Who is Alan Tse? I’m the co-founder, along with my partner Dr Christina DeLay, of zero-proof drinks company Altina Drinks.
Best recent dining experience: We recently went to the new(ish) Corella Bar in Braddon. It was a great evening and I really enjoyed seeing and tasting native ingredients in such high-quality dishes. Yum!
Most embarrassing pantry item: Honestly, I’m not embarrassed about anything in my pantry. In our house, we are quite sensitive to rich, exotic foods, so we tend to buy simple foods that we know will make us feel good.
Must-buy ingredient: Lo-Fo Pantry flour. It’s low in gluten so easy for us to enjoy, but it also makes everything delicious and super light and fluffy. Unlike other low-gluten flours, you also don’t have to adjust the liquid ratio when baking.
Next big thing: Is it bad if I say non-alcoholic drinks?
They have come on leaps and bounds in the last few months thanks to strong consumer demand and even our own range is now stocked in major retailers like Dan Murphy’s. It’s amazing to think that even a couple of years ago, non-alcoholic options were limited to grape juice.
Favourite place for breakfast in the ACT: The Knox in Watson. A beloved classic of ours for brunch is the steak sandwich. It’s good old carbs and meat.
My Canberra food secret: It might not be much of a secret to anyone but the Three Mills Bakery‘s range of frozen/bake-at-home pastries. There’s just something about being able to put a croissant or pain au chocolat in the oven instead of needing to go out and pick one up – especially in lockdown. Delicious.
Biggest culinary influence: My Thermomix. It makes everything easy and delicious, too.
Favourite cookbook: Well, to continue with the same theme, let’s say the Thermomix cookbook. I can honestly just look up whatever I want or need to cook and there is an easy-to-follow recipe just waiting for me.
Who I admire on the Canberra food and wine scene: My partner in life and in business, Christina DeLay. I’m forever astounded by how she was able to combine her scientific knowledge with a desire to create a beautiful, alcohol-free drink.
What’s on the menu this week: In our house, we are all about the classics and right now my two-year-old son Ollie loves spaghetti bolognese. He actually manages to eat a bigger portion than Christina so we definitely make sure we have that once a week to keep him happy.
Where I’m going next: We can’t wait until the borders are open and we can get back to Western Australia. It’s got a soft spot in my heart as the place where the idea for Altina Drinks was born and I really want Ollie to be able to experience the beaches there – my favourite in the country.
Death row meal: As I always say, you can’t go wrong with carbs and meat so it would be a good steak and roast potatoes.
My COVID-19 response: I can honestly say that lockdown for me has taken the meaning of working dad to a whole new level. Every day has been a constant juggle with having Christina and me working from home with Ollie there as well.
It’s taken lots of planning, that’s for sure, and I’d imagine many parents can relate.
My really simple recipe tip: Salt. It makes everything better. I was recently at Temporada and I tried some of their butter and couldn’t believe how good it tasted until I found out they’d added salt. I guess the proof was in the butter.
Check out the full range of Altina Drinks online.