Brioche French Toast by Chef Stephen Kamau, H&S Chef Of The Month
H&S Chef Of The Month
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Stephen Kamau?
I am commonly referred to as Chef Steve. I was born and raised in Limuru, a chilly region in Kiambu County, renowned for its tea leaves and the esteemed Bata shoes company. Growing up as the second-born among five siblings, I cherish the memories of my family, though we tragically lost one of my sisters. Presently, I am happily married to my wonderful wife, Sheila Vuhashio Kamau, who originates from Western Kenya. Together, we are blessed with three beautiful children: Kate, Claire, and Calvin. As a chef, I am deeply committed to both my family’s aspirations and my culinary career, which ignites a profound passion within me. I am a diligent and hard-working individual, striving to achieve excellence in every endeavour I undertake.
Type Of Cuisine?
I prefer African cuisine due to my African background, and I firmly believe in the potential to elevate our African cuisine to unparalleled heights. By embracing our unique ingredients, exploring their flavours, and incorporating them into the global culinary landscape, we can create a remarkable culinary experience.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
I have always wanted to be a chef, as it has been my passion since I was a young boy. I would avidly watch cooking competitions featuring renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay and many others who inspired me to be who I am today.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
Some of the major challenges I’ve faced in the culinary industry include:
1. Power outages during busy shifts
2. Kitchen drainage overflows
3. Water shortages in the middle of a busy shift
These obstacles have tested my problem-solving skills, adaptability, and ability to maintain operational efficiency despite unexpected disruptions.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
The journey from being a commis chef to becoming a head chef has been an incredible achievement for me. It’s a path that many chefs can relate to, as it is filled with both crazy and amusing moments. Every day has been a new opportunity for accomplishment and growth. I have embraced and enjoyed every challenge that came my way, cherishing the experiences and the lessons they brought.
When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
When it comes to cooking, mastering various techniques, using quality ingredients, and unleashing creativity are essential for becoming a skilled chef. However, the key to success lies in having an ample supply of ingredients. The abundance and diversity of ingredients play a vital role in creating extraordinary culinary experiences.
The Brioche French Toast
• ½ cup butter
• 4 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
• 3 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1 Tbsp brown sugar
• ½ cup milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 8 slices brioche
The Whipped Cream
• 1 cup heavy cream, very cold
• 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preparation: The Brioche French Toast
Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a large frying-pan over medium-heat. Separately, in a large shallow bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined then add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar, and whisk until well combined. Finally, whisk in the milk, heavy cream & vanilla. Next, dip each slice of brioche into the egg mixture, making sure both sides are well coated. Place brioche slices into frying-pan and cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 3 minutes, flip, and continue cooking on the other side until equally golden brown, about another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with all the brioche, adding more butter to the pan as needed.
Preparation: The Whipping Cream
Add the cream, vanilla and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer, whisk until medium peaks form, make sure not to over whip the cream.
On a plate, place the French toasts and garnish with some whipped cream & berries of your choice. You can also sprinkle some icing sugar and cinnamon powder as well as drizzle some honey on top, before serving.