H&S Chef Of The Month: Meet Chef Josemaria Bennett
H&S Chef Of The Month
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Josemaria Bennett?
I was born in the 90s. I always wanted to cook from a young age, I’ve been a chef for a decade now, and I’m still hungry to learn more.
Type Of Cuisine?
I like to dabble with different cuisines. But if I had to choose, it would be Indian cuisine because it always uses fresh ingredients. It also involves making dishes from scratch, leaving less space for the use of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
Well, my mum used to be a private chef and I used to tag along with her to the kitchen, and I was her little helper that’s when I realized what I wanted to do, to see how people enjoyed what she made.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
I would say recently the COVID-19 pandemic affected the industry and many chefs lost their jobs and some had to start their own thing, myself included 😊 which is really hard.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
My biggest achievement was when I got to host a cooking show on EBRU TV for five years. I had the freedom of creating my own dishes and also just enjoying the whole experience. It also gave me time to start my own in-home private chef company called rocketmeals.
When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
I would say all, you must try and acquire them to be a better chef, I am still learning new things every day, that’s why I love what I do.
Recipe Of The Week: Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice
• 2 cups cooked brown rice (from 1 cup uncooked)
• 1 tsp oil
• 1¼ lb large peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped into chunks
• 1½ cup fresh pineapple, diced
• ¼ cup mixed vegetables pre cooked
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp Soy sauce, or more to taste
• 1 tsp fish sauce
• 1 lemon quartered
• Cilantro/parsley for garnish
Cook brown rice according to package directions and set aside to cool. If making pineapple bowls, cut each pineapple in half and hollow out both halves to make 4 bowls. Cut a piece off the bottom of the pineapple halves to create a flat base, then cut the pineapple into small pieces and set aside. Heat a non-stick wok on high heat; when hot, add oil. Next, add shrimp and cook a few minutes until just opaque (3 to 5 minutes), then set aside. Add garlic to the wok for 30 seconds, then add the rice, mixed vegetables, shrimp and pineapple and stir a few times. Lastly, add the Soy sauce and fish sauce, stir to mix all the ingredients and cook for another 30 seconds.
Dressing The Plate
Divide the fried rice and transfer into the hollowed out pineapples and garnish with cilantro and lime & serve hot!