19 Aug 2016
She loves sugar yet isn’t as sweet as she looks. Meet Ash Davis, the pastry-loving genius behind many of our most popular home-baked treats.
Q: What inspired your love for cooking?
A: My primary inspiration has always been my mother, the brilliant homemaker and cook that she is. Everything I ate from her kitchen was always so delicious and flavoursome growing up. Now, I struggle to compare any chef’s work to the incredibly fresh, wholesome food I received at home. My Mother is Italian and our family has a large appetite for rich, comfort foods. My Nonna is a constant source of inspiration too – we are forever swapping new recipes we think each other will enjoy.
Q: What was your professional experience prior to joining The Black Truffle team?
A: Prior to working in The Black Truffle kitchen I had worked in an array of (mainly) small businesses, often working early mornings in the kitchen then transforming into a barista in the afternoons meaning I could still hang out with my favourite customers.
I have completed a Certificate in Patisserie at the Australian School of Culinary Arts and have enjoyed all aspects of hospitality over the past nine years. I have a lot of experience as a barista, waitress, bartender, chef, supervisor – there’s nothing I don’t enjoy about serving people good food!
Q: What is the hardest aspect of cooking with pastry?
A: Patience! So many cookery methods require time, patience and finesse but none more than pastry. Having sticky hands all the time from chocolate, custard, batters and so on has been known to drive me a little mad as well.
Q: Is it hard to resist sampling all the goodies you create?
A: Yes! The first year I studied patisserie I gained 7kg. I’m a home cook and baker too so I eat lots of naughty things I’ve made there as well. I can’t seem to escape sugar!
Q: What TBT kitchen creations are you responsible for?
A: Since starting work at TBT 18 months ago I have forced everyone to fall in love with my muffins, scones and cupcakes. While making baked goods will always be my favourite, I’ve also introduced a few new items to our deli cab and grab-and-go meal sections. If you enjoy the braised beef cheeks, beetroot patties and halloumi and sweet potato fritters, I’m the girl you need to cozy-up to.
Q: When you first started working in TBT kitchen, what surprised you most?
A: Oh, I was shocked when I saw how small that kitchen is! The amazing amount of delicious food that gets prepared every day in such a small space is a testament to the wonderful cooks and chefs I work with! Lucky we are all a little bit OCD when it comes to cleanliness so can all fit in there.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: I get so much joy from so many different aspects of my job but in the basic sense I just love to feed people. I hate thinking of others being hungry – it’s the Italian in me, for sure.
Q: Can you share a juicy secret from TBT kitchen?
A: I smashed Rosa’s coffee mug on Friday, does that count? She doesn’t know yet.
Q: If you could compare yourself to any food, what would it be and why?
A: A lemon curd and raspberry gateaux – it looks pretty but is not as sweet as you’d assume, is a bit tarty and when you open it up, there are all these amazing layers inside that you can’t see from the outside.