, SG Food Studio.

Who was your greatest influence?
My chef father James Gomes, Andrew Green and Abobaker Garda.

Tell us three chefs you admire
James Gomes, Thomas Keller and Rene Redzepi.

What is your favourite cookbook?
The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Scott Goss of The Twenty Six in Tunbridge Wells and Ben Chapman at Kiln Soho.

What’s been your favourite new restaurant opening of the last year?
The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds.