Executive chef Thomas’s years of culinary experiences have prepared him well for his latest challenge: to design a menu that honours the cuisines of Western Europe and East Asia. Trained at William Angliss TAFE in Melbourne, Australia, his career has taken him from top hotels in Sydney to upscale restaurants in Tokyo. Find out more about Thomas’s inspirations, favourites and vision for KASA.
Where do you find inspiration when creating recipes?
I’m inspired mostly by shopping for and working with seasonal local ingredients. I also get many of my ideas by reading books and eating out at other restaurants.
Do you have a favourite ingredient or technique?
One of my favourite ingredients is soy koji – koji is a culture for fermenting soy beans – because it adds incredible umami to a dish. I also love using oba (a Japanese herb related to mint) and nori (seaweed) powder. When it comes to technique, my favourite is curing. This process enhances the flavour of practically every ingredient.
How about a favourite or signature dish?
I have two dishes that top my list, both of which showcase local Japanese ingredients and a combination of classic and modern cooking techniques. One favourite is Yuzu Cured Mt. Fuji Trout. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus, and you cure trout by marinating it in the freshly squeezed juice. Another is Roasted Chicken Cream & Crackling. Slow cooking really brings out the intensity of the flavours.
What is your vision for KASA?
I want to create a memorable dining experience for my guests. This means sourcing the freshest local ingredients and preparing them with a combination of classic and modern techniques.