Some of you probably know Dylan Taylor from the last edition of the TM Pick n Pay Battle of the Chefs. After 13 weeks and over 30 challenges, Dylan came out first, beating 15 other competing chefs from around the country. He has spent years in the kitchen and currently works at a restaurant up north in Chirundu. Dylan’s episodes in the Battle of the Chefs competition takes one on a journey of why paying attention to detail will help you learn how to use everyday accessible ingredients in exciting ways.
The Exposé magazine team was pleased that Dylan was willing to take time from his busy schedule and share a few of his experiences in the culinary industry.
Why did you decide to become a chef?
I couldn’t play cricket and my brothers were so good at it, so I spent most of the time in the kitchen with my grandmother.
Did you go to culinary school?
I have never been to any culinary school. I taught myself most of the things that i know and i also learned from my grandmother. Everything people do has to be done with passion. You can’t do anything without passion.
What was your first big break?
It was definitely the TM Pick n Pay Battle of the Chefs competition.
How would you describe your personal cooking style now?
I call it a tailored cuisine style. I take traditional classic flavours that work well and then tweak that into my sort of flavour.
Tell us about your TM Pick & Pay Challenge experience.
It was really good because it gave me an opportunity to grow. When i entered the competition, i was far much less of a chef than i am now.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
My little girl Mona, she is 5 months old. Secondly, it was the Battle of the Chefs Show.
What inspires you in the kitchen?
When I was young I used to cook with my grandmother in the kitchen and she told me to do what makes me happy and it is cooking that made me happy.
What are the biggest misconceptions about chefs out there?
It is the qualifications. Obviously qualifications help a lot, but there is nothing that stops a talented young chef from becoming the best chef in the world.
Do you have a sense of humor?
No. I have a terrible sense of humor. *giggles*
Is there a chef you admire?
Yes, there is two chefs i really admire. First one is Marco Pierre White ,a British Chef and the other one is Chef Steve Hyde who was one the judges at the Battle of the Chefs.
What is your favorite cuisine to cook?
The Japanese Cuisine
Tell us about pairing wine and food.
It is incredibly important. One can make a meal or break a meal and a good meal can make a wine, so it’s a big thing to pair the two.
Do you own a restaurant?
No I don’t. I work at a restaurant in Chirundu at the bank of the Zambezi River.
What is your best exotic vacation destination?
My honeymoon was in Zanzibar, it was unbelievable. But my favourite destination has to be Mozambique.
What has been your most embarrassing moment in the kitchen?
It was episode 4 of season 3 of the Battle of the Chefs. I read the recipe wrong and added 3 cups of milk instead of 2.
What are the 5 things you can’t live without?
Game of Thrones, good quality knives, good quality fresh produce, electricity and maths.
What is your culinary guilty pleasure?
Instant coffee, it’s always a great start to the morning when you have a cup of coffee.
Would you consider yourself a lucky person?
I am very lucky. I have a good family and a great network of friends.
Photography: OC Media
Venue Provided By: Cardinal Corporation