A piece of Cate
The very gorgeous & very talented Cate was our superstar chef in Chalet Laurent last winter & we’re lucky enough to have her back in resort next week to train all our new ‘winter 15/16’ staff!! She has revamped our menu for this winter and will be taking all our new chalet staff through their full chef training & we can’t wait to see her!
In the meantime, we managed to catch up with Cate to find out a little more about Cate’s passion for cooking, what she’s been up to since her season in Morzine & some of her favourite spots in resort…
Where are you & what are you up to?
After an amazing winter working for Treeline in Morzine followed by an awesome couple of months cycling through Italy and France, exploring all the delicious food and rich culture they have to offer, I’m back living in north London and working as a freelance chef, which I’m loving. London has such a vibrant, exciting food scene and it’s great getting the chance to explore that through different jobs, being exposed to all the latest food trends and applying them to fresh and current menu ideas. Every week is different in this industry and you never know what’s around the corner. For example, this week I’ve worked on a 7 course pop-up dining experience based around the seven deadly sins in a church in Notting Hill and run a canapé evening for 200 people in Knightsbridge. I also work as a food stylist for photoshoots and have recently worked on Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s magazine Halloween and Christmas editions. Over the last couple of months I’ve worked as a cookery teacher in a London based cookery school which I love as it’s a great way of passing on my knowledge of food and sharing my passion. When I’m not in the kitchen I can be found wandering around London’s surplus of food markets and seeing what each season has to offer.
Where did your love of cooking come from/when did it start?
I come from a big, ever expanding, family with 2 brother and 2 sisters and food is a really important aspect of all our lives. Both my parents are really good cooks and have always been interested in food and nutrition and have passed that love of cooking onto me and my siblings. Growing up I was always in the kitchen, testing out new recipes and baking for my friends at school, an easy way to become popular with your piers! Cooking has always been a huge part of my life; I made my first roast dinner at the age of 10 and have the scars to prove it! What I love most about food is how it brings people together, uniting family and friends around a table to share your adventures from the previous days, weeks or months. We all lead busy lives and I think that’s one of the best things about a holiday, it gives you the opportunity to get together with your loved ones, create new memories during the day and then catch up over a hot plate of home cooked food in the evening.
Can you tell us a little about your cooking training?
Cooking has always been my hobby and ultimately it has become my profession. A few years ago I decided to follow my passion and invest in a future that both excited and terrified me and enrolled at London based Leiths School of Food and Wine. This 9 month, intensive course is divided into 3 terms, beginner, intermediate and advanced. They start with the absolute basics, literally teaching you how to boil an egg in your first week, providing you with a solid foundation for the final term when you are trained towards working in a Michelin Star kitchen by the time you graduate from the course. It is highly assessed, with every component of each meal cooked being tasted and graded on a 1-5 scale, a little like Masterchef but thankfully less intimidating than having Marcus Wareing rate your food! Whilst on the course it’s compulsory to do placements in some of London’s top restaurants. I was lucky enough to work in the kitchens at The Providores on Marylebone High Street, which prides itself on serving some of the best fusion food in the city and at Michelin Star Chez Bruce in Wandsworth, both amazing experiences that taught me a lot about the industry and what it takes to produce a really great plate of food.
What’s your favourite thing to bake?
I love baking, I find it such a therapeutic pastime. It’s fascinating how you have so many ingredients and when you bring them all together you can create something totally different and delicious. For me, I take the most pleasure in making and decorating cakes as that’s where you can be most creative; either keeping it simple and classic or going all out, making something you feel really proud of and want to share with the people you love. Also, you can’t beat the smell of a freshly baked cake coming out the oven!
What’s your favourite dish on the Treeline Winter 15/16 menu?
I’m really excited about the winter menu for the 2015/16 season. I think it’s really nicely balanced with dishes that aren’t too heavy but are still comforting and satisfying at the end of a long day on the mountain. I love all the dishes on the menu but my favourite has to be the ‘peppered pork tenderloin with celeriac puree, white wine braised savoy cabbage, caramelised apple and blackcurrant sauce’. I think this dish has a great originality of flavours that all perfectly complement each other, with the acidity of the blackcurrant cutting through the richness of the pork, offset by the sweet apple and the earthy flavours of the celeriac gently melting into the buttery savoy cabbage. For me, it would always be my go to dinner party food as it’s universally popular. But, then again, can you ever beat old faithful, Tartiflette, after a day of crisp Alpine air?
Where’s your favourite restaurant to eat in Morzine?
Morzine is such a great resort for food and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a restaurant. At the end of a day on the mountain I would always choose to go to La Grenouille at the top of the Super Morzine lift. It has a huge terrace, perfect for catching the last rays of sun over a vin chaud or demi peche with friends and watching the sun go down over the village. For a relaxed dinner in the evening I think O’ Chalet has a fun atmosphere and does the best burgers in town, but if you’re looking for something more formal then everyone swears by L’Etale in the centre of Morzine. If you fancy something in between the two the Treeline team had some great evenings last season in La Flame at the bottom of Super Morzine, where you can get great steak and pizza and at Le Bec Jaune who have delicious craft beers and a pulled pork bun to be reckoned with.
What’s your top tip for any aspiring chef or baker?
I would say to just have fun with food, love what you do and work hard. Don’t ever underestimate or undersell yourself and always be looking for inspiration to bring to the table.
Find out more about Cate & how to contact her directly via her website:
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