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Kasae Fraser

Find out what the MasterChef: The Professionals finalist is up to at Flute in Bath
Kasae Fraser
Image: Betty Bhandari

When the Aussie chef got to the finals of MasterChef: The Professionals last autumn, her cooking and personality made her a fan favourite. At Flute in Bath, where she’s head chef, Kasae Fraser has created a seafood cafe that’s all about the good times

What have you created at Flute?

Simple food done well: seafood and fizz which is elegant in its simplicity. We take a lot of inspiration from Cornwall – our fish comes from Wing of St Mawes and we work closely with them. The original idea for Flute was to create a Champagne and oyster bar, but we didn’t want it to feel too fancy so we created a seafood cafe – it’s more accessible.

We have fun with it and change the menu a lot so guests have a new experience every time they visit. We never want it to be stuff y, you know? We love it to be fun and interactive, even if it’s just our team filleting a whole fish on the bone for the guest at the table. People aren’t used to that so it gives an elevated experience.

Tell us about your crowd-pleasing dishes.

Guests love the pint of prawns paired with a pint of Guinness. The hake kiev is also really fun: it’s got a rich buttery sauce that we insert into the fish and we serve it on a watercress coulis that provides pepperiness. One of my chefs suggested it to me and I thought, ‘Okay, we’ll see how that goes,’ and then we did it and I was like, ‘Oh my God! That’s something cool!’

You’ve been in the UK for three years. How has your background influenced your cooking in Bath?

My last job in Australia was by the beach at a new restaurant‑winery that was heavily focused on fish. I also worked in Sweden at a restaurant with an emphasis on fish, and at a fish restaurant in New Zealand, so I’ve definitely brought those experiences to Flute.

What have you developed for the spring menu?

I’d never had kedgeree until I moved here and when I did I thought it would be really good in arancini. So I’ve created little arancini using a classic kedgeree base and serve them with cured egg yolk on top. It’s a fun interpretation. We’re also going to have more whole fish on the menu which is great for sharing. The cold seafood platter is also coming in spring.

How has being on MasterChef: The Professionals influenced you?

The thing I got most out of it was confidence in my own cooking: to say ‘this is what I like and what I want to do’, and to put that on the menu. Being on MasterChef was challenging though, especially cooking for the chef’s table. There’s no other scenario where I would get to cook for all of those chefs in one room. It was terrifying – but a definite highlight.

Enjoyed our interview with Kasae Fraser? Read more interviews with South West chefs and tastemakers.

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