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Here's What Chefs Eat Out Of Hours... | Great British Food Magazine

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Here’s What Chefs Eat Out Of Hours…

Whether it’s fish and chips soaked in vinegar or a homemade shepherd’s pie with tender beef and rich gravy, we all have a go-to comfort dish that we can always rely on. But what do the professionals crave on a rainy day? From cheese on toast to fish finger sandwiches, some our favourite chefs reveal their guilty pleasures…

 

Tom Kerridge – Spaghetti Bolognaise

“As soon as the nights start closing in and the weather begins to turn, the first thing I look to for that warm feeling of nostalgia, comfort and home is spaghetti Bolognese. Rich Bolognese sauce that’s been cooked for over six hours, with mince that’s been roasted first, and then maybe even some braised beef folded through it at the end, really does make me feel at home and in a happy place.”

Yotam Ottolenghi – Rice and Lentils

“Comfort for me lies in the things I would eat when I was growing up. One of them was a simple Arabic dish called Mujadara which is essentially rice, lentils and spices such as cumin and cinnamon plus lots of fried onion. It sounds kind of healthy – it probably is! – but in actual fact it feels really, really comforting thanks to all of the fried onionsIt’s normally served with yoghurt which makes it even more rich. It’s definitely one of my goto comfort dishes.”

Simon Rogan – Fish Finger Sandwiches

“My ultimate comfort food has got to be fish finger sandwiches as they remind me of my childhood. Whenever I eat one they make me feel nostalgic. Another one of my favourite comfort dishes is a  Thai curry, purely because it’s  just so tasty!”

Candice Brown – Mac ‘n’ Cheese

“My ultimate comfort food would have to be mac ‘n’ cheese – it has to be homemade, too. When I was at university my mam used to make batches of it and would send me back armed with the stuff. Wherever I go now, if there’s mac ‘n’ cheese on a menu or stall or a variation of it I’ll always get some – I call it research! I like to add cauliflower to mine as well as bits of bacon. There’s something so comforting about the golden melted cheese on top – I always burn my tongue on it because I can’t wait for  it to cool. I know I’ll never get  bored of it!”

Raymond Blanc – Maman Blanc’s Cheese Soufflé

“Ah comfort food – even just the words themselves conjure up such strong images in my mind! I remember Maman Blanc creating the most delicious cheese soufflés when I was a boy. She would cook the soufflé in a big shallow earthenware dish instead of individual tins. It would then be placed on our large kitchen table – which really was the heart of our home – and we were all able to help ourselves. Whenever I make her cheese soufflé (she used Comté but you could easily use farmhouse Cheddar instead) I’m transported back to those wonderful days where something so simple could provide such great joy.” Find out how to make Maman Blanc’s cheese soufflé for yourself at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Visit belmond.com le-manoir-aux-quat-saisons-oxfordshire

Nathan Outlaw – Fish Pie

“There are times when all I want to do is curl up and eat the equivalent of a foodie hug – for instance, when it’s cold and I’ve gotten wet through from watching my son play rugby, or when I’m really tired and it’s been a long day. My go-to dishes at these times are always the same. In the first scenario it’s an old fashioned fish pie and in the second, it’s straightforward cheese on toast. Fish pie takes a bit of time and effort to make but it’s so worth it. I like mine with three types of fish (equal parts cod, smoked haddock and salmon) and they need to be bound up in a lovely smooth sauce, then covered with creamy mash and topped with cheese that melts and runs down the sides of the dish.  Oh, and don’t forget the boiled eggs either; they finish it off and are part of the nostalgia. It’s a rustic meal and should look the part. It’s the sort of thing that warms you up and makes your mouth water when you come indoors and smell it in the oven. I have no doubt that once you’re full of some really good fish pie you’ll feel that all is well with your world. ”