Kira Ghidoni is orginally from Switzerland, speaks four languages and has worked in the kitchens of British chefs, Simon Rogan and Robin Gill. Her culinary journey was taken to great heights after being appointed head chef at The Grove, in 2017.
Your favourite recipe you cook for yourself?
Gnocchi – it’s soothing to me. I love to make them and I can eat a tray by myself.
The one thing you always have in your fridge?
Eggs. For breakfast or to make cakes. Either way, they're essential.
If you could impart one piece of cooking knowledge to everyone, what would it be?
Always taste what you’re cooking, trust your palate. And cook with love...
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Potatoes. All day, all night.
Can you recall the moment when you knew you wanted to pursue a career in food?
I was apparently teaching the other kids at the kindergarten how to make biscuits. I’ve been surrounded by food all my life; I was lucky enough to know I wanted to be a chef when I was in my first year of high school. One day I woke up thinking “What if I become a chef?”
Your go-to dinner party meal?
I always bring cake. Custard tart or sticky toffee pudding are always winners too.
Who is your food hero?
My grandpa, hands down. He was a hunter and I grew up eating venison and wild boar. He’s the greatest chef I know. He taught me a lot.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to while cooking?
It depends on the mood. If I’m at work and I need to push, house music, loud! If I’m at home making pasta, Italian music – I sing along [laughs]. Driving to work it's mostly hip-hop.
Biggest kitchen disaster?
When I was 17 I almost burned down the kitchen at the hotel I was working at. I was making Osso Buco for a function of 150 people. I thought the bratt pan would take ages to heat up so I was cutting a brunoise in the meantime... As soon as I dropped some oil in it there was a huge fire... Scary.
Your guilty pleasure?
Chewing on After Eight mint chocolates straight from the freezer, at home while sipping whisky.
In all your travels, where have you experienced the best food?
I have incredible food memories for all the countries I’ve travelled to, but last year I went to Japan and I was blown away. I love udon and okonomiyaki!
The kitchen utensil you can't live without?
A whisk... I even have a tattoo of one on my shoulder!
You're currently craving?
Dumplings. Our freezer at home is full of them at the moment. I’m starving after service and it’s a quick and easy fix.
Any advice to new cooks?
Work hard and absorb as much as you can... Ask questions and write down as many recipes as possible!