Matei Baran Q&A

We take a quick look into the life of Kikkoman Masters 2017 finalist Matei Baran.

Name: Matei Baran

Age: 39

Current Restaurant: Maxine’s by Bannatyne Hotel Darlington

Previous Restaurants: Jury’s Inn Hotel Newcastle

Hometown: Newcastle upon Tyne

Favourite Hobbies: Fishing

Favourite Cookbook: The Square and all Michel Roux Jr books

Favourite Kitchen Gadget: frying pan

Kikkoman Masters Dishes -

Starter: soy and ginger glazed beef carpaccio, tempura oyster, pickled garden vegetables and wasabi emulsion

Main: soy cured trout, aromatic fish broth, lobster, crab dumpling

What is your first food memory: When i cooked 6 different types of food for my families dinner.

Did you grow up in a cooking family: yes all my family was passionate about nice lovely home cooking

Who has influenced your cooking the most: probably just me, wanted to improve my knowledge every day, I pushed my self and learn things every day

Why did you become a chef? This is in my blood.really passionate about it

Where did you train? I trained here in UK , when I arrived from Romania. I started from the bottom and I learned and develop every day. I graduated from Newcastle College as a professional in cookery and patisserie

What did you want to be when you grew up? A Business man

Who are your favourite chefs? One is my ex head chef Paul Clarkson, and from the celebrities Simon Hulstone, Michel Roux jr

Other than your restaurant, what is your favourite restaurant? Le gavroche

What music do you enjoy cooking to: Depends on my mood, I like trance, rock, and rap

What was the last book you read? Just only cooking books

What do you think is the next food trend? I would love to believe we will be back to nice home made rustic cooking

What food is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream

Is there one food you really don’t like? I am not a very keen on very spicy food

Worst kitchen nightmare? When chefs call in sick and all your plans are over

Most memorable meal? My grand mother meals will be always in my heart

Last meal on earth? Same, my grandmothers apple pie