Signe Meirane


""I want to make a change. Not just do business, but make a change""

What made you want to become a chef?
Technically I am not a chef. I would call myself home cook and I always feel intimidated when people call me a chef. Long story short – I just love to cook, have loved since childhood and still do. But Im heading to go there – not working like a chef in the kitchen, but to get a degree. 

Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
Garden when I was small. My mother who always cooked for us. My grandmother who cooked with joy and love. And now – travels. 
What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
Reading a book, going through market, looking at pictures on instagam, travelling, talking to people, new unseen product, movies. I would say  - everything. 
What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
I love baking and then I love slow roasting (Maybe because we have long dark season, when nothing makes a person happy, than warm comfortfood).
What is your favourite ingredient?
Vanilla, orange zest and smoked salt. 
What is your favourite kitchen tool?
Knife and iron pan. 

Where you like to eat out?
Somewhere food is honest, simple, made with local ingredients, biggest respect and knowledge. 
What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I don't think there are thing to change – we need to learn basics, always. And then the rest depends on creativity and desires of the person. 
Your advice to young chefs?
Start slow. Dont jump too high when its not your time. Respect nature, place where you live and people around. 
What do you look for when hiring staff?
I do not, since I am not a chef. But at our magazine, when I hire people who will cook, I look for creativity, precision, passions and that sparkle in eyes. 
What would you like to see change in the industry?
I would love for the chefs to understand, that it is not about showing off, but about respecting the place, time and ingredient. And stop using that nitrogen. 
How do you deal with awkward guests?
Have no :)
What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
Honey cake I made myself when I was 10. From scratch. All by myself. Still remember that fantastic feeling, that it tasted excellent, like my mothers that I learned from. 

What is your favourite escape to relax?
SPA or better, getting away from the city, to our friends country house where all I do is cook, wash, cook and wash. And all for them. Love that. On real fire, cooking what grows outside, all the heritage recipes. 
What drives your ambition?
I want to make a change. Not just do business, but make a change. 
What is your signature dish?
Still my dear old honey cake, but kids would say waffles. After some years I would like that it would be croissant. 
How do you think restaurants should be rated?
Much more to what food actually is, not how sparkling is the interior, how many gloves are changed by the waiters, how much passion and respect (not just work) is put into dish. 
If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
Produce and then everyone else.