Christmas Food Q&A: Philip Contini – Valvona & Crolla
Valvona & Crolla's head honcho discusses his favourite seasonal treats
I'm planning a Christmas meal and want to offer a couple of unusual twists. What would you suggest?
A panettone warmed in the oven and served with homemade crème Anglaise (or thin custard), with a bottle of ice-cold, slightly fizzy Moscato d’Asti.
It's Boxing Day and I've got half a turkey uneaten. Any recommendations for some legendary leftovers?
Don’t buy turkey, create a new tradition and buy a Linda Dick free-range, high-quality, really tasty chicken. There will not be a scrap left over, it is so good!
Which dishes on your Christmas/December menu do you most like cooking? And which least?
What do you reckon is the most undervalued ingredient in the seasonal/Christmas repertoire?
Good sea salt. To our palate it really makes a huge difference to the flavour of your cooking with a delicious, complex saltiness but without the bitterness of commercial salt.
I fancy giving food items for presents at Christmas. Any suggestions?
Ben Ryé Sicilian dessert wine. Probably in the top-five dessert wines of all time! At more than £30 for a half bottle it ain’t cheap but because you only need to sip and savour the delicious flavours it goes a long way.
Which new kitchen gadget would you most like to find in your stocking? And which food item?
We would really love a new corkscrew because, at home, ours has worn really thin. Food item: freshly made Sicilian Marzipan fruits are just divine (available from all leading Italian delis on Elm Row.)