If you understand chefs, then in all likelihood you know we don’t suffer fools gladly.
Whilst we’re not condoning the Gordan Ramsay school of tough love, during our chef lives, we come across many things that make us want to scream.
Being glued to your phones when you are eating a meal in a restaurant is a good starter for ten. How would you feel if we came to you home and kept checking our Facebook and Insta profiles while you were making us dinner?
And do you need to take pictures of your food? We know it looks great as we cooked it, so just go ahead and eat it before it gets cold!
Another bugbear are ‘no shows’. We don’t mind cancellation as we know things crop up, but to book a table and not turn up without letting us know is just plain rude. Again, imagine if you invited us to a dinner party, went to all that trouble and expense to cook because you are trying to impress a chef and then we just decide we can’t be bothered and won’t let you know about it. That would sting a bit wouldn’t it?
And if there was something about your meal you didn’t like, why not let us know instead of waiting until you get home and putting it on Trip Advisor? Or worse love the meal and then threaten us before they leave saying they will leave a great review if they knock something off the bill. Keyboard warriors, we do not like!
Another thing that gets on our goat (apologies we know we are in a bit of a rant this week but it’s really all a set up for the recipe promise) are how foods and cooking methods have been bastardized over the years.
Indian food is a great example. For some reason, a large majority of people in this country think Indian food should be hot, hence you get the daredevils full of lager on a Saturday night ordering a vindaloo or a phall. If you go to Mumbai, Delhi or anywhere else in India, you won’t see these on a menu because Indian people like to taste their food, rather than having the sensation that their mouth is on fire. And, no, beer doesn’t make it better, in facts it makes the sensation worse.
And while we’re on the subject of Indian food, do not get us started on chicken tikka masala because that dish is closer to Coventry than it is Calcutta.
Perhaps the best example of food that has been bastardized though is Italian. Trying going to Rome and asking for a ham and pineapple pizza and you will see what we mean.
Or how about the good old-fashioned Spaghetti Bolognese? We don’t want to shatter any illusions, but there’s no such thing in Italy. Their version, the original version, does us a meat sauce, although that’s called Ragu and the pasta they use is tagliatelle.
And then there’s carbonara. Do you use cream in your version because if you do, leave that for your coffee and don’t let it anywhere near your pasta carbonara. Traditional carbonara is made using only eggs, prosciutto or pancetta and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses.
A bit like this recipe in fact!
Authentic Spaghetti alla carbonara
- Garlic butter
- 100g Olive oil
- 150g salted butter (softened)
- 40g minced garlic
- 10g fresh chopped parsley
- 10g fresh chopped basil
- 20g grated parmesan
Heat up the oil hot enough to fry then take off the heat and add the garlic and then just cook the garlic gently don’t allow to burn as it will go bitter. Then let the garlic infused oil cool before beating into the butter and adding the chopped herbs and parmesan.
- Garlic and herb flatbread
- 400g ‘00’ flour
- 10g salt
- 70g olive oil
- 7 active dry yeast
- 300mls warm water
Place all ingredients into a kitchen mixing bowl but keep the yeast away from the salt, with dough hook attached mix till a smooth elastic dough is formed. Leave in a warm place to double in volume.
Preheat the oven too 220oc. Once doubled in volume, place onto a bench floured with polenta and split into two. Roll out into a circle and place on to two preheated baking trays bake for 10 minutes till just cooked. Then switch the oven to grill and place the breads underneath to give a golden brown colour on top. Leave to one side to cool slightly then top with garlic butter and bake for a further 8-10 minutes.
- 200g eggs
- 40g egg yolks
- 160g grated pecorino
- 205g diced pancetta
- 500g pack of dried spaghetti
- Fresh ground black pepper
Place a pan of water on the heat and add a tbsp. of salt. Bring to the boil and add the spaghetti, cook till just al dente, meanwhile in a frying pan put on a high heat and fry the pancetta till crispy. In a separate bowl mix the cheese and eggs once the pasta is cooked drain and leave to cool just slightly then put back into the pan with the pancetta and then tip in the cheesy egg mixture and mix.
The residual heat should cook and melt the cheese creating a shiny rich sauce. If you leave it too long and your sauce doesn’t look melted put back on the heat but keep mixing and don’t let the egg scramble. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with the buttery garlic bread and extra shaved pecorino.