I flick through lifestyle cookbooks while munching crisps and chocolate in my jim-jams
I cant resist a good cookbook. I confess I tend to go for the cheffy, nerdy ones as opposed to the glitzy lifestyle ones. Im never going to have abs like Joe Wicks anyhow. Id only end up flicking through it while double-jobbing crisps and chocolate in my jim-jams.
These recipes are about paying homage to great cookbooks and cooks.
Baked plums and Crozier blue cheese. Photograph: Harry Weir
The red cabbage recipe is my take on Stephen Harriss of The Sportsman pub in Kent. To say that in his words this grotty little rundown pub by the sea punches above its weight is a magnificent understatement. Its won a Michelin star and continually teeters at the top of the top 50 gastropubs in the UK.
Chef devotees make the pilgrimage from far and wide to eat Harriss simple, carefully considered food that sings of the local terroir, myself included. I went there a few years back to beg him to come and cook in the Tannery for the West Waterford Festival of Food. He came, it was stupendous.
Chez Bruce in Wandsworth is another legendary restaurant. On the site of Marco Pierre Whites seminal Harveys, it is voted Londons favourite year after year. It wears its Michelin star easily and has been pampering Londoners with old school deliciousness for a long time. I am forever ogling the head chef, Matt Christmass food on Twitter and Instagram. Have a look yourselves and drool your way into happy oblivion. For me as a chef, its a constant beautiful barrage of ideas and inspiration.
Chez Bruce Parmesan biscuits. Photograph: Harry Weir
The cabbage is a twist of the classic that is served in The Sportsman. Its genius is in its simplicity and typical of the man. We would call this making a silk purse out of a sows ear.
The plums are something I cook in winter. They are perfect with the wondrous Crozier Blue. The juice from the plums will giddily enhance your favourite sparkling wine, gin or vodka.
Do yourself a favour and eat them with these decadent Parmesan biscuits from Chez Bruce. They are a little bit of comforting brilliance.
Recipe: THE SPORTMANS POT ROAST RED CABBAGE (with a little twist
Recipe: BAKED PLUMS AND CROZIER BLUE
Recipe: CHEZ BRUCE PARMESAN BISCUITS