In my kitchen with… Callum Liddicoat, Executive Pastry Chef, Park Hyatt

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The food on offer at Park Hyatt Auckland runs the gamut, from coffee and freshly baked pastries to take away in its café, The Pantry, to a delicious afternoon tea in the Living Room or perhaps dinner and dessert. exquisite dishes from the hotel’s signature restaurant, Onemata.

The deft touch of executive pastry chef Callum Liddicoat can be felt, or rather tasted, in all three. We found out what Liddicoat does in his kitchen when he’s not cooking delicious things at work.

I would describe my kitchen at home as… minimal and boring! I’m single and spend most of my time at work or, if I’m not at work, working out or hanging out with friends. My kitchen is not what you think you have for a pastry chef. There is no mixer and only a few cake pans, they are all at work and can stay there. Mind you, this is a great excuse when friends ask you to bake them a cake – I just say sorry I don’t have the equipment – it works every time.

The changes I would like to make to make it a dream kitchen… One day I will have a kitchen that suits my lifestyle and my job – but in the end I lived on toast, omelettes and staple food for 22 years. I’m not about to start becoming a chef at home, but give me a good outdoor space and a bench to cook up a nice platter and fresh vegetable salads, and a barbecue to grill meat, prawns and bugs from Moreton Bay, and it will do me good.

The things you’ll always find in my fridge are… good quality butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, some good cheeses, salami, fresh herbs, eggs, mayo, Clevedon buffalo yoghurt and a large pot of hummus. Just enough stuff to put together a tray.

Some of my pantry essentials are… pickles, mayo, good olive oil, granola, honey, Dulcey and Guanaja Valrhona chocolate.

My favorite ingredient for cooking is… butter – give me a good quality butter and some good sea salt and I’m sorted. When the seasons come, I’ll use butter to caramelize stone fruits for my granola or in the fall, you’ll find me with Jerusalem artichokes, either roasting them or turning them into soup.

The kind of food I like to make the most is… there is a cake that i love to make and it is my favorite cake with burnt butter, rosemary and thyme honey. I sometimes eat it for breakfast, grilled and served with crispy bacon. A slice with a cup of lemon tea and a book works a treat. Spanish omelettes are my favorite on a day off.

My rush meeting is… avocado on toast with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes, lots of salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

If friends drop by unannounced… you will see me preparing a platter together and grabbing a cold bottle of bubbles or French rosé.

My favorite drink… depends on the occasion – a French rosé on any given day, a chilled gin anytime, or bubbly for when the mood is right.

Something unexpected that I do from scratch is… granola of rye and buckwheat flakes. I’ve been using the same recipe for about 15 years with only minor changes. Nothing at the supermarket comes close. It’s currently the homemade granola at work and it will soon be on sale at the Park Hyatt cafe, The Pantry!

I cook at home… I won’t say much at this time – certainly only on my days off. Found a good branded meal ready to go. It helps with my crazy workload, my exercise routine – and I find it helps clear the junk out of my fridge. If I cook, I will eat omelettes every night of the week.

My favorite place to eat right now is… Hello Beasty, hands down – always with friends and lots of cocktails and French rosé.

The kitchen gadget that everyone should have at home is… a microplane – ideal for citrus fruits, hard cheeses and tonka beans.

My approach to food is… At home, it’s easy when I cook fresh, good quality, seasonal products. I don’t mind if I pay a little more for a product that is in season and at its peak.

Click here for Liddicoat’s Burnt Butter, Rosemary, Thyme and Honey Cake

Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey, Auckland CBD. Website: hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/new-zealand/park-hyatt-auckland/aklph

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