An Interview With Chef Jordan
Ever wondered what goes into creating all the deliciously diverse recipes that end up on our Gousto menu? Meet, Jordan one of the talented recipe developers who bring our menu to life with exciting new foodie adventures every week. Today he shares a few tasty insights into his career in food, what it takes to make a great recipe and what it’s like to work in the Gousto kitchen…
What inspires you?
I’m often asked this question and my answer is always the same; travel! And this isn’t exclusively from going on holiday. You can learn so much about global food from UK cities too. Living in London means I’m surrounded by a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, but my roots are firmly planted in the North. Growing up in Bolton and studying in Sheffield means I truly appreciate getting my teeth stuck into a British classic!
What lead you to start working with food?
My earliest food memories come from learning how to bake cakes with my Nana. Even as a child, I loved how food would always bring my family together – so much so that I would nag my parents to have friends and family over for Sunday roasts. Working for Gousto allows me to do this every day, just on a much (much) bigger scale.
What’s the best part of working at Gousto?
Developing recipes isn’t just about cooking plates of food, it’s about trying out new ideas and really understanding what our customers would want and enjoy. This is a collaborative effort which requires a huge amount of help from our colleagues throughout the whole Gousto team. They’re always more than happy to taste-test all of our recipes! It’s really exciting knowing that the recipes we develop help thousands of people eat delicious dinners.
What does an average day working at Gousto look like for a recipe developer?
No two days are ever the same for recipe developers at Gousto. One day we might be trying out new ingredients, while the next we could be visiting suppliers to ensure customers are getting the best quality produce.
A standard week in the kitchen would start with a recipe brief – this is the guideline for the type of dish that we want to develop. I would then spend a day researching and thinking up a number of recipe concepts that would not only fit the brief but would also appeal to our customers.
Once I have a collection of approved concepts, it’s time to get cooking! Every dish has to taste exactly the same in your kitchen as it does in our development kitchen, so we test and retest every recipe until it’s just right. Once a recipe tastes as good as possible I photograph and write up each step, so you know exactly how to recreate the dish at home and after that, we add the new recipe to the menu!
What makes a great recipe?
A great recipe is all about balance. Acidity has to balance with sweetness and salt to create the perfect flavour profile. I’ve always been fascinated by Asian food and I love how with just a few humble ingredients, a dish can be transformed into something truly special. Living in South Korea during my second year of University gave me exposure to such a unique food scene. I am often inspired to experiment with these flavours at Gousto. One of my favourite Gousto dishes is our Korean-Style Fried Chicken With Garlic Pak Choi, an indulgent marriage of Western fried chicken with the traditional flavours of the East. It’s a great lesson that I always consider in everything I develop; pay respect to traditional techniques, but don’t be afraid to experiment with new and exciting ingredients.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve recently been working on a number of Christmas recipes which will certainly chase the Winter blues away! We’re hoping our dishes will inspire all our customers to make this Christmas the best one yet. So look out for some tips, tricks and delicious festive recipes.
Even if I can’t fit everyone around my parents’ dinner table anymore, I’m looking forward to sharing my Christmas and holiday traditions with the Gousto family instead!