For the new menu for Tepui at Chinese House, Venezuelan chef Gisela Salazar Golding created a “fusion of South American and Asian”, with dishes ranging from pork belly confit served with corncakes to shrimp with garlic and Thai basil.
In Europe, restaurants change their menus depending on the season. How does that work here?
Here we have only two seasons – rainy season and dry season. Now I’m using green mango; yellow mango will come soon. I have roast beef spring rolls with fois gras and green mango chutney, and then I have roast sea bass with green papaya salad.
You have introduced a lot of raw dishes, why is that?
I love that. I’m going to be selfish here. I find it more interesting to work with fish. There are so many different flavours and textures.
Was there one new plate you created and thought, ‘yes, this is great’?
The pork belly is completely different – it’s something that we eat in Venezuela and it takes me back to my country. The corn cakes are very traditional to Venezuela, but we do it like dessert, so I have to change the recipe to make it less sweet.
How do you find inspiration for new dishes?
I like to go to the market a lot – you always see the new products. I have on the menu the banana cannelloni – it is filled with avocados, chicken. This cannelloni is a product the Khmers do. I found it at the market: it’s a very thin leaf of banana, you put it in the heat and then make a circle, and when it gets cold it’s a crispy cannelloni. I think they eat it like a dessert.