Christmas Food Q&A: Paul Kitching – 21212
Michelin-starred chef tells us his suggestions for the festive season
I'm planning a Christmas meal and want to offer a couple of unusual twists. What would you suggest?
Replace your traditional roast vegetables with something a little more exotic. Don’t get me wrong, British roast vegetables are hard to beat but if you want to step away from the norm, try a celeriac mash or serve Chinese radishes, mooli or pumpkin as an accompaniment to your meat. A simple change can make all the difference.
It's Boxing Day and I've got half a turkey uneaten. Any recommendations for some legendary leftovers?
Take two slices of good-quality thick bread, slather on the butter followed by scrambled egg, turkey and a sprinkle of truffles and chives. Finally top with lashings of my favourite HP fruity sauce – it’s a winner!
Which dishes on your Christmas/December menu do you most like cooking? And which least?
The least would have to be the traditional turkey. Simply because it’s such a big piece of meat which, however hard you try, never ends up looking attractive on a plate. Instead, I tend to opt for guinea fowl or a joint of beef and serve it with white asparagus, which is so flavourful at this time of year.
What do you reckon is the most undervalued ingredient in the seasonal/Christmas repertoire?
For some reason sprouts get discarded as a potential ingredient throughout the year. You can make wonderful purees from sprouts – especially if they’re frozen.
I fancy giving food items for presents at Christmas. Any suggestions?
Food is the best gift you can possibly give. Make sure you present it well and anything from a selection of chutneys, to cheeses, to something sweet will go down a treat. Last Christmas I gave a good friend a spider crab and they absolutely loved it. My advice would be to go for something different, something they wouldn’t have tried before and then that way it will be more of an experience.
Which new kitchen gadget would you most like to find in your stocking? And which food item?
I get through so many sharpening steels for my kitchen knives so I’m always on the lookout for those. Also vegetable peelers, you can never have too many vegetable peelers. When it comes to food in my stocking…. that would have to be caviar or a T-bone steak!