Plates Of Passion: Chris Totah & Annie Masucci

October 2, 2017

Chris Totah, a Chef de Partie at The Newport, a Gastropub, will be working alongside culinary arts student Annie Masucci at the upcoming Plates of Passion event run by Bermuda Hospitality Institute, which sees local Culinary Arts students paired up with some of the Island’s top chefs.

POP Chef Totah and Masucci Bermuda Sept 2017

Chef de Partie Chris Totah

How long have you been a professional chef? What inspired that choice?

It been actually 11 years since I’ve been a professional chef. I’m originally from Mauritius [off the southeast coast of the African continent] and while I was growing up, it was my grandmother who inspired me a lot to start cooking when I was a teenager.

What is your culinary arts specialty/ favorite dish to make?

I specialize in Gastronomic [French cuisine]. One of my favourite dishes to make is the pan seared snapper with pistachio crust. This is paired with a purée celery rave, along with braised carrots and beurre blanc citroné.

Why did you agree to take part in this year’s Plates of Passion event?

I wanted to challenge myself personally and give back as well. I have always been as supportive as I can of Bermudian chefs, so this was just another chance to give back.

What is the biggest reward for you in doing this?

The biggest reward for me will be to see my student, Annie, progress and become stronger and more passionate about the chef life.

What is the biggest challenge in an event like this?

The biggest challenge will be the time. Trying to create a unique dish for guests, while also being mindful of how much time we have to prepare.

What’s your plan when it comes to preparing for the night? How will you try to stand out above the other teams?

For the night of the event, both my student and I will start by organizing and planning out how we will execute the dish from start to finish to ensure we’re successful with creating a plate of passion.

What do you hope to impart on your student teammate? What lessons do you hope they’ll learn?

To be a chef, you need to be organized, always have fun when you’re cooking [even when there’s pressure]. That’s how I want to impact my student by showing them how to enjoy themselves and properly manage the fast pace of this industry.

Culinary Arts Student Annie Masucci

How long have you been cooking? What inspired you to want to become a chef?

I have been cooking for over 20 years, since I was a kid. My parents are both the biggest influences on my cooking. Being a hardworking example for my nine-year-old daughter Kaya is also an inspiration for me to pursue my passion as a career.

What’s your ultimate goal and where you hope to end up in this profession?

My ultimate goal is to cook for work. All goals beyond that are TDB [to be deteremined].

Why did you decide to take part in Plates of Passion?

For me this event is an opportunity to learn more and to push myself.

How are you feeling about the event and being paired with Chef de partie Chris Totah?

I have been a huge fan of Chef Chris Totah for a couple of years now and am honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with him. I find his commitment to this event and the community especially generous considering with how busy Southampton Princess is this year with refurbishing restaurants.

What will be the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge for me will be to remain composed under pressure; to execute to Chef Chris’s standards.

What do you hope to get out of the experience overall?

Aside from the obvious goal of helping Chef Chris earn a win, my goal is to gain more experience in the kitchen; to use it to learn and grow.

This is the first in a series of profiles of the teams behind the 2017 Plates of Passion event, a one-of-a-kind dining and fundraising event run by Bermuda Hospitality Institute, which sees local Culinary Arts students paired up with some of the Island’s top chefs.

This year’s sold-out event takes place on Wednesday, November 1; leading up to the event students will have an opportunity to shadow their mentor chef, collaborate to create recipes and then assist with meal preparation on the night.

click here Bermuda Plates of Passion

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