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

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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.

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