Natasha Capper


"My greatest inspiration comes from others who are as passionate about food as I am"


What made you want to become a chef?
I wanted to create art without being a “starving artist” and although I consider myself to be creative I’m not a particularly good artist.

Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food? 
My greatest influence was my Oma.  She loved to cook and bake.  You could taste it in everything she created.  Nothing ever went to waste and she grew much of what we ate in her garden.

What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from? 
My greatest inspiration comes from others who are as passionate about food as I am.

What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
I’m a pastry chef so there is no question; my favourite method of cookery is definitely baking.

What is your favourite ingredient?

It’s difficult to choose just one but fruit at the peak of the season cannot be beat.

What is your favourite kitchen tool?
Accurate kitchen scale

What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
The bakeshop

Where you like to eat out?
I love to try new things so ethnic restaurants are high on my list as well as places where the chef can be creative using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I would like to see students be more focused on mastering basic skills, not racing to get the title of “chef.”
Your advice to young chefs? Eat out often, eat well and push your boundaries; invest in your tastebuds.

What do you look for when hiring staff?

Attitude, I can teach skills I can’t teach someone the right attitude.

What would you like to see change in the industry?
I think there has been more focus on having a healthy work/life balance but we have a way to go.

How do you deal with awkward guests?
Wow them with dessert!

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
It was this awful, insipid beef stew made with canned peas that we were served at school, not a positive experience but I’ll never forget what an impact that had on me.  Life is too short to eat bad tasting food.

What is your favourite escape to relax?
Travel and eat!

What drives your ambition?
The desire to be a better chef tomorrow than I am today.

What is your signature dish?
Great tasting plated desserts.

How do you motivate your team?
Inviting them to share ideas and create so they are personally invested, not just making another dish.

How do you think restaurants should be rated?

There should be a ranking for how much passion and care is put into making each dish.

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
Gaston Lenôtre, Pierre Hermé, Francisco Migoya, Ramon Morató, and of course myself, but I think I’m going to have to take a demotion in this group.