'I can't get through winter without': Foodies reveal what gets them through the big chill

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Tom Parker Bowles always has Tabasco to hand. For Alain Ducasse, it's ceps.

Citrus fruits

Stevie Parle

"Lemons, tangerines, clementines, Tarocco, navel, blood and Seville oranges, I love them all. I'm already almost desperately looking out for the first of the winter's citrus fruits. It's almost as if, when the grim weather and horrible colds set in, nature provides perfect parcels of vitamins and vibrancy. When most fruit trees are bare, citrus trees bear these beautiful, flavourful jewels. I have been known to go slightly yellow from over-indulgence.

Stevie Parle is the chef at London's Dock Kitchen, dockkitchen.co.uk. Parle's 'Spice Trip' starts on More4 at 8pm on 25 November. The book, 'Spice Trip', Square Peg, £20, is out now

Tabasco

Tom Parker Bowles

"This perfectly-formed bottle of Louisiana hot sauce rarely leaves my side, a constant and entirely necessary companion to dreary plane journeys and corporate dinners alike. Of course, as a chilli freak, I worship at a broad church of hot sauces. But I always return to Tabasco. I add it to stews and braises, not in mouth-numbing amounts, but just enough to let all know it's there. It adds bite to my morning eggs, zing to a plateful of native oysters, depth to a lunch of shepherd's pie and spice to a steaming bullshot. A jack of all trades, then, and master of them all, too. Winter tastes boring without it."

'Let's Eat: Recipes from My Kitchen Notebook', Pavilion, £25

The Printers and Stationers Wine Bar, Shoreditch

Lily Vanilli

"You turn left off the street outside my bakery, go in and you are suddenly in the French countryside. It is a fabulous place run by a French guy called Augustin. I go there on the coldest of evenings and it's always so welcoming. They have a hearty one-dish menu that changes daily, lots of red wine and a very nice dog and cat. You pop in and you'll usually find some character or other. I suppose you'd say this is my cosy winter spot."

Lily Vanilli is a baker. Her book, 'Sweet Tooth', is published by Canongate, £20

Porridge

Rachel Khoo

"When it starts to get cold I reach for the oats. But I'm quite particular about my porridge – it has to be on the runny side. For my first book I researched just about every porridge oat there is. I was a bit like Goldilocks, seeing which I liked best. I tried buckwheat and all the rest of them but finally settled on the classic Scottish oat. I like it best with almond milk, which makes it taste pleasingly nutty."

Rachel Khoo is a food writer and TV cook. Her book, 'The Little Paris Kitchen', is published by Michael Joseph, £20

Fishermen

Nathan Outlaw

"The hardest time for fishermen to do their job is during the winter – they are all, to a man, worth their weight in gold at this time of year. I have three restaurants – two in Cornwall and one in London – which all rely on them getting the best possible catch of fresh fish for me every single day of the year. If they didn't go out to sea, in the absolutely freezing weather, I wouldn't have a business at all. I could live without all sorts of things in winter, but not fishermen."

Nathan Outlaw's new restaurant, Seafood and Grill, opened in London's Capital Hotel last month. Nathan-outlaw.com

A little extra flab to keep me warm

David Muniz

"You need to put on a little weight when it gets chilly to keep the cold at bay; it's sensible. The best way to do that, I think, is to bake your own muffins. A caramel-apple muffin, hot out of the oven, is just the best on a cold day. You have the spice in there from the nutmeg and cinnamon, and then that caramel finish. It is something I've loved since childhood – and it's sort of followed me down through my life."

David Muniz (with partner David Lesniak) runs the Outsider Tart bakery in London. Their book, 'Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple' is published by Rizzoli International Publications, £18

Koya udon noodle restaurant, Soho

Sandia Chang

"Maybe it's because of my heritage, but I find noodles very comforting. I just can't live without them in the winter – especially the noodles they serve at Koya. Their walnut miso broth is divine. When I first moved to London I found it hard to find good-quality restaurants that weren't expensive; this was one of the first, and definitely my favourite. The quality just never slips."

Sandia Chang is co-owns Bubbledogs, London W1, bubbledogs.co.uk

Hot spiced apple drink

Ben Spalding

"I drink loads of this at this time of year. I cook with it, too. We make our own by juicing apples, then reducing the mix down and throwing in some winter spices. I love hearty drinks when it's cold. It's also something that's fun to serve in the restaurant – but not as a drink. We load it into a cream gun and charge it with nitrous oxide. It comes out as an intense bubbling liquid which smokes at the table. It's interesting to take something hearty and then turn that on its head."

Ben Spalding's new restaurant, John Salt, has just opened in London's Islington; for details, visit john-salt.com

Olive oil

Claudia Roden

"I must have a good extra virgin olive oil at home in the winter. I love a plate of hot mixed boiled winter vegetables – potatoes, carrots, leeks, cauliflower, pumpkin – simply dressed with salt and a fruity olive oil. For extra glamour I pour on a Spanish vinagreta of oil with lemon juice and added capers, chopped tomatoes, olives or sweet red onions mixed in. I also like to have toast brushed with olive oil with heart-warming lentil or fish soups."

'The Food of Spain', Michael Joseph, £25

Fernet Branca

Fergus Henderson

"We are going into the season of over-indulgence and there is no better way to wrestle with it than Fernet Branca – it's a miracle. I am, I must admit, known for a little shot in the morning to fire up the cylinders. My dad, Dr Henderson, created a cocktail with it, which is named after him – it was his cure for all known ailments. And I follow him in thinking it chirps the humours and generally sorts you out."

'The Complete Nose to Tail', Bloomsbury, £30, stjohngroup.uk.com

Parsnips

Ben Tish

"I am a massive fan of parsnips. From a chef's perspective they are such an economical ingredient. You can make so much from them. At all three of our restaurants you see parsnips dotted across our winter menus. We do a parsnip soup which is so simple: you just cook them in milk, season and blend, and yet it tastes so incredibly velvety and warming. We make chips from them, too, and use them with honey in a salad. They are a chef's best friend in the winter."

Ben Tish is head chef of the Salt Yard group of restaurants in London. His book, 'Salt Yard' is published next month, Piquillo Publishing, £25; saltyard.co.uk

White truffles

Thomas Keller

"Each year, there is only one thing that is on the top of my list: white truffles. To me, they are always a cause for celebration. The winter would never be the same without them."f

Thomas Keller is the chef at the French Laundry in California. His book, 'Bouchon Bakery', is published by Artisan, £35

Instagram

Sat Bains

"I do most of my travelling in the winter and I use Instagram to snap ideas as I go. Rather than writing everything down, I use it to make visual reminders, triggers to try something when I get back to the restaurant. I also use it to log any new dishes I create when I'm back. Before we even taste something, I get my iPhone out and take a picture. It's useful because it goes straight online, and on to our database, so I can refer back to it. It's like my version of a kitchen notebook."

'Too Many Chiefs, Only one Indian', Face, £75; restaurantsatbains.com

Mushi nabe steaming pot

Lisa Meyer

"This pot is a work of art in itself. It's thick, hand-turned and made by the famed Nagatani family from clay from Lake Biwa in Japan. You fill the bottom of it with water, then put it in the centre of the table on a burner. On goes a ceramic grate, on which you steam different rounds of meat and vegetables: clams and mizuna, chicken thighs and potatoes, thinly-sliced belly pork belly and pumpkin. You dip them in ponzu, sesame sauce or whatever you like. The best bit comes at the end, though. You remove the grate and you have a slowly reducing stock, which all the fats have been dripping into while you've been eating. It gives you two clean, cosy meals – it sort of makes me long for days cold enough to use it."

Lisa Meyer's Yum Bun stall is at London's Broadway Market on Saturdays and KERB on Fridays; yumbun.co.uk

Ceps

Alain Ducasse

"Nothing reminds me of the festive season like the exquisitely nutty cep mushroom. It's a rustic yet refined flavour. I love the versatility of an ingredient that tastes just as good on its own sautéed in olive oil as it does made into a velouté with lardo di colonnata. Every winter I head to the countryside with my family to pick baskets-full. As the cold months draw in, I prepare them in a soup like a soupe de châtaigne with chestnuts. People also don't realise that they can be a beautiful accompaniment to fish; I use them like this at The Dorchester."f

'J'aime New York', Hardie Grant, £35

Watermelons in the Gambia

Simon Rogan

"I never have time for summer holidays, and there is no way that I can go through the year without some sun on my body, so we go to Gambia in the winter – it's the only time I'm able to spare a couple of weeks. We go there because it's not too far to fly, it's in the same time zone as the UK and there are not that many places in the world at this time of year where you can sit on a beach in searing 30-degree heat eating the most amazing juicy watermelons. It's a real treat for me."

Simon Rogan's restaurant L'Enclume received a second Michelin star in the 2013 guide

Pressure cooker

Mark Hix

"I have fond memories of my grandmother's pressure cooker – it was brought out a few times a year. A few years ago I went out and bought one for myself; it's one of those winter essentials every cook should have. It cuts cooking time down by half which is great for braises and stews. It's also great for Christmas pudding – you won't have the problem of your pan boiling dry. My favourite is a Fissler pressure cooker, available at specialist cook shops."

Mark Hix will be discussing his new baking book with Simon Kelner at Hix Mayfair on 28 November. See thealbemarlerestaurant.com/index.php/events/mark-on-baking

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week