In my fridge: Sam Pope

00:31, Nov 20 2012
Sam Pope
CHEF FOR HIRE: Private chef Sam Pope.

Chef Sam Pope has cooked at some of New Zealand's most acclaimed restaurants, including Logan Brown, Nikau Cafe and The Ambeli, but if you want to eat his food these days then you'll have to invite him to your place.

Wellington-based Pope has reinvented himself as a private chef, cooking anything from intimate dinners to extravagant feasts, in ordinary kitchens. He says it's a way to enjoy restaurant-quality food without leaving the house - and it allows people to entertain without stress.

Here's what he keeps in his own well-stocked fridge.

WHAT FIVE THINGS ARE ALWAYS IN YOUR FRIDGE? 

1. Organic eggs: They are probably the most important and versatile ingredient in cooking, be it dessert or savoury, regardless of the cuisine. A happy chicken makes a better tasting egg.

2. Parmigiano reggiano: Mediterranean food is a huge part of my life and pasta is one of our staple foods that we eat at least once a week. You can't have a good pasta without good Parmesan.

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3. Anchovies: They are nature's own MSG and the basis of many sauces.

4. Pancetta: So many more uses than bacon...

5. Olives: Another important Mediterranean ingredient that I love to cook with.

DO YOU HAVE A STANDBY, NEVER-FAIL RECIPE THAT USES ALL OR SOME OF THESE INGREDIENTS? 

A traditional carbonara using all of the above ingredients, bar olives. Finished off with a good bunch of parsley from the garden.

 WHAT'S THE MOST EXOTIC THING IN YOUR FRIDGE?

Trinidadian chilis cultivated from my Trinidadian uncle's garden. Very hot, but utterly addictive.

WHAT DO YOU NEVER STORE IN THE FRIDGE?

Tomatoes, as it destroys their flavour.

WHAT DO YOU DREAM OF FINDING IN YOUR FRIDGE?

A mountain of cured meats. And a cold beer.

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