I realised that a good cook, like an artist, always learns and borrows from what’s been done before in order to create something new. It’s rare that a chef actually creates something absolutely new, though it does happen. Mostly we learn from our mothers, other chefs or recipe books, and we try something slightly different like substituting an ingredient or two for something else. One of the latest trends in London is to deconstruct the meal and re-create it in new ways – they call it molecular gastronomy. Underlying the new epicurean surprises you’ll more than likely still find an old recipe, an old theme that’s been tried and tested over decades.
Simple is Best
After being a chef for so long, I’ve concluded that the less complex the plate the better. The dishes should work together. Also, the closer to the food chain we eat the more nutrition we’ll receive – processed foods (what Michael Pollan refers to as ‘edible food-like substances‘) are difficult for our bodies to recognise as food, let alone digest them. And it should be obvious the more alive the food is, the better – fresh fruits and vegetables all contain the living enzymes to help us digest them. I like to soak nuts and seeds overnight as it makes them more digestible and easier to chew (plus it brings out the flavour). Lentils can be soaked overnight – the soaking process can unlock up to 3 x the protein content before you cook them (or you can sprout them for a day or 2 and eat them raw in a salad.)
Some Favorite Recipes
Below is a small collection of my favorite recipes. I’ve been collecting different ideas for years, trying new things and writing down what worked for dinner guests and events, as well as clipping new recipe ideas to try sometime. If you try any of these recipes, I’d ask you to experiment with them. Feel free to make changes and see what happens. Bon Appétit!
My Favorite Green Smoothie
Red Lentil Soup
Raw Courgette and Cucumber Salad
Avocado and Basil Dressing
Mexican Tomato Rice
Easy Banana Ice Cream
Winter Chocolate Truffles