Aaron McAllister (United Kingdom): “When I found Gasma, the pieces fell into place”

Passionate about gastronomy and history, Aaron McAllister came from United Kingdom to study the Bachelor’s Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Management. He admits that food has always played a large role in his life and that when he found Gasma online “the pieces fell into place”. Do you want to know more about him? Keep reading!

5 lines to describe yourself:
I would say I’m not someone who particularly enjoys being the centre of attention. I’m always trying to expand my knowledge about the world we live in, especially history, which is a particular passion of mine. I also enjoy helping others to learn, which luckily I’ve been able to do a little by helping with Gasma’s Cooklovers activities, which also gives me a chance to practice my Spanish.

When did you know that you would dedicate yourself to gastronomy?
Food has always played a large role in my life, and I’ve always enjoyed creating dishes, with a particular focus on the sweet side of things. I initially was going to study chemistry at university, but during my last year of college I realised that it wasn’t something I could see myself devoting four years to. Not long after that, I found Gasma online and the pieces fell into place.

Do you have any obsession as a cook?
Like I said before, I love sweet cuisine, especially chocolate-based products. It’s a really diverse and complex area of gastronomy, and I can’t wait to learn more.

Which ingredients have you discovered at Gasma and you can’t get them out of your head?
We had a talk not too long ago from Joselito (the most appreciated brand of ‘iberico’ pork) and their products really blew me away. The amount of flavour and richness in each product we got to taste was incredible.

If you had to highlight a dish from a partner, which one would it be?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to try a lot of my partners’ creations, but I’m looking forwards to next year when we’ll have more of an opportunity to show our creative flair!

Vanguard or tradition?
This is also a difficult one. In my opinion, we, as a profession, should always be looking for new methods of food production and innovation, but sometimes people can get too ahead of themselves. This can result in some visually and creatively amazing dishes, but comes with a sacrifice in flavour, and sometimes can be almost inedible. Food is made to be eaten, and the flavour should always be the primary focus in my opinion. So, I’d probably say more tradition than vanguard, although innovation should always play a factor.

What did your childhood taste like?
Surprisingly, it wasn’t just roast dinners and fish and chips! My mother is not a huge fan of the lack of spices in English cuisine, and so we often ate dishes from areas that utilise more spices, such as Lebanon, Morocco and Iran, or even further afield.

What would your ideal restaurant be like?
It would have to be somewhere that prides itself on making high quality, affordable food. No pretentiousness, no gimmicks, just a warm inviting atmosphere, good service and good food.

What do you think about when you don’t think about cooking?
Friends, family, music, books… and history! I intend to further my studies after Gasma by doing a MA in History, possibly with a food related skew, so I’m always trying to learn something new in that area.

What is the best thing about studying at Gasma?
There are a lot of things! The teachers are all really helpful, and try to help you succeed as much as you can. The multinational cohort is great, as I get to interact with people from all over the world and learn more about their countries. Moreover, the opportunity to learn Spanish by being immersed in it is really fun as well.