Chef Willis' Personal Philosophy
I believe that meals are social events that should be free from stress and enjoyed by all. Ideally, meals should feature natural, quality ingredients that have had time and attention put into their preparation, where time and attention has been taken to honour their origins. These ingredients should be used efficiently in an environmentally friendly manner, minimizing wastage.
My personal style of cooking is to make simple, yet satisfying meals that feature ingredients that contrast and compliment each other to produce complex flavour combinations. I believe that food should be respected from the lowest grain of rice to the finest grade of caviar.
When we cook, everything should be in its place. Having what you need, when you need it, relieves stress and makes the process more efficient and seamless. To make the process more efficient, you need to maximize the time you have. This can mean making similar things at the same time, or using your appliances and tools to capacity. Knowing your ingredients forms the platform for an educated palette and the basis for more intuitive cooking. You need to continually taste your food – constantly correcting it until the moment it is plated. When you’re consuming good food, you are consuming greatness – it’s like standing on the shoulders of giants.
I am firmly committed to educating teens and adults about food and its preparation. Good cooking skills have to become a reflex, which can be accomplished through practice. I feel that teens should learn how to cook because these are the skills they need to become more independent and self-sufficient.
In order for the cooking process to become more intuitive, we must become more intimate with our ingredients and how they can compliment each other. For both teens and adults, it’s crucial to develop a trained educated palette.