The head chef at Rofuto, Pedro Miranda started out as a bar manager and part-time graphic designer in his native Portugal before working with a seven Michelin-star legend
Tell us about your cooking
I have been a Japanese cuisine chef for 10 years, at first in Portugal where I’m from and then in London, Manchester and Birmingham. In London, I worked alongside seven-Michelin-starred chef Yoshihiro Murata and his head chef Hideki Hiwatashi, who is famed for his Japanese haute cuisine (Kaiseki). I like to mix traditional cooking techniques with a modern style.
How did you become a chef?
I was originally a bar manager at home in Portugal and then trained for three years in Porto to become a chef. I have always been influenced by Japanese cooking as well as European cuisine from restaurants like Noma in Copenhagen or Mugaritz in Spain. In Portugal people cook at home almost every day and develop cooking skills as they grow up. My mother and grandparents cooked every day and were a big influence in my becoming a chef.
What do you eat when at home?
I find cooking at home completely different to at work – at home it’s much more relaxing. I cook all sorts of dishes from Portuguese and Spanish to Italian and experimenting with Asian flavours but not so much Japanese food. It requires a lot of ingredients and preparation so I save that for my work kitchen.
Who’s the best chef in the world and why? And who’s the best in Brum?
In the world it would have to be Ferran Adrià, known as the father of modern gastronomy. All of the fine food we know now and the techniques we use have come from him. In Birmingham it is Adam Stokes. His work is meticulous and his techniques and food are fantastic.
Is the customer always right?
Most of the time, yes. Not always, but most of the time.
Share a cooking tip
Sharpen your knives well. In Japanese cooking, sharp knives are an essential. Also learn how to sharpen them properly. It’s almost a science to get right.
What was your favourite food as a kid?
One of my favourites was a traditional Portuguese dish called Acorda. It’s a bread soup that is simple to make but delicious.
Food heaven and food hell?
Heaven is sushi, specifically nigiri if done properly. My food hell would have to be some types of insect. I just don’t understand the hype.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
In Portugal there’s a national dish called Cabidela, which is made of poultry or rabbit cooked with rice in its own blood and vinegar. It might sound gross, but it’s in fact really good. Something similar to black pudding in a way.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I’d likely be a graphic designer. It’s something that I was doing while I was a bar manager in Portugal.
What do you recommend from this evening’s menu?
Saffron miso black cod, served with razor clams and pancetta. It’s one of my signature dishes and one that I’m really proud of.
TRY PEDRO’S CRISPY CHICKEN, KIMCHI SAUCE & LIME
- 200g crispy chicken
- 20ml Kimchi no Moto
- 3 lime wedges
- 2g red amaranth
Crispy Chicken Mix
- 250ml dark soy
- 250ml Mirin
- 40g garlic, chopped
- 40g ginger, chopped
- Tempura flour, enough to bind
Blend all ingredients. Mix the chicken with this sauce and add tempura flour until it gets very sticky. Marinate overnight.
Deep fry the chicken mix at 160C until crispy. Plate up in a bowl, drizzle with Kimchi sauce and garnish with red amaranth cress and the lime wedges.