Life on Plate: Andrew Atkinson
My day starts with... coffee! I have an average of three double expressos every day.
The very first meal I prepared was. crisp-butties! When I was in hostel we used to bunk out to the bakery and buy the freshly baked bread in the early hours of the morning and filled it with mounds of crisps.
I knew I wanted to be a chef. when I couldn't get in to do quantity surveying. I always had a passion for cooking. I was always drawn towards food - in school, in the army and after the army.
The first pie I made was. a country-style fish pie.
My secret to good pastry is. try handle the dough as little as possible. And don't over-roll it. Keep the pastry as cold as possible and when baking pies, place a separate oven dish with water in the oven underneath the rack on which you are baking the pastry. This creates steam to give the pastry the moisture it needs.
Sweet or savoury pie? Why not both? Okay then, definitely sweet pies. My favourite is a cinnamon sugar-coated apple, rhubarb and strawberry pie with Amarula custard and Chantilly cream. Yummy.
The best pie I've made is... a sticky Asian pork and chanterelle mushroom pie.
The best way to enjoy a pie is. to eat the lot! Savoury pies are best with whipped creamed potato and homemade gravy. Sweet pies are best with half-whipped Chantilly cream and ice cream. Yes, both!
My best bought pie comes from. Woolies, when they have them - the large pork pies with boiled eggs in the middle are a favourite.
My worst pie experience. While heading home in the early hours of the morning after a shift at the rugby stadium we decided to stop at a petrol station and get something to eat. I bought a pie from the warmer and needless to say it did not go down well.
- Andrew Atkinson is a MasterChef SA judge and the executive chef of the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton.