Christmas Food Q&A: Fred Berkmiller – L’escargot Bleu & Blanc

Edinburgh chef divulges his top festive tips

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Christmas Q&A: Fred Berkmiller – L’escargot Bleu & Blanc

I'm planning a Christmas meal and want to offer a couple of unusual twists. What would you suggest?

Christmas should be fun and stress-free when it comes to cooking. A slowly cooked casserole is great, there’s no reason for not cooking a leg of lamb and a nice shoulder of beef on the corner of the AGA.

It's Boxing Day and I've got half a turkey uneaten. Any recommendations for some legendary leftovers?

Fantastic! What could be better than a thick baguette sandwich with homemade mayonnaise, a few gherkins, Dijon mustard and green leaves. Make sure that the turkey has not been in the fridge but in the cold oven overnight.

Which dishes on your Christmas/December menu do you most like cooking? And which least?

I prefer to cook something that will not be time-consuming so I can enjoy time with the family. A couple of good roasts, a nice chunky bit of foie gras, wine and I am the most happy chef in the world. A special salt marsh lamb and a young poularde will keep me in a good mood for a couple of months.

What do you reckon is the most undervalued ingredient in the seasonal/Christmas repertoire?

Brussels sprouts have such a great flavour when reheated in a nice gravy with a fair amount of butter.

I fancy giving food items for presents at Christmas. Any suggestions?

Good artisan cheese, some great chutney and a super large tin of goose foie gras.

Which new kitchen gadget would you most like to find in your stocking? And which food item?

I don’t do gadgets. Proper kitchen tools and common sense would be a great present.

L'Escargot Blanc Restaurant & Wine Bar

17 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4QW

A West End favourite that celebrates the Auld Alliance with Scottish produce shining in French bistro classics.

L'Escargot Bleu

56 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3SA

Scotland's abundant larder combines with classic French cooking in a much-loved central bistro.

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