Daniel Barbosa, Executive Chef at Duck & Waffle
How long have you been at the restaurant?
Which was the first restaurant you worked in?
Back in Portugal it was in Meridien Park Atlantic Porto. In London it was Dehesa – part of the Salt Yard Group
What was the last London restaurant you went to, apart from your own?
A little gem in the heart of Walthamstow, a Uyghur restaurant serving northern and central Asian food.
What or who has been the biggest influence on the way you cook and why?
Two things mainly: my wife has a brilliant mind when it comes down to food; she sees every flaw and isn’t afraid to point them out.
The other is travelling and gathering with others, both of which enrich and enlighten my insights about food. Whether it is the most humble meal in Thailand or a snack attack with friends and family, sharing thoughts about food makes us all have a sense of feeling and belonging.
What is your personal signature dish?
I am a big fan of simple food, so I often find myself eating pasta with only three other ingredients.
Francesinha, on our late-night menu, is a dish that I enjoy doing most. It goes back to my roots in Porto where the dish was born. It’s packed with pork meat (bacon, ham, linguica sausage, thin pork steak) between two slices of bread and finished with a couple of slices of cheese and a hot beer sauce poured over the top. The one at Duck & Waffle is similar and it’s made with sourdough, bacon, pastrami and linguica sausage, gruyere cheese, duck egg and beer sauce.
Which other chef’s) do you most admire?
Chris Thompson, Yotam Ottolenghi, Gordon Ramsay
What’s the best part of your job?
Transforming simple ingredients into food and seeing other chefs that were under my brigade reaching their goals and going on to acquire great success and achievements.
And the worst?
Definitely paperwork, although I know it is also important.
What would your last meal be?
Tough one…it took me a good 30 minutes discussion to come up with this one…I love Chinese food so if I could get to go to a Chinese restaurant and stuff my face there it would be great. Crispy tofu is something to die for.
Do you have a chef’s shortcut that you can share with us?
I’m not really good at shortcutting as a lot of what I cook is fairly simple but use a Microplane to mince garlic instead of chopping it. Pre-cooking grains helps reduce prep time for your meal. Also, keep it simple: choose 4 ingredients and come up with something nice (this is probably the best shortcut).