Belfast Telegraph

Leading chef Tom Kitchin: I seasoned a risotto with sugar once!

Leading chef Tom Kitchin tells Ella Walker about his culinary highs and lows

Tom Kitchin had to start somewhere - you don't automatically nab a Michelin star the second you put on chef whites.

But it appears he has always been fascinated with all things seafood, hence why his latest cookbook, Tom Kitchin's Fish And Shellfish, has such heart to it.

We caught up with the Edinburgh-based chef to discover some of his most poignant food related memories.

His earliest food memory is...

"Being on the west coast of Scotland on a campsite. My dad and I, we caught some mackerel. We caught so many that I was trying to sell them around the campsite. I don't think I made much, I think I must've given them away in the end."

His worst food disaster was...

"When I was a young chef at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, I was a really young apprentice, and the chef asked me to make the risotto.

"I was making the risotto, and I seasoned the risotto but I didn't taste it, and when the chef came up to taste it he spat it out, I was like, 'S***! What's happened?' and I'd seasoned it with sugar instead of salt. Ha ha, so I never made that mistake again!"

His culinary highlight has to be...

"Oh man, there are so many, but we have a great friend called Carina Svensen and she has a summer house in Norway, and they have lobster pots.

"So [one summer] we caught the mackerel, ok? And then we filleted the mackerel and took the heads and the bones and put them into the lobster pots. We put those out and then what we did was we took a big pot of water from the sea, we scooped it up and we boiled it on the jetty.

"Then we rowed out to the lobster pots, pulled them back up and we had all these crabs in there. We cooked the crabs straight from the sea, in the sea water on the jetty, and ate them with our feet hanging over the pier, with mayonnaise and a glass of white wine. Ah, man."

Tom Kitchin's Fish And Shellfish by Tom Kitchin, photography by Marc Miller, published by Absolute Press, £26

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