I'm not eating that!: Chefs reveal their pet hates

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

There are certain foods that even top chefs refuse to have on their plates, from coriander to ketchup, cauliflower and kidneys.


Sam Harris, Zucca


It is the devil's work – it overpowers everything. It doesn't matter how little you use, it's all you can taste, especially in desserts. It's terrible.

Simon Rogan, L'Enclume and Roganic


I don't like the look, or the slimy texture. It's a pointless veg.

Angela Hartnett, Murano and Whitechapel Gallery Dining Rooms


It is just far too perfumed for my taste and overpowers a dish.

Tom Aikens, Tom's Kitchen and Tom Aikens Restaurant

Smoked fish

I have never liked smoked fish – I just can't stand the taste of smoke.

Ed Wilson, Terroirs, Brawn and Soif


I don't like the texture or the taste. The best way to ruin a steak pie is to put kidneys in it.

Jacob Kenedy, Bocca di Lupo


I only tried it once – I was very drunk in a night market in Bangkok at around 3am and it induced the nastiest result of the nausea I was already feeling.

Eddie Hart, Quo Vadis, Barrafina and Fino

Molecular Gastronomy

Done without brilliant wit, cunning, humour and precise technical execution, it is the pits.

Michael Wignall, The Latymer

Tomato ketchup

The smell makes me feel sick – it has done since I was a kid. I always remember going to Wimpy and seeing the plastic tomatoes with crusty old tomato ketchup on the tops.

Bruno Loubet, Bistrot Bruno Loubet


I absolutely love game, but I have to say I'm not that keen on grouse. It could be down to one particularly bad experience, which was one of the worst dishes I have ever tasted, but I'm generally not a fan.

Jeremy Lee, Blueprint Cafe

Train sandwiches

I like most things, however, the microwavable sandwich that they sell on trains quite simply beggars belief.

It is a superb all-time low. The fear that this is going to be served en route to – and indeed on – the Moon fills me with complete and total horror.

Charlie McVeigh, The Draft House

Stewed raisins

At school in the 1970s we were forced to eat rice pudding with stewed raisins on what seemed to be a daily basis. Some bright spark pointed out to me that the bloated raisins were, in fact, rotten eyeballs. I never managed to completely convince myself that he was having me on. In any event, the idea stuck in my mind causing a lifelong aversion.

Tom Byng, Byron


I absolutely hate Spam. It reminds me of being a seven-year-old at a cold, bleak and Dickensian boarding school, where breakfast on my first day was Spam with a single tinned tomato. I assume that they named spam e-mail after Spam – if they didn't they should have. It's only good for the bin.

David Eyre, Eyre Brothers

Boiled veg

Something I can't and won't eat is boiled carrots – or, in fact, any boiled vegetables at all. It stems back to my childhood and schooldays in Rhodesia. I imagine they are what sick children get in hospital.

Daniel Galmiche, The Vineyard at Stockcross

Rice pudding

I was fed too much of it by my mother when I was young and now I am afraid I can't bear to eat it.

Tim Payne, Paradise by way of Kensal Green


Any kind of animal heart. The taste of iron is overpowering and I have never been to a restaurant where they have the texture right, not New York, Paris, even the English countryside.

Thierry Laborde, Chabrot


Okra, or ladies fingers, are tasteless, gooey and glutinous.

Anna Hansen, The Modern Pantry

Green peppers

If I was in a café and they put green peppers in my salad, I would pick them out. To me, they taste like dirt. The only time I'd eat them is in a pepper relish I make, but that's only because it turns them into a jam.

Stuart Dove, The Leconfield

Processed food

It doesn't matter how busy or tired I am, I'd rather boil an egg or make an omelette than eat some of the processed food in supermarkets.

Allan Pickett, Plateau,


When cooked, it can actually make me heave. The worst thing that you could ever make me try and eat would have to be cauliflower cheese.

Tristan Welch, Launceston Place

White sliced bread

For as long as I can remember, I've not been able to stand anything about it – from the texture and its uncooked flavour, to the way it sticks to your teeth when you eat it.

Matt Gillan, The Pass

Crème caramel

I hate it with a passion. The texture; the eggy taste it leaves. Even just the appearance of it. I actually screw my face up at the thought of eating one.

Atul Kochhar, Benares

Sago bugs

It is a delicacy in Malaysia and people love it. I hate its feeling on the palate – slippery-slithery things on your tongue.

Richard Davies, Bybrook

Overdone meat

There is nothing worse than going to a friend's for lunch or dinner and having to politely chew away on leathery meat, saying how lovely it is (not).

Alan Stewart, Manson


When I was young, my mum bought all different kinds and tried every cooking method under the sun, but Christmas dinner was always a let-down. I found it dry and boring. Now when I cook the Christmas dinner there is never a turkey in sight. I much prefer a roast rib of beef or a honey and mustard glazed ham.

Marc Fosh, Fosh Restaurants

Desiccated coconut

It's like finding a handful of sawdust in your mouth. It's such a waste, as coconut milk can be a fantastic ingredient in so many dishes... but desiccated coconut? Forget it!

Alyn Williams, launching Alyn Williams at The Westbury


Everybody loves melon – except for me, I hate them all. My mother used to serve honeydew melon with powdered ginger when I was a child.

I loathed it then and still do.

Helena Puolakka, Skylon

Bread sauce

Somehow it reminds me of soft baby porridge. It just doesn't appeal to my palate. We do prepare it at Christmas time, but it is a painful three weeks, tasting it every day.

Paul Ainsworth, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6


I really want to like olives but frankly, I may as well be licking an aluminium saucepan. It's an irrational hate as I love olive oil and use it when I cook, but olives are a no-go area. I just can't get excited about them.

Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
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
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape