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Double the Fun with Michael Zee

Symmetry Breakfast was Michael's rise to fame. Learn about the cooking inspiration that fuels his passion for all things symmetrical.
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Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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We are excited to have Michael join us in the SideChef kitchen to make so many wonderful dishes. We picked his brain about his love of food and symmetry.

What’s your favorite word related to cooking?

SWEAT - as in cooking vegetables down slowly. There is something quite wonderfully menacing about the idea of bits of carrot and onion sweating in a sauna.

What’s your earliest positive food memory?

Being in my family restaurants as a child, helping haul enormous sacks of potatoes off a van. I’m the youngest of four children and we all worked after school with my dad who was the chef.

What’s your favorite cooking tool?

A knife, a giant knife like a cleaver can do literally anything.

What do you crave when you have a cold?

To eat, I love instant ramen, the type that comes with a spicy soup that is nuclear spicy. To drink, I love tea, strong, milky, boiling hot. Several cups, please.

What do you cook when you’re happy?

I love making bread, I can do it without measuring or weighing anything. I love the science involved, it comes alive in the bowl, and then before you know it, voila you have a loaf or some dinner rolls.

Your ultimate guilty pleasure food:

SPAM, probably with the spicy noodles from question 4!

What’s your favorite kitchen sound?

I find it almost impossible to cook without music playing. For me cooking in a silent kitchen is hell!

What’s your favorite cooking smell?

The smell of freshly brewed coffee rates quite highly, it reminds me of weekend mornings.

Who’s your favorite person to cook for and why?

My husband Mark. He is easily pleased but also is diplomatic enough to say if something I make is terrible!

You get invited to a dinner prepared by any food icon dead or alive, who is it?

Fanny Craddock

What do they say to you on your arrival?

She’d probably ask me if I’d scrubbed my hands on arrival and send me to the kitchen to assist her.

What are your 5 top cooking tips or tricks?


  • Read the recipe from start to finish BEFORE you start cooking and prep every stage.

  • If you make a recipe like a risotto with the aim of having leftovers for a second recipe like arancini, always take out the amount needed for the second meal before sitting down to eat. That way you won’t overeat and end up with a portion so small you can’t make a second meal.

  • If you’re making meat filling for a dumpling or a pie and want to check the seasoning, fry a tablespoon or two of the filling, allow it to cool and taste.

  • Caramelizing onions takes about twice as long to do than any recipe will ever admit.

  • Don’t be afraid to write notes in cookbooks, if you don’t write it down then you will almost definitely forget the delicious changes you made last time.

Love this interview? Try these amazing recipe and cook with Michael Zee.

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Soda Bread Bagels

Symmetry Breakfast
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