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

Cinnamon

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

Okra

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

Angela Hartnett, Murano and Whitechapel Gallery Dining Rooms

Coriander

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

Kidneys

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

Durian

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

Grouse

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

Spam

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

Heart

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

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,

Cauliflower

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

Turkey

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

Melon

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

Olives

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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Exhibition Content Developer

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003