Joey: I won’t pretend that I wasn’t slightly intimidated by Ophir’s experience of cooking at the start! I wouldn’t consider myself to be a master chef but I like to think I can hold my own. However, hearing of Ophir’s work experience in a professional kitchen added a whole lot of pressure.
Thankfully, that feeling quickly disappeared as I started to chop up my ingredients. I was eager to prove myself and demonstrate a whole new world of cooking that even the top Western chefs often overlook. It’s funny how things never go according to plan.
I was taken back when we had to switch dishes to say the least. Prior to making the film I had eaten a lot of risotto but not cooked a lot of it. I was thankful that Ophir had left such good directions to follow. I felt rather bad that I couldn’t reciprocate- cooking good Asian food isn’t so much following a step-by-step recipe and exact amounts as cooking by ‘feeling’, requiring some experience. But you have to start somewhere!
I think I did well with the risotto considering I’d never cooked it on my own before. I have full confidence in my cooking ability but everybody gets nervous when doing things for the first time. Now, risotto has become one of my signature dishes, especially seafood risotto with paprika, which I actually preferred to the mushroom recipe I cooked in the film. I hope Ophir has tried cooking more Asian food since the filming. He seemed to enjoy the challenge and he’s a confident cook so I think with practice he could conjure up some tasty dishes.