Gavin Doyle – Soul Bar & Bistro

With a wealth of experience working in restaurants in Ireland, Australia and Auckland including Mint, a one Michelin star restaurant, the Merrion Hotel’s 5-star restaurant, the Mustard Seed (Blue Brook), Sydney’s Tetsuya and Baroque Bistro and Auckland’s Clooney and Ortolana, chef Gavin Doyle from Soul Bar & Bistro became a chef out of his love for good food.

As a young chef, the chocolate pudding served in Masu, Auckland was an inspiration for Doyle. “It’s cooked in a wooden cedar box. I’m a sucker for sweet things.”

Doyle recently travelled to LA and New Orleans for research with the Soul Bar team, giving him great inspiration for new dishes and introducing him to new and trending cooking techniques.

“There are so many trending techniques, the old school seems to be the new school at the moment. We use many different techniques here at Soul. Ranging from sous vide, dehydration to simple ones like poaching and roasting.”

To stay educated and up to date with the latest new trends, Doyle said he reads a lot of cookbooks – at least one each month – and eats out regularly to see what’s happening around the city. A trending ingredient he has been using lately is date vinegar. Soul Bar & Bistro import the product used in their kitchen directly from France.

Known for excellent food and presentation, Doyle ensures the quality of the food going out to customers throughout the day remains consistently high.

“We use standardised recipes and every day at 11 am, each section prepares a tasting plate of all their mis en place. We check from seasoning to freshness. It helps eliminate under average food being serving to our guests.”

In Soul Bar’s fast-paced kitchen, Doyle noted his favourite cooking technique is salt baking. “Currently I’m using this method to cook potatoes. I add a good dash of malt vinegar to give a salt and vinegar effect.” He also said, although his favourite ingredient, lemon, is used in almost everything he creates, currently he is inspired by new types of miso, such as chickpea miso and nduja and uses them in some of his top dishes at the restaurant.

“My favourite dish is our current pappardelle pasta dish, made with cloudy bay clams, pappardelle, nduja, and sourdough crumb.”

In the future, Doyle would love the opportunity to do a stage in Che Fico in San Francisco and has always wanted his own restaurant or bakery – plans that may come into action later in his career.