Wagamama executive chef Steve Mangleshot will present the first in a series of free online pan-Asian cookery lessons from his own kitchen today – giving customers who are missing its cuisine the chance to conjure up their own dishes at home.
The ‘Wok from home’ series has been dreamt up by the 150-strong chain as a way to give customers an insight to the secrets of its most popular items from the man who has led its menu innovation for the past 12 years.
Mr Mangleshot – who won FEJ’s Outstanding Service to the Industry Award in 2018 – will take viewers through the basics of Wagamama classics such as katsu curry, bang bang cauliflower and ramens, as well as an insight to some of the more complicated dishes it produces.
The first episode, available on Wagamama’s YouTube page from 6pm this evening, will introduce Mr Mangleshot in his home kitchen where he lives with his wife and family.
He has a normal home kitchen but will demonstrate how a few easy skills and tricks of the trade can result in a great-tasting end-product.
“This is the first time in 20 years that I’ve gone this long without cooking Wagamama food and, to be honest, I’m missing it. So, I thought I’d bring the Wagamama kitchen home so we can all get our Wagamama fix!” he said.
“The production value might not be up to our usual standard as it will be shot on an iPhone 11 but to be honest we’re making this up as we go along! My wife is the producer / director and my kids are the sous chefs, so it’s going to be interesting!”
Mr Mangleshot said that with the current lockdown situation forcing more people to cook at home, he wanted to use the online series to demonstrate how it is possible to become a “decent” chef in no time.
“I also want to create a sense of community through our food, just like we do in all our restaurants,” he explained.
The Wok from home series will run on Wednesdays, when Mr Mangleshot will launch a recipe video, and Fridays, when he will launch a store cupboard cooking challenge that will see him making new dishes with just a handful of ingredients.
Today’s episode will start off with one of Wagamama’s biggest-selling dishes, katsu curry, but later editions will cover everything from yaki soba to wok fried greens.
The shutdown of the hospitality sector has given Mr Mangleshot a rare break from the chain’s famed open kitchens, but once normality resumes he will return to his role of creating dishes that take inspiration from Japan and the wider Asian region.
All of the Wok from home videos will be hosted on Wagamama’s Facebook, Instagram, IGTV and YouTube channels.