Masterclass Monday with Mastio

On Monday the 23rd of January, we had the privilege of hosting the 2015 MasterChef winner, Sandra Mastio. The energetic and passionate chef shared her Fish Taco recipe with a group of enthusiastic 8th Graders, who were dressed for the occasion in their Chartwells white chefs’ coats.

A wide range of fresh vibrant seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs and a fresh Pollock fish (the star of the day) were on display and set the scene of what was to come.

MasterChef isn’t MasterChef without a challenge? The learners were put into groups and put their senses to the test. Taste is a full sense experience, we taste with our eyes, ears, nose, hands and mouth. That Is why Chef Mastio enjoys vibrant and fresh produce and always uses what is fresh or seasonal in her meals. Learners were challenged to guess the herb. 5 herbs were brought in for learners to look at, touch, taste and smell. The 1st herb reminded them of Pizza, Oregano. The 2nd reminded some of something Italian, Basil. The 3rd was fresh, Mint. The 4th wasn’t a crowd favorite and a little controversial, you guessed it, Coriander. The final herb identified seemed to be a sweet smelling familiar herb, Rosemary.

The learners were given a quick fish lesson. They learned how to identify a fresh fish and the different parts of a fish.

There was great excitement when our junior chefs started creating masterpieces. Fresh lemon zest wafting through the kitchen, sounds of sizzling fish frying in the pan and the display of colour and texture was simply amazing. Watching words taken from the recipe come alive on plates as they calmly prepared. The taste test is always the best part. The crunch of the fish and red cabbage and explosion of fresh flavours was the outcome of a job well done!

Who is Chef Mastio?

What made you choose to visit IES Kista?

MSC, Marine Stewardship Council and Compass made it possible for me to visit IES Kista, as the school serves certified fish. It’s always interesting to visit an English school and such a diverse school. Food brings cultures together and food is so diverse, just like this school.  She was excited to work with the learners today as it’s a big deal for her to work with children.

What’s your favorite dish?

Pizza and Pasta Bolognese, that rich flavorsome Bolognese that cooks for hours. Basically any Italian food.

Is there something you really don’t like?

Oysters and Kalles kaviar, it’s like licking a rock! A taste that never leaves your mouth.

Where from do you get your inspirations?

From the seasons, the colours, scents and the fresh food each season brings. I love winter as it is a challenging season. You are forced to find fresh, vibrant food and you are always thinking how to make food better, finding different ways to cook food.  For today’s dish I will be cooking fish, so I thought to pair the dish with something kids love, tacos!

Do you have a food memory trigger?

Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up in a food culture. My mom would make us sandwiches. The one dish that brings back good memories is Swedish cheesecake, ostkaka.

How to raise healthy eating among young kids?

The challenge with making healthy food for kids is to find interesting ways to “hide” the vegetables as well as introducing one a few foods at a time. It takes 17 tries of a food to truly know if you like it or not. Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm kids with vegetable buffets but instead introduce food bit by bit.

Any tips for a nice 50 SEK dish?                                     

Keeping in line with the season, soup is always a winner. You can make any soup interesting by adding herbed oils, texture or even a little yogurt instead of cream to balance the flavours.

Things you may not know about Chef Mastio

·         She only started cooking in 2014 and won MasterChef in 2015

·         She listens to the Rocky Balboa Soundtrack before any competition

What would you like to teach people?

You can do anything you set your mind to. You just need to do it and not be afraid. You have to work with what you have got.

IES Kista critics…

“I give the meal an 11/10”

“It kind of tastes fish fingers and chicken”

“I like that it was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside”

“Today’s food was very good. They must do this again”