Chef cooks around the world

Life an onion: BV Gourmet chef Eric Erdle has cooked his way around the world
Life an onion: BV Gourmet chef Eric Erdle has cooked his way around the world

Chef Eric Erdle has worked in the world's foodie capitals - New York, London, Paris and now . . . Blenheim.

The 30-year-old from upstate New York admits he is something of a nomad, travelling around the world while indulging in his passion for food.

His love for all things gourmet drew him to New Zealand's own culinary enclave, Marlborough, four months ago to work for BV Gourmet preparing meals for harvest workers during vintage.

Eric has been following a foodie trail since his early 20s taking in Europe, Asia and Australia and now New Zealand.

"I can chop an onion anywhere," Eric laughs. "It is easy to find work. I have met nice people and shared experiences."

Eric started cooking at 15. His first job was at a gourmet pizza restaurant in upstate New York but his love affair with the deep pan dwindled and he wanted to broaden his culinary horizons.

"I thought it was a cool job, but I got sick of pizza pretty fast," he laughs.

Travelling is something that should be a rite of passage for all chefs, he said.

"Travelling the world has opened up my eyes. What I would have thought was Thai food in America is not the real thing. It is not until you go to a country and savour their food that your truly understand food.

"In America we always ate cheese before a meal. When I went to France they ate it after dinner as their first dessert. Obviously it is better to go from salty to the sweet."

Seeing the world has sharpened his tastebuds and changed his cooking style. His mantra is simple cooking with quality over quantity.

"I am more specific with what I eat now. I eat a lot less. I like quality and have become more picky. A steak is my favourite thing to eat but I like rare breeds cooked really simply."

He hasn't sampled a whitebait fritter sandwich yet though. That's next on the menu.

The Marlborough Express