We recently walked into a launch and recognised the 'Ali Davis touch' instantly. Not only does Ali produce beautiful, light food to a high standard, but her creative impulses have spread to the overall presentation and atmosphere in a truly special way. After training in South Africa and working in the entertainment industry for a while, Ali now runs her own catering company and works as a freelance chef. Here we ask her to give us a few thoughts on her relaxed and fresh approach to food.
How did you get into food? I enrolled in a year long course in a Cordon Bleu cookery school called Silwood Kitchen in Cape Town in 2009. I had wanted a career change for a while, cooking had always been my passion, and at the time it was a good time to be living abroad!
What are your pet-peeves about the food industry? I get disgruntled at the high prices of inferior fare in restaurants. I understand that the price is covering a lot more costs than what you see on your plate but when there's a total lack of effort and no love gone into food that costs a bomb that gets my back up!
What would be your own ideal meal for a summer party let's say? Fresh Kerry crab & Dublin Bay prawns to start, rare beef fillet on the BBQ with Bearnaise sauce and lots of fresh salads for main and roasted peaches salted caramel ice-cream and crushed pistachio for dessert. Oh and not to forget Summer berry caprioskas to drink!
How much does space and the framing of a meal account for the overall experience and enjoyment? I think it depends on the occasion in hand. I'm massively interested in the look and feel of restaurants or the set-up and ambiance created at dinner parties but some of the most memorable food experiences I've had have been from sitting on a dusty side street in Vietnam slurping down Pho to enjoying the freshest buttery lobster on the side of a busy Long Island highway.
For more see alidavisfood.com
Roisin Agnew @Roxeenna
Photography by Ailbhe O'Donnell