18 Jun 2018

Breakfasts from around the world

From Nine To Noon, 11:31 am on 18 June 2018

Kiwi chef Bridget Foliaki-Davis researched her new book Breakfast Around The World while on her "first proper holiday" – at 32. The Sydney-based mother of three shares with us her recipe for perfect porridge.

Davis (who is of Ngāpuhi descent) grew up in Auckland and began working in kitchens at 14.

After honing her craft at Manukau Institute of Technology, she disappeared into the "bubble" of professional cheffing for many years.

"[A restaurant kitchen] is almost like the bows of a ship and not very often do you come up for air."

Whenever she could, Davis loved watching people have their "first taste" of the day at breakfast-time.

"I would look out on the restaurant floor at people enjoying the perfect scrambled eggs or their first coffee of the morning..."

On her world trip, she discovered bread and eggs were common breakfast staples – "everywhere you go they're doing amazing things with eggs".

A stand-out dish for her was shakshuka – the traditional Turkish breakfast of poached eggs baked in lamb mince stew.

"I didn't expect that to be so delicious. I have that for dinner now it's so good."

Another surprise for someone who'd previously "never have considered starting the day with something from the ocean" was mohinga – a "fabulous" flavoursome fish broth eaten in Burma.

Exploring breakfast pastries, with fillings ranging from chocolate to chopped ham or soft cheese, wasn't hard work.

"Pasties are definitely on my hit-list of favourite foods."

Davis has lived in Australia for ten years so knows well how much Vegemite is "part of the Australian ecosystem".

For the book, she chose a Vegemite and cheese pull-apart made with damper – a traditional fire-cooked bread.

When it comes to porridge, instant oats are fine but if you have 15 minutes Davis recommends using steel-cut oats to get it really perfect.

Cooking the oats with milk – and occasional stirring – will give you "lump-free and very creamy" porridge, she says.

Her favourite topping?

"Cream, a little bit of New Zealand butter and brown sugar."

Bridget Davis has another book out this year –  128 Recipes That Saved My Life... or at Least My Dinner.