At The Beatt Cafe we’re passionate about sustainable, locally sourced and nutritious food that tastes amazing and leaves you feeling good too. We have a talented team on board bringing that vision to life and we’re lucky to have our team headed up by the wonderful Amy Coles. With a wealth of experience, Amy’s process celebrates fresh flavours and simple ingredients. Read on to discover what she loves about cooking, her favourite ingredients to work with and what she’s working on next.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I remember many happy days spent in my mother’s kitchen creating amazing cakes, slices, pastries and savoury pies. A fond memory is of us attempting chocolate éclairs – we spent many weekends trying to make the perfect choux pastry. We made some really bad batches but it was fun and taught me that things don’t always turn out how you expect, but through trial and error we got there in the end. And it was great, of course, to enjoy eating all our failed attempts. My love of food was created in those days in mum’s kitchen. She is a great cook and she has made my family many delicious meals over the years. I’ve loved being able to use some of her recipes even today at The Beatt.
What’s your favourite food memory?
While I lived in England I had the opportunity to go to Spain for the summer holidays. I stayed in a villa near Marbella which had an amazing market and the best seafood I have ever seen. My boyfriend at the time and I bought lots of ingredients to make a Spanish feast for his family. We made paella and a seafood main with prawns and octopus, fish, fresh chorizo, saffron and all the freshest vegetables we could buy. It was a very balmy night and we spent hours preparing this massive meal with jugs of sangria flowing. It was such a great night, one that I’ll never forget.
How do you approach cooking?
I am a very organised person so my approach to cooking is to have a plan, have my prep ready to go, be clean, tidy and efficient. I love going into service with everything in its place, ready for the busy periods and the rush of adrenaline when the cafe and docket rail are full.
I get really excited about trialling new menu items too. I am in the process of testing new menu dishes at the moment and I just produced one of the best dishes that I have come up with to date that has gone onto our summer menu. It gives me real pleasure when a concept comes to fruition and it really works.
What’s your go-to meal to cook at home?
My favourite easy meal to make at home is a vine-ripened tomato, freshly torn basil leaf and bocconcini salad with salt, pepper and good olive oil, ‘a la caprese salad’. I make this at least twice a week. I work long hours and sometimes a simple meal is the best.
What are your current favourite ingredients to work with and why?
I’m going to say just one and it’s chia. I’m obsessed with it. We’ve used chia at The Beatt from the start. When we first opened, we served it in a blueberry, walnut and coconut chia pudding, then moved to a ‘piña colada’ version, and I’m super excited about our new chia pudding which is on our summer menu. It’s fresh, light and tastes delicious, a new take on a classic. Chia is so versatile and full of good things for you like Omega 3. I use it in my drinking water and now make myself a batch in the evening to have as my breakfast the next morning.
You work with whole foods and a seasonal, local and mostly organic focus on ingredients at The Beatt. What does that mean to you and why do you think it’s important?
I believe that buying your fresh produce in season is so important. You are buying it at its best, when it’s most abundant and cost effective. At The Beatt our menu focuses on seasonal and local produce so I work closely with our fruit and vegetable supplier to know what’s the best produce to use and when.
I’m happy to say that my knowledge has grown considerably in regard to whole foods and organic produce. I have worked at many places in my career but haven’t learnt as much as I have at The Beatt. I get excited to use new products and talk to other likeminded people about the products that are available to us. It’s important to feed and nourish the soul and body with the best quality products that you can buy. It’s so important to me as I want my customers to benefit in all aspects of their wellbeing, through everything on offer at The Beatt including our menu, yoga and practitioners. It’s our holistic approach and our main focus.
Visit us at The Beatt Cafe to try out Amy’s amazing creations for yourself. See you soon!