Samuel Wilkes was born in New Zealand, spent a long time working in the best kitchens that Asia has to offer and is now a chef at Aï in Vienna. A conversation about Asian cooking and lasting trends.
You are a globetrotter – what is the biggest international food trend for Christmas
Chef Sören Herzig and I observe a trend towards traditional preparations with a modern twist; the healthy trend is not going away any time soon; people prefer to eat lighter and more balanced cuisine. This will apply to Christmas also. For example here at Aï, we will serve teriyaki turkey with wafu sauce and Japanese gluhwein made with plum wine and whiskey.
Which japanese dish would you recommend for christmas eve and for new years eve?
Christmas eve I would suggest Crispy Skin Arctic Char from the robata grill. It’s a light, tasty dish the leaves room for the teriyaki turkey later on. New years eve is always a celebration, I would recommend Aï selection of caviar with a glass of Louis Roederer Brut Premier.
3 things I must always have at home, if I want to cook asian style…
An Asian wife (haha), ok seriously: 1. Soy sauce: salt is just seasoning, but soy is flavour, 2. Shichimi Togarashi (japanese 7 spice) universal seasoning! 3. Virgin sesame oil for cooking.Your favorite dish of the Aï menu and why?
Yakitori chicken skewers – simplicity is the ultimate sophistication!
Please share one personal recipe!
Light japanese marinade: sake, light soy and ginger juice (200g, 100g, 15g) this universal light marinade is great for meat and fish! Dip the ingredients in 10 mins before cooking: voila!