Chef Monica Galetti Recounts Rise to Cooking Fame
Samoan-born New Zealand chef Monica Galetti was the first woman to become head chef at La Gavroche and now runs her own restaurant, Mere, in London with her husband. Galetti talks to Britain’s Independent newspaper about getting to the top and judging MasterChef.
The publication asks Galetti how her international heritage influences her cooking.
“I like to adapt some of the traditional dishes from my childhood from both New Zealand and Samoa using British ingredients and European cooking methods,” she explains. [My favourite Mere dish to cook is] pumpkin agnolotti with marmite and mushrooms. I love the flavours.”
She also says it was difficult to “climb the ladder” in the restaurant business and “having to move away from New Zealand, leaving all of my family and friends behind”.
“Trying to balance a career at the high end of the industry with being a mother is always tough.”
When judging MasterChef: The Professionals, Galetti goes through a particular thought process.
“I’m looking for basic knife skills, hygiene, nice presentation, great flavour combinations, a good understanding of technical skills, great execution and proper cooking methods in relation to the ingredients being used.”
This year, Galetti is filming another MasterChef series, is starting her third cookbook and launching a gin in partnership with Salcombe gin. As well, she is creating a new Mere Champagne blend.
Original article by The Independent, April 6, 2019.