The Great British Bake Off: The Professionals contestant, Mustapha Rahimi, recently joined The Butchers Social as head pastry chef. His career includes cutting his teeth at Le Cordon Bleu to becoming head of pastry at Searcys
Tell us about your cooking
I would describe my classic cooking style as both clean and unique. I like to combine unusual flavours to create an unexpected yet tasty dessert. While I always aim to deliver dishes that are both elegant and simple in concept, packing in an explosion of flavour is always a top priority.
How did you become a chef?
I am originally from North Africa and grew up surrounded by spices and different types of mini-pastries. As a child, I was always baking and experimenting with new recipes with my mum but I never thought that one day I would be a pastry chef! I have also always loved watching cooking shows on TV. One of my biggest inspirations and influences has been chefs like Gary Rhodes – he championed classic cooking and flavours.
What do you eat at home?
Anything simple and flavourful!
Who’s the best chef in the world and why?
Marco Pierre White. He’s my personal hero, I love that he has a strong personality in the industry.
How has your restaurant adapted to the current crisis?
Obviously, the pandemic has had a huge impact on our industry and many businesses are now struggling in lots of different ways. However, maintaining a strong team culture and working together while remaining both respectful and disciplined is the key to weathering any storm.
Share a cooking tip
Be organised and plan ahead, even if you’re planning something as simple as frying an egg! Failing to prepare is preparing to fail in the kitchen.
What was your favourite food as a kid?
Boiled potatoes with a salt and smoked paprika. It’s a very simple dish but always reminds me of home.
Food heaven and food hell?
Heaven would be white chocolate and passion fruit. Hell is definitely bread and butter pudding.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Caramelised onion ice cream.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
A personal trainer.
MAKE MUSTAPHA’S DELICIOUS BLUEBERRY AND CINNAMON MUFFINS
Here’s a great, easy recipe for you to make at home using items from your store cupboard.
- • 115g plain flour
- • 15g baking powder
- • Pinch of salt
- • 70g brown sugar
- • 10g ground cinnamon
- • 1 egg
- • 175g whole milk
- • 45g vegetable oil
- • 120g fresh blueberries
Sift the dry ingredients. Once fully mixed, add the wet ingredients and whisk the mixture until fully smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into muffin cases and bake at 175C for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the muffin cases.