Q & A with Chef Tom Walton
Tom Walton wears many hats – and not just a chef’s one! He’s the mastermind behind our Coco Tribe recipes, a business owner, professional chef and full-time family man. We sat down with Tom to talk all things cooking, community and coconut yoghurt…
What does a day in the life of a recipe developer look like?
I wake up every morning at 4am and go for a cycle. It’s the best time to come up with ideas and means I get home in time to make the kids breakfast. They love coconut yoghurt and cereal or banana pancakes. I work across a number of projects on any given day. It could be recipe development one day, creative consulting with restaurants the next – I just try and keep everything out of panic mode.
Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?
It comes from experience, seasonality and my love of Middle Eastern food. I grew up in the Blue Mountains and our neighbour was an incredible Lebanese cook, named Nadeema. My parents had moved from England so we didn’t have any other family. She taught me how to cook baba ganoush, tabouli, sambousek (a Lebanese meat pie, stuffed with lamb mince and pine-nuts) – you name it. I’ve cooked that way ever since, mostly vegetarian and always very fresh.
What’s your go-to mid-week meal?
I love a big one-pot dish. We’ve been doing big baked ratatouille at the moment. I’ll just cut eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and onions, toss them in tomato and oregano and garlic. Bang it in the pot and leave it in the oven for an hour. I’ll serve it with tahini, fermented chilli sauce and coconut yoghurt, of course.
What’s your favourite recipe you’ve developed for us?
It would have to the upside-down caramelised banana cake made with Coco Tribe natural yoghurt. I love how versatile it is, working so well across sweet and savoury dishes!
What’s surprised you most about working with Coco Tribe products?
I can’t say I’m surprised – they’re all delicious. The ice-cream is so creamy, it makes it easy to create recipes!
What exciting project are you working on next?
I’m launching a new venue in Bondi, as well as taking on more brands developing recipes and consulting with some businesses internationally. It’ll be a big year!