2007, Steven Wallis reached the final of the successful
BBC series Master Chef Goes Large, demonstrating his
love and passion for food, as well as his great skill
and determination which enabled him to become the
multi-ethnic origin, Steven is undoubtedly a highly
creative and experimental cook, whose approach is based
upon combining complex flavours using seasonal, organic
produce and a myriad of spices, herbs and aromatics.
Having won such high praise during Masterchef for his
great palette, Steven hopes to build upon his love and
understanding of food by training with some of the world's
greatest chefs to further broaden and develop his signature
in Reading, Berkshire 27 May 1970
up in Windsor Great Park, Windsor for most of his
childhood. Steven's parents worked for Crown Estate.
Had a very rural upbringing and family life was dominated
by parent's love of nature and the countryside. They
were keen gardeners and grew fruits and vegetables
extensively. Steven's Mother is a keen and often experimental
cook with an often very creative style, and informed
a great deal of his flair and passion for food.
aged 13, Steven spent two years in Pakistan - which
had a profound influence on his understanding as an
individual, but gave him a tremendous ethnic context
with which he still applies to creative life. This
period was dominated by a learning of exciting new
flavours, textures, sights and smells, which to this
day he still remembers vividly. Steven draws great
comfort from recreating many Pakistani and Indian
dishes that are representative of his childhood, as
well as developing new dishes that express a more
contemporary take on his ethnicity.
28, Steven graduated from Central St.Martins College
of Art in Fashion design, being one of the first design
graduates to secure a coveted collection with Designers
at Debenhams, under his own label. He also worked
with the milliner Stephen Jones, and Hussein Chalayan.
30, Steven made the transition from designer to consultant
- adding his aesthetic understanding and intrinsic
awareness of consumer and lifestyle trends to many
international brand consultancy businesses. During
this time Steven has developed concepts for communications
and design for many brands, spanning Automotive, Fine
Fragrance & Cosmetics, Hotels, Airlines, and Food
has a great cultural understanding, and applies his
curiosity to learning about every aspect of the food
industry. He has particular admiration for food growers,
producers and purveyors who seek to challenge the
status quo and continually raise consumer's understanding
and perceptions of great food.
other loves are travel and art/design, both of which
informs his cooking style a great deal. It is when
travelling that Steven takes his inspiration from
ethnic cuisine and the sensorial delights of food
markets where he applies his imaginative use of flavours
in dishes that he creates.
'lifted' from Steven's blog:
guess I have always been into food and have had a
steady fascination for it and its culture from childhood.
It has been a big influence in my life, and both my
parents have been very good cooks, My Mother was growing
organic veggies in our garden in the 70's, and constantly
managed to make runner beans delicious all through
the growing season.
Father's Pakistani cooking really is a massive contrast
to the flavours and foods that I grew up with, his
cooking style helped me understand how to cook with
spices and pungent aromatics, and how spiced food
can be deeply aromatic and complex, without becoming
guess my cooking style is a combination of the slightly
eccentric English style home cooking of my Mum's,
with an edge of exotica that is directly from my Father's
repertoire. Of course I have many cooking influences
and have my favourite foods - top of that list is
Japanese, as I am very fond of their palette (where
the Umami taste sensation has its provenance) as much
as their aesthetics for presentation and language.
I have been to Japan twice and am still deeply fascinated
by the country in so many ways.
cuisines I get inspiration from are French (for me
it is the basis for many contemporary recipes), I
do love some of the artistry, but at times I do get
lost on the terminology and preciousness . . . perhaps
because of my lack of concentration.
rustic and modern Greek food is exceptional, and for
me I love their use of simple Mediterranean ingredients,
often pared with quite exotic spices that one would
expect of the Middle East. Thai, Vietnamese and Indian
cuisine is as inspirational as it is good to cook,
and eat for that matter, although nothing really beats
a bloody good roast chicken - Label Anglaise of course!
I think it has to be one of the best things you could
do love to travel and cannot resist any type of market
to poke about in. If I could I would love to spend
my days going from country to country, learning about
local, indigenous ingredients and how to cook them.
I'm always riveted and slightly spooked by fish markets,
as I love sea creatures and am always intrigued to
see them up close. Cooking with fish is such a treat
and always a winner with hungry friends. I must admit
the Thai Monkfish Curry I cook is a bit of a crowd
pleaser, and any leftovers taste amazing the next
really is no fun without good people around you, and
I feel that it should always be an experience that
goes hand in hand with life's pleasures.
Wallis' Blog the urban foodie
28 August 2007