CHEF'S LIFE: JENNIFER KERR

March 06, 2017

We caught up with Jennifer Kerr, founder of Minato Sushi. Jennifer is a massive sushi lover and set up the company after returning home from her year abroad in Australia. Jennifer really missed the option of having fresh, reasonably priced sushi every day and so decided it was time to start a sushi delivery company in her hometown of East Lothian.

 

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU START IN THE INDUSTRY?

I started out in this industry 2 and a half years ago when I was 22. I had an idea to start up a sushi delivery company in my hometown of East Lothian which only has access to a couple of takeaways - a chippy or a Chinese. I would often travel to Edinburgh for good sushi and felt it was something people outside of Edinburgh would enjoy having access to. So I started practicing making sushi and started up Minato Sushi - two and a half years on and it's doing really well and needless to say I am lot better at making sushi now! 

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF COOKING AND WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE?

 

I have a very casual style of cooking, and to be honest, other than making sushi, I am not the greatest of cooks! I enjoy trying different recipes that I see online or from Pinterest - it's a little bit of a more modern way to learn than from cookbooks! 

FAVOURITE THING TO COOK?

One of my favourite dishes to cook is really simple but I really enjoy it! Baked sweet potato filled with water cress, feta and sweet chilli with a simple side salad

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD TO HAVE COOKED FOR YOU?

My favourite food to have cooked for me is steak. My dad makes the best steak diane so I don't even have to venture to a restaurant for it.

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES THAT PEOPLE MAKE WHEN COOKING ASIAN FOOD?

I can only speak about common mistakes made in sushi making but I have learnt a lot from my mistakes since starting up! It is so important to ensure you add just enough water to your sushi rice so you get the best result - or else it ends up either too mushy or too dry. It is also really important to ensure you get your sushi vinegar measurement right or else the taste of the rice will be too bland or over seasoned.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST TRENDS YOU HAVE SEEN DURING YOUR TIME IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY?

The biggest food trend I have noticed over the past couple of years (which is a very short time in the industry compared to most I understand) is the rise in Mexican restaurants. In Edinburgh there is a burrito takeaway or Mexican restaurant on near enough every corner - good for me as I love burritos! 

 

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE INGREDIENTS WHEN COOKING ASIAN FOOD?

My top five Asian ingredients to use are toasted sesame oil - this adds a really nice flavour to my noodle and chicken dishes. Sriracha sauce - I love this sauce and is great to add a spice to sushi rolls with for example, an avocado base. Eel sauce is great and it goes really well on top of my caterpillar roll. Rice vinegar because it’s essential to making my sushi rice taste great, and finally, I have started using tofu for all my vegetarian customers as they love it.  


IF YOU COULD COOK FOR ANYONE IN THE WORLD, ALIVE OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU MAKE THEM?

I would love to cook for Bruce Springsteen. I am a massive fan so I'd happily cook for him just to listen to some of his stories. He would be a great dinner guest!

 

WHAT’S THE ONE KITCHEN GADGET YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

I use a lot of avocado so I recently bought myself an avocado slicer to see if it would make life easier – it certainly has.

 

WHICH RESTAURANT DO YOU MOST ENJOY EATING AT ON YOUR NIGHT OFF?

My favourite restaurant to eat at on a night off is actually a sushi restaurant called Kanpai, which are based in Edinburgh. Their sushi is outstanding and they serve an amazing dish of aubergine with a miso sauce glaze which is my favourite!

 

IN YOUR VIEW, WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST TRENDS COMING UP IN 2017?

In the next year I think we will see a rise in veganism. More restaurants and cafes are now offering more vegan options with the likes of M&S even offering vegan sandwiches to takeaway. I think there will be a spike in vegan cafes and restaurants as more people are taking up a vegan lifestyle.






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