Chef Interview: Christy Tania

A restaurant purely dedicated to dessert, Om Nom (one chef hat winner) in the iconic Adelphi Hotel, ticks all the boxes for Valentine’s Day romance. Don’t just think chocolate, think edible art as each dessert is careful crafted by Chef Christy Tania. With previous experience in Vue de Monde and Jacques Reymond, Christy has incredible skills when it comes to creating culinary art.

We were able to ask Christy a few questions about her past experiences and the love she has for her craft.

Chef Interview: Christy Tania

Photo Credit Eka Khoen from Manual.

When you were working those long and tiring hours at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, what came to mind for your future?

To be honest I was completely in awe of the experience. All I ever wanted was to try my hardest at that point in time. I wanted to acquire strong pastry skills, to speak better French and come out of the experience as a wholesome, better chef. My future, as history shows, took care of itself.

From the great chefs who you’ve worked with, what was the most valuable advice you have been given and why?

I have worked and am working with some of the greatest chefs in the world. I love my team and they constantly give me strong reasons to keep doing what I am doing. To sum it up, the most valuable advice I’ve received would be, “love what you do crazily, laugh at it, be angry at it, but never take it too seriously.”

What is your favourite ingredient to work with?

Any fruit of the season is awesome to work with. Like ripe raspberries, mangoes and strawberries during summer, or fragrant oranges and sweet chestnut for winter.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – how would you best celebrate Valentine’s Day with one of your creations?

One thing is certain: it will be a sweet Valentine’s Day. Like I said before, don’t take dessert too seriously. I would suggest dishes with chocolate or caramel, because it’s a day to celebrate sweet love. Then I’d pair it with something a bit acidic or sour, because that’s what makes love and life fun, isn’t it? This combination is what I’m presenting in my special Valentine’s Day dessert creation. It tells two different stories; two different flavours but together as one, they just work.

Christy has created the 'Love Bite,' for Valentine's Day, you can try your hand at making it yourself here.

Chef Interview: Christy Tania

Share with me your creative process – where do you begin? If you’re stuck where/ who do you turn to?

Normally, I would start with the combination of flavours I have in mind. After this, the look of the dish will start to form. The process includes incorporation of texture, structure and colours. It’s more seamless and flows naturally from my head, to the design on paper and then to creation.

It would be a lot trickier to do this the other way round. For example, when creating Om Nom’s new menu, I thought to myself I wanted to create an edible terrarium. I already had the look in mind, but not yet the flavour. When things happen like this, I always, always go back to basics and think about the flavours first. It’s a foolproof way of getting it right. You have to find a flavour combination that people will love, and then you have a winner.

If you could be an edible creation what would you be?

Someone told me the other day that I’m just like a sourworm lolly and I have to agree!

What does this mean exactly? I’m very resilient; you can stretch my patience, my will and my limits. I am sweet, but don’t be fooled as I pack a punch and can be a bit sour at times. However, just like the sourworm, I’m pretty addictive. Can we settle with that?Check out Om Nom's degustation menu at their website here: om.kitchen/