Anna Polyviou recommends the Pad Thai at Chin Chin and of course her ALDI Expressi inspired Choux Burger
Anna Polyviou is a superstar chef known for her amazing desserts, her appearances on Channel 10’s MasterChef and for her rockstar hairdo.
Anna recently partnered with ALDI to promote their new Expressi hot drinks machine. As part of the promotion we got to see what amazing desserts she could create using the machine.
For those of you who may be wondering what Expressi is, it’s the German competitor to Nespresso. You know those ads with George Clooney? Yeah those ones. Well forget them cause Expressi got Anna Polyviou!
So let’s get to it and welcome Anna Polyviou.
Our most important question first.
Ninjas or Pirates?
They’re all black. They’ve got ninja stars, they can flip in the air. I love em!
Always wanted to be a ninja!
If you were stuck on an island. What 3 food items would be a must?
Oh this is a hard….
I need a coffee.
I need my bread. I love bread. I can just eat bread all day.
I love sushi.
I’m done 🙂
At the ALDI Expressi event you got to meet our friend @spooningaustralia.
A little birdy told us that you gave him a must have dish recommendation.
What was it?
The Pad Thai at Chin Chin is phenomenal. Phenomenal. Phenomenal.
There’s nothing like it!
I love Chin Chin. @spooningaustralia saw me posting it on Instagram. He goes “do you really recommend it?”
I’m like you have no idea how great this is. It’s just everything – the service is great. Food is phenomenal.
You know sometimes you can go to a restaurant and you can go I can actually do this at home. I can replicate it. Chin Chin it’s a whole different world. Not only that, Benjamin (their chef) looks like me as well. He’s got a mohawk. He’s just an awesome guy. He works hard and he’s super talented.
You know it’s opening up in Sydney soon as well in September.
Who’s your greatest influence?
You know what? It is family.
It is my staff as well. That is definite.
But I know it’s different angles.
If you look up to someone that you love, what they do, and how they market themselves and their products and everything?
…then Christoph Michalak who’s based in France. He’s a great pastry chef. I’ve met him in person. He is a beautiful person. One of my recipes is in his cookbook which I’m very humbled about.
But then you’ve got my team. They’ve kept me going as well. We just did a taste for this crazy chocolate cake. And you know like having their opinion and their direction as well gets you to the common goal that we’re after.
Then you’ve got people like my mother. You know when we talk about family you know she really influences me with cooking and everything I mean. You are you going to see it in my cookbook.
When I do different cooking demonstrations you get to see my mom’s cooking coming out which is which is really important. You know because I’m so French perfectly trained so it’s really good to see the Greek aspect of it as well.
Which restaurants do you worship?
You know what I really love Peter Gilmore. Like I just adore him. I think he’s just a nice guy but he’s just brilliant. His desserts are so good. And so you know the restaurant that I really like is Bennelong. I love it. I like the whole feel, value for money and their beautiful desserts.
I also love Ms G’s. I love Dan Hong’s style. You know like it’s Asian cuisine in a different twist.
I do love Cho Cho San. I just think that it’s awesome.
And then when we talk about fast food and stuff I really like Zeus. You always catch me having Zeus. They’ve got the product line perfect. You know the chips with the feta. The salads and then you got their loukoumades and then they’ve also got their ice cream sandwiches and then you’ve got the souvlaki and it just works.
How do you balance being so awesome, having a life and a relationship?
What I’m trying to focus on now, and this has actually happened this week as well, is actually not using the excuse, “I’m too busy, I don’t have time for people in my life.” Like loved ones, family members, everything.
For example, my mother, the only thing she wants from me is every day, that five minute conversation. So what I do is when I’m driving home, I ring her up. The drive is about 20 minutes to 25 minutes to get home. I’ll have that conversation with her. So I’ve got that quality time with her.
When I get home with my partner, what I make sure is that my phone gets put away, I’ve done my Instagram posts because that’s important to my fans, and I put the phone away. Then I cook dinner and we sit down and have dinner together, and we watch Home and Away. We watch Home and Away every evening from 7:00 to 7:30. I cook dinner, and we’re sitting there watching a TV show that we always sit for and we watch it.
Then it’s the team. So with my team I take them, every quarter, out for a family dinner that I pay for, and then we bond over something. The other day we just went to Fratelli Fresh. Got some pizzas, pastas, salad, and we sat down and ate together.
On Sundays, I do my walk with my mates at 6:30 in the morning, every single Sunday. We do our walk, we go for breakfast, and then we go our own way.
I hate to say it, but it is about routine. Because then everything else can slot in there, you know? Like with work and stuff. Work, I’m always going to be busy. But I need to spend that quality time with different people.
(So glad we asked this question – so much wisdom right here)
You know, you just can’t say, “I don’t have time.” For a long time, with mum, I’d be like, “Oh, mum, I’m so busy, can’t stop right now.” But our parents just want that five-minute conversation. That’s all they want.
Our partners want to have you there, home, cook dinner together. It’s so important. And your mates just want to hang out. They don’t care what you do. I’m not talking about going out on the piss and getting drunk or whatever, but it’s more about the quality time. And it’s always about food.
With your girlfriends, walking with your mates and then going for breakfast.
And sitting with your team as a family and having a great meal that you’re sharing. It’s always back to that food.
Besides the amazing stuff you’re doing at the Shangri-La Hotel, who do you think is serving the best sweet treats in Sydney right now?
I don’t know. For me, each chef is unique and different from everyone else. So currently, someone that people don’t know is Pie Country. That’s my friend Tom, he owns that. It’s a new thing that he wants to do, and it’s basically old school pies. Country-style. His pies are just beautiful.
Then you look at someone like Textbook Patisserie. Johnny’s going ahead and doing truffle croissants. I think everyone’s quite unique in their different ways. So there’s no one specific specific, because everyone’s just doing different things. And I think that’s what’s great.
You’ve got Cow & The Moon, with their number one gelato.
You’ve got Messina doing cool, funky gelatos. I think we’re very spoiled in Sydney, to be able to be access different types of styles.
But one person, like I always say, is doing the best desserts, is definitely Peter Gilmore. He’s a culinary chef doing sweet stuff.
How do you predict upcoming trends? You seem to be one of these people who’s always at the forefront of what’s happening.
I try not to get involved in what everyone else is doing. I get a thing in my head, and I get obsessed with it, and I just do it.
So, currently, now, my thing right now, is choux burgers. I want my choux burger in a burger box with different sweet fillings.
We released it at Sweet Street, and we did do a recipe with ALDI as well. Choux burgers are going to be the next big thing, I’m telling you now. 100%.
It just depends. You could just keep on evolving something. It’s an endless thing. There’s one that kept on going, and evolving, and evolving. And that was three years of just evolving.
So you can continuously evolve a recipe.
There’s never a final state. Never. You can just keep on perfecting stuff, better and better.
Last question and the most important. What’s your favourite flavour from the ALDI Expressi range?
The chai and then the limited edition white hot chocolate.
They need to keep the white hot chocolate.
Thank you Anna!
You can check out Anna Polyviou’s amazing creations at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney. She’s also a regular on the MasterChef series. To add to all this she is the face of ALDI’s Expressi machine.
Big thanks to ALDI for making this interview possible. As an extra treat they’ve given us the recipe for Anna’s Choux Burger.
A BIG thanks also to our followers @et, @spooningaustralia, @eatventures, @tablefor2syd, @itswestan, @sugarsugar_cakes, @willxia1, @myfoodsafari, @bradm00r3, and @churburgerfoodtruck for helping us out with the interview questions!
PS> We did some research and found out that ALDI partnered with Germany’s Kruger to create the Expressi machine. It’s also Swiss Engineered. Can’t do much wrong. We highly recommend checking it out and trying out the limited edition White Chocolate. So good!