This week, we chatted with the husband and wife duo behind On Board Kitchen—a company dedicated to providing intimate and unique dining experiences via grazing boards, degustations and bespoke catering, and cocktails using fresh, local ingredients.
We spoke to João and Rochelle about their love of Portuguese food, bringing old cooking techniques into a modern kitchen, and the moment they knew a career in food was the right path.
Your favourite recipe you cook for yourself?
We both love a some-what Portuguese fry up of onions, garlic, chorizo, tomato and mushrooms - seasoned with pepper and salt. Enjoyed with butter on toasted kumera sourdough.
The one thing you always have in your fridge?
Drink: A fermented brew of some sort – kombucha, kefir, beer, wine
If you could impart one piece of cooking knowledge to everyone, what would it be?
We both believe in revisiting techniques your ancestors used to induce flavours and bring them into the modern kitchen somehow. Use fire, hand ground herbs or use stone ovens etc. Keep the soul of that kind of cooking alive in your food.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Can you recall the moment when you knew you wanted to pursue a career in food?
João: It was an accumulation of moments where I saw how much joy and pleasure people expressed after eating what I had cooked for them.
Rochelle: When I worked as the creative assistant (Designer/Artist) to Michelin Chef Yuma Hashemi of The Drunken Butler. Being in the middle of the kitchen taking photos and documenting the art happening through food was so exciting.
Your go-to dinner party meal?
We both love pork belly with roasted fennel and apple puree.
Who is your food hero?
Dan Barber. After attending his ‘Wasted’ pop-up in London and learning more about his food we were hooked on his avant-garde and eco-conscious philosophy. The pop-up was created from wasted scrap food from London eateries–turned into culinary master pieces. His latest initiative Row 7 Seeds is an incredible ambition to focus on flavour through breeding the ingredients correctly first.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to while cooking?
A combination of Latin Reggae and Soul Jazz with of bit of Electronic in there.
Biggest kitchen disaster?
Our chorizo terracotta grill smoke set off the alarm at a client event and the fire brigade had to be called to switch off the alarm as it was in a commercial space. Woops!
Your guilty pleasure?
Rochelle: QP Asian Yum Yum Mayonaise
In all your travels, where have you experienced the best food (and what was it)?
Rochelle: For me Spain had the tastiest morsels of food. I adored the bombas.
João: I have travelled around Europe and I have to say I still experienced the best food in Portugal. I especially love a seafood that is unique to our region on the West Coast of the Algarve – Preceves.
Is there one cookbook you go back to time and time again?
Joao: Ginger Pig Cookbook
Rochelle: Dr Libby’s real Food Chef and dish magazine of course.
The kitchen utensil you can't live without?
You're currently craving?
João: Grilled Piri Piri chicken.
Rochelle: Pastel De Nata
Any advice to new cooks?
Dive into the philosophy of why you want to cook. Then use passion and dedication to fulfil that purpose.