TABASCO® Talks with Buddha Lo, Head Chef Of Matteo's

Matteo's is situated just past the bohemian enclave of Fitzroy's famous Brunswick St in Melbourne. Under Buddha Lo, Matteo's offers seasonal Australian cuisine with an Asian fusion edge.

Tell us about the food ethos at Matteo’s

At Matteo’s we cook modern Australian food. Most of the dishes reflect the background of my cooking from classic Chinese food from working with my Dad at his restaurant to cooking at the 3 Michelin star restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. The way I like to cook is taking inspiration from classic dishes and doing them with a modern take.

Is there a process in developing new recipes for the restaurant? Where do you and the team find inspiration?

The inspiration in developing all my dishes comes from everywhere! It can be from what’s in season, to even looking at a tree to develop my chocolate log inspired Black Forest Dessert. I like to keep all flavours tasty and nothing out of the ordinary. Customers pay good money to eat at Matteo’s not to be guinea pigs.

What role does heat and spice play in your cooking?

Heat plays big role but you must have a balance just like most dishes you’re always ticking off a box of textures, acidity, flavour and heat.

Can you explain how you’ve used the different TABASCO® sauces in the two dishes you’ve prepared and why?

The TABASCO® Original Pepper Sauce is perfect to bring heat and flavour into the Hot and Sour Soup and plays a big role in the flavour of the broth.

The TABASCO® Chipotle Pepper Sauce is packed with flavour with smokey and heat notes that flavours the salmon when cured into a spicy smoked salmon. The salmon is perfect chilled and served with yoghurt.

What is inspiring you food-wise at the moment?

Seasonal produce always plays a big role in what inspires any chef but I like to take my favorite dishes and change them into my own way by breaking the dish down.

Which is your favourite TABASCO® flavour?

I am a fan of the TABASCO® Original Pepper Sauce - a classic favourite!

Memorable dish from the past year

Butter Poached Brill with Chanterelles, Pig Tail and Lobster from restaurant Clou in Copenhagen

Favourite dish to cook at home

Fried rice