Chef Paul Gindra interview

Bahrain Royal Golf Club’s executive chef on why he loves barbecue but hates pickled eggs Discuss this article

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The Royal Golf Club in Bahrain is home to some classy restaurants, interesting meal deals and fantastic views.

Time Out Bahrain caught up with South African Executive Chef Paul Gindra to talk food, kitchens and why he loves Mozambique crayfish.

Restaurants: Links, Repartee Lounge, Café T, Prego!
Chef name: Paul Gindra
Job title: Executive Chef
Nationality: South African
Age: 35

How long have you lived in Bahrain?
I have been in Bahrain for one and a half years.

Where do you like to hang out in Bahrain when you’re not at work?
If there are no social events going on around the island then I like to relax and BBQ with friends and family.

What’s your top tip for visitors to Bahrain?
They have to try a Bahraini breakfast at the souk in Manama.

What one thing would you like to do in Bahrain that you haven’t done before?
I am looking to start kite surfing as it’s something I have always wanted to do and Bahrain is the perfect place to start.

What career journey did you take before joining the Royal Golf Club?
I have spent my whole career in hotels and the last six years opening new properties for the Hilton and Carlson groups in many different countries.

Why should Time Out readers try your restaurants?
We have four restaurants to choose from and offer a good variety of dishes. We produce 95 per cent of our products in-house including our breads, stocks, pastries and only use the best ingredients available to us. We also change the menus on a regular basis keeping them fresh and seasonal.

What is the best dish you ever remember eating?
Recently on a holiday back to South Africa we bought some fresh Mozambique crayfish. We cooked them on the BBQ with garlic butter, lemon juice and rock salt over an open fire. It’s one of my favourite recent dishes as the simplicity of the preparation and freshness of the shellfish are just awesome.

What’s dish do you recommend at your restaurant?
Braised beef brisket with apple BBQ sauce, mashed potato, stewed leeks and roasted onion jus.

What sort of food do you eat at home?
I like to eat lots of fresh vegetables, lamb, fish and curries.

What are the three essential ingredients that define your kitchen?
Salt, olive oil, shallots.

Quickfire questions

Favourite cuisine and why? Indian because there are many different flavours and aromas. I grew up in Durban, South Africa which has a big Indian influence, so I am always in the mood for a good curry.

Who is your culinary inspiration? The diverse cultures and cuisines of the world are my inspiration. There is still so much to learn and explore and this motivates me to try new styles, techniques and think outside the box.

If we gave you an egg and two ingredients of your choice – how would you impress us? I would do a dry-aged wagyu rib-eye steak cooked to medium rare, topped with a lightly poached egg yolk and smoked maldon salt.

Describe your cooking style in 5 words. Creative, simplistic, fresh, modern, trendy.

Are you bad tempered in the kitchen? No, but there are odd occasions where you have to make your point.

Do you watch cookery shows on TV? Yes. Iron Chef America and Man, Fire, Food.

What is the one food you cannot stand the taste of? Pickled eggs. Yuk!

Rice, pasta or potato? Pasta.

Ultimate comfort food? Bunny chow. It’s the dish that Durban is famous for and is a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a spicy mutton curry and sambles.

Main course or dessert? Main course.

By Time Out Bahrain staff
Time Out Bahrain,

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