Chris Galvin: The Michelin-starred chef on how he fell in love with French fine dining

 

My earliest food memory

Driving through Lyon with my mum and dad in 1965, when I was eight. We'd stop at the many Les Routiers [road-side restaurants] along the way, and what struck me was that they were light-years ahead of our own awful motorway restaurants. I remember eating blanquette de veau, a white-wine veal stew; lots of creaminess, and it felt really grown-up and exotic.

My favourite restaurant

Le Gavroche; those Roux brothers have done so much for British gastronomy and I still remember a meal I had there 14 years ago, when I got my first Michelin star. For the main course I had a carved saddle of lamb, but rather then just put it on a plate, they brought it out on a beautiful wooden trolley, garnished with artichokes, fondant potatoes and confit tomatoes, then they carved the lamb in front of you.

My favourite cookbook

Cuisine Gourmande by the French chef Michel Guérard. I grew up in Romford and when Terence Conran opened a Habitat there when I was 16, I'd go and visit. It's where I saw that book, which his wife had translated into English. I still love the duck-liver-and-raisin parfait; it has an ethereal taste, with the slight meatiness paired with the fruitiness of raisin and cognac.

My desert-island dish

A nice piece of Angus beef on the bone. There might just be some driftwood around to grill it on. All you'd need is a bit of butter and some sea salt.

The weirdest thing I've ever eaten

Surströmming – soured herring from northern Sweden. The fish are fermented and putrefied so when I punctured the tin, I was gagging from the sulphurous smell. It tastes like a ripe Munster cheese.

My guilty pleasure

Sneaking a bit of bread from the bread basket and keeping it for my main meal, so I can scrape up the juices left on, say, a plate of roast chicken. It's something my granddad used to do, though I'm not sure if it's acceptable table manners these days.

Chris Galvin, 54, is a Michelin-starred chef and co-owner of seven family-run restaurants. The Galvin Restaurants Festival of Food & Drink will be held in each of the restaurants from 13 to 19 May. For more: galvinrestaurants.com

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific